Professor Simeon Wiehler
Simeon Wiehler has been invited by the Foundation for the Promotion of Cooperation in Teaching and Research with Partner Institutions, JGU Mainz, to take up a research fellowship in June 2017.
Simeon Wiehler is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Administrative Sciences (College of Arts and Social Sciences) at the University of Rwanda. He is the proud father of three boisterous sons, editor of The Rwanda Journal Social Sciences Series and lectures in social statistics, research methods, sociological theories and critical sociology at the University of Rwanda’s Huye Campus. His research interests range from the theory-driven analysis of delocalization in Africa (the cascading social impact of rapid cultural change), to the implications of gendered land rights on GBV and intra-household disputes, street child policy in Rwanda, Uganda and the East African region, to the challenges of introducing non-traditional agricultural and horticultural crops to small-holder farmers. Simeon received his PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University in New York, USA, and has worked in Africa as a NGO volunteer, technical advisor, consultant and educator since 1983.
Pedzisai Maedza is a Canon Collins Scholar reading for a PhD in Performance Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, supported by the Social Science Research Council’s Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship, with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. His research stay at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, is hosted by Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz on a DAAD Doctoral Fellowship from October 1, 2016 until July 31, 2017 and a scholarship from the Sulzmann Foundation from August 1, 2017 till December 31, 2017.
Pedzisai Maedza is currently working on a doctoral thesis titled Chains of Memory in the Postcolony: Performing Collective Remembering in Namibia and Zimbabwe. This research is an interdisciplinary project at the intersection of performance, memory and genocide studies. It investigates the performance representations of collective remembering of genocides in Namibia (1904-1908) and the Zimbabwe Gukurahundi (1982-1987). It is a meditation on memory, considering the role of performance in remembering genocides in post-colonial societies and how such atrocities are memorialised, sustained and transmitted through performance. The research project focuses on the specific role of performance as a medium of cultural memory. It considers ‘memory as performing history’ and seeks to contribute to an understanding of memory and performance firstly as a cultural phenomenon and secondly as a form of elegy and memorial in contemporary times. The research approaches commemoration events and processes as fruitful performance nodes to uncover the past as well as the politics of the present. The project offers a variety of perspectives on the relationship between violence, memory and space by focusing on what is remembered, how it is remembered, and by paying attention to when it is remembered.
Prior to the PhD project, Pedzisai Maedza completed a B.A Honours in Theatre Arts at the University of Zimbabwe (2006-2010), and a M.A. Drama at the University of Cape Town on a Staff Development Fellowship from Great Zimbabwe University from 2012 to 2014. The M.A research was titled Theatre of Testimony: An investigation in Devising Asylum. It used narrative analysis to examine how documentary plays incorporate the personal testimonies of African migrant asylum seekers in post-apartheid South Africa. The study examines how playwright positioning informs the structuring of asylum testimonies on stage. It also contextualises the ethical and moral complexities which the playwright’s positionality places on their practice. This work was awarded the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) New Scholars Award 2013-2014 as well as the African Studies Centre, University of Leiden, Netherlands’ Africa Thesis Award for 2014.
Alexander Von Humboldt Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Solomon Waliaula
Solomon Waliaula is a senior lecturer at the Department of Languages, Linguistics, Communication and Journalism, School of Arts and Social Science, Maasai Mara University Kenya. He received his PhD on Kenyan Radio Soccer Commentary as Oral Performance in Literature from the Moi University in 2011, with a DAAD Sandwich research stint at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, between October 2010 and March 2011, hosted by Prof. Dr. Matthias Krings.
Currently he is a Alexander von Humboldt Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies, hosted by Prof. Dr. Matthias Krings, where he is working on the project Electronic Sport Media Audiences and their Performances in Eldoret, Kenya. The study explores a cultural practice that has evolved in the context of audience reception of European football in Kenya. The fellowship period is from February 2016 until August 2017.