The University of Pretoria’s Doctor Ndumiso Dladla has been awarded the 2023 Global Global Justice Fellowship at Leiden University, one of Europe’s leading international research universities.
As stated by the Leiden University website, this project co-funded by the Leiden University Foundation, Gratama Foundation and the Leiden Institute for Philosophy “is part of the Global Global Justice Project, which aims to amplify the voices of African practical (moral, political, legal) philosophers, particularly (but not exclusively) in debates about global justice. The conviction underlying this project is that debates in practical philosophy benefit from an inclusive global dialogue, in which we talk with those living elsewhere rather than just about. The aim is to establish links between academics on both sides of the Mediterranean as well as expose Dutch students to more diverse perspectives. During their fellowship, the fellow will be involved in teaching one course.”
Dr Dladla is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jurisprudence. He holds a BA (Philosophy and Private Law), BA [Hons] (Philosophy) as well as an MA (Philosophy) from the University of South Africa and an LLD (Jurisprudence) from the University of Pretoria. He worked at the department Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology at the University of South Africa from 2012 to 2021 where he taught African philosophy, the philosophy of race and the history of Western philosophy.
With research interests in the theme of historical justice which examine through a philosophical approach the study of various problems arising out of the fields of law, history and politics, this fellowship is tailored to Dr Dladla’s areas of interest and expertise. He asserts that the appeal of the Global Global Justice 2023 fellowship is its “openness to contributions from African social, political and legal philosophy”, he further states that this fellowship prioritizes practical philosophy and not a fixation on “theoretical ethics … divorced from the concrete realm of the political and historical”. According to Dr Dladla opportunities such as this fellowship are “quite rare in recent times especially in the West”.
The fellowship includes a four-month residency at Leiden University, during which he will be teaching a course titled the Advanced History of Philosophy in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in which he will focus on key themes in 20th century African political philosophy. Dr Dladla shares his excitement about the teaching component of this fellowship ,he states “This teaching component which I will use to share some of the work of the Azanian philosophical tradition we have been developing with other members of our community (including in the UP department of Jurisprudence) , will give me an opportunity to challenge in the classroom itself the idea that we have nothing to say or do as Africans about the current and ongoing unethical arrangements of power in the world”.
He will also be undertaking a research project in African political philosophy and African jurisprudence. He will be working on a manuscript for his second book focused on the uses and abuses of Ubuntu philosophy is contemporary South African jurisprudence and Western philosophy. Furthermore, Dr Dladla will also give several seminars and lectures at Leiden and surrounding universities in the process of refining the work to be published.
Dr Dladla expresses great excitement for the opportunity to “spend time in debate and discussion with contemporary Dutch scholars and students which can only improve and deepen my quest to understand the exact foundations of some of our major problems as Africans today”. He expresses his hope to “successfully make the point that African political philosophy is far from dead or passed but at the very centre of the whirlwind out of which the world’s future will either emerge or be annihilated”.
The fellowship also offers Dr Dladla an opportunity to extend existing networks, identify available resources and build a foundation for future relations which will benefit the department and faculty.
This appointment of Dr Dladla to this prestigious fellowship is not only excellent news but a testament to the global research of his important critical scholarship. The law faculty and Department of Jurisprudence are exceptionally proud of this high-flying academic!