Symposium & Book Launch Article

Posted on February 15, 2023

On 13 February 2023, the Faculty of Humanities hosted a symposium and book launch at the Employability Lab on UP’s Hatfield Campus. The symposium titled, ‘The place for pedagogy in global classrooms’, involved presentations by six scholars from UP’s Humanities Faculty as well as from two scholars from international institutions.

Professor Loretta Feris, Vice Principal: Academic at the University of Pretoria, was delighted that the University of Pretoria was able to convene such a gathering and to tease out the advantages and hurdles that hybrid teaching must manage. Lecturers keen to share their experiences during this session included:

  • Professor Nick Shepard from Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Professor Siona O’Connell and Dr Dominique Wnuczek-Lobaczweski from UP’s School of the Arts
  • Professor Mark Stern from Colgate University, New York
  • Professor Maxi Schoeman from UP’s Department of Political Sciences,
  • Professor Karen Harris, head of UP’s Department of Historical and Heritage Studies
  • Dr Heather Thuynsma from UP’s Department of Political Sciences
  • Mr Hannes Engelbrecht from UP’s Department of Historical and Heritage Studies

In addition to the presentations, the symposium also included a broad discussion about the use and feasibility of the global classroom as a teaching and learning model. The symposium was a hybrid event held in the University of Pretoria’s newly launched Digital Capability Lab on the Hatfield campus.

Using the Lab’s cutting edge technology, the symposium was able to involve lecturers from other university partners in the US and Europe as well as students who have participated in various versions of a global classroom. The presentations and discussions explored different disciplines’ experiences with the global classroom model both before and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the themes discussed included decolonisation, inequalities between the global north and the global south and climate change and the effect these have on how courses have evolved to contextualise the students’ learning experience.

The event ended with the hybrid launch of Dr Nadia Kamies’ book titled, ‘Off Centre and out of Focus – Growing up “Coloured” in South Africa’. The book is a joint publication with Fourthwall Books and the ESI Press and with be available for purchase soon. Dr Kamies, who completed her PhD in Historical and Heritage Studies at UP in 2019, graduated with a BSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of Cape Town in 1984. She also holds a MA in Creative Writing from UCT.

The Humanities Faculty is proud to have hosted such an engaging symposium that included such a rich sharing of individuals and ideas. 

- Author Robyn Schnell

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