Grant Scheme Winners 2010

CHRIS THURMAN is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Wits University. He contributes to various publications as an arts critic, political commentator and travel writer. He received a grant to write a book on Lamar Middleton, part cultural history, part biography and part travel narrative, this book will explore interesting and unexpected connections across the Atlantic; it aims to change current perceptions (South) Africans have about America and vice-versa.

CHRISTA KULJIAN is an independent development consultant and a writer. She was a 2010 Ruth First Fellow at Wits Journalism and focused her research on the Central Methodist Church. She wants to expand on her lecture to write a book which will explore how the City of Johannesburg is addressing the challenges presented at the Church and also explore how different points of tension have developed between different interest groups within the church itself.
ELINOR SISULU is a writer, human rights activist and political analyst,Elinor is working together with sociologist, Sam Shakong, to produce a comprehensive archive and a monograph on Jonas Gwangwa. The material collected for this monograph will be further used for other biographical products such a radio documentary and a book aimed at the high school market.
JUDITH COULLIE is a professor of English Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She will be working on a scholarly book on the ethics of memory in post-apartheid South Africa. She will look at a range of ways in which memory is employed and ask; How can memory, as it is deployed in life writing in post-apartheid South Africa, be ethical or unethical? What ethical principles inform life writing projects and to what effect?
MAGGIE DAVEY is currently a publishing director at Jacana Media. She will be a WISER fellow at Wits in 2011, where she’ll be working on a book about the Okhelaorganisation of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Okhela was a relatively short lived revolutionary organisation, which aimed to be a support network for the ANC within South Africa. This book will provide fresh insights into the extraordinary exploits of the personalities who drove the group.
SINDIWE MAGONA is an award winning author. She is Anglican Archbishop Emeritus NjongonkuluNdungane’s official biographer. The upcoming biography will look at how the man, son, grandson, and great grandson of Anglican priests end up in jail? And eventually rise to the archbishopric of the Anglican church? The biography will document the story of the archbishop’s journey from Kokstad to the imposing estate of the Head of the Anglican Church in southern Africa.
MATHILDA SLABBERT is a part-time lecturer at the Department of English at the University of Stellenbosch. For the past four years she has been working on a collaboration project with a colleague, DrDawid de Villiers, on a biography on the life and work of David Kramer. This critical biography would elucidate Kramer’s artistic career and bring—long overdue—academic recognition of his work.
MARION ISAACS has a Masters degree in African Studies from Oxford University. She intends to use this grant to develop the story of Oswenka into a journal article. Oswenka (the Swenkas) are Zulu migrant working men who set their work clothes aside on the weekend to don designer suits and to undertake competitive fashion shows in the hostels and community halls of Johannesburg and Durban- all in the name of dignity.
SIHLE KHUMALO is an author of two travel books – Dark Continent My Black Arse and Heart of Africa. He is now working on his third travelogue to West Africa, wherein he wants to explore a wide variety of issues; Sahara – largest dry desert on the planet; Music (and the Vibe); Slave Trade – it was most intense in this part of the continent; Religion – from Juju to Black Muslims and anything in between; French ‘legacy’- Most part of nort west Africa was colonised by the French.