Faculty of Humanities: Appointments

Posted on November 29, 2012

                                Prof Sakhela Buhlungu                                          Prof Hennie Stander

While this is a first-time appointment as a Deputy Dean for Prof Buhlungu, it is Prof Stander’s second term as a Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Humanities. Both appointments will come into effect on 1 January 2013.

Professor Sakhela Buhlungu
Prof Buhlungu holds a professorship in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria. He has a BA from the University of Transkei, a BA Honours from the University of Cape Town, and an MA and PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Buhlungu started his career as a school teacher in the Eastern Cape and later occupied leadership positions in the then Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union, a COSATU-affiliated union. Since then he has held different appointments: as a writer for a labour journal, a researcher at the Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP) at Wits University and as a lecturer at the same institution. At Wits he rose to become Professor of Sociology, Director of SWOP, and from 2006 to 2007 was the Head of the Department of Sociology.

He is currently the Acting Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria. He has presented academic papers at conferences in various countries in Africa, Asia, North America, South America and Europe. In 2005 he was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Five Colleges African Scholars’ Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2011/12 he was an Ela Bhatt Visiting Professor at the International Centre for Development and Decent Work at the University of Kassel, Germany.

Prof Buhlungu has done research and published widely on the changing nature of trade unionism in South Africa and Africa, union movements' political engagement, industrial relations, political activism and the 'new' social movements. His most recent publications include A Paradox of Victory: COSATU and the Democratic Transformation in South Africa (UKZN Press, 2010), COSATU’s Contested Legacy: South African Trade Unions in the Second Decade of Democracy (edited with Malehoko Tshoaedi, HSRC Press, 2012) and Trade Unions and Party Politics: Labour Movements in Africa (edited with Bjorn Beckman and Lloyd Sachikonye, HSRC Press, 2010). The latter publication received the International Labor History Association’s Book of the Year Award for 2010.

Prof Buhlungu’s vision for his role as the Deputy Dean: Postgraduate Studies and Ethics in the Faculty of Humanities:
“By working with departments and members of the Faculty I intend to introduce new initiatives in the areas of recruitment and admissions, funding, administration, supervision and research training, and the creation of a postgraduate culture for graduate students. My main objective is to strengthen postgraduate studies and position the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria as one of the leading centres of postgraduate training and research in the country and the African continent. This goal is achievable, as a strong foundation is already in place in the Faculty.”

Professor Hennie Stander
Prof Hennie Stander was appointed as a research assistant in the Department of Greek at the University of Pretoria in 1973. He has been in the employ of the University ever since. In 1983/84 Prof Stander held a research fellowship at Yale University (New Haven, USA), and in 1987 he held a research associateship at Indiana University (Bloomington, USA).

For the past three years he has served as a Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria while maintaining his professorship in his home department: the Department of Ancient Languages. Prof Stander has published 73 articles in refereed and accredited journals, and is also the author or co-author of more than 30 academic books and book chapters.

Over the years he has contributed to various encyclopaedias, including the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (Garland Publishing, New York, 1997), the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press, 1997), the Encyclopaedic Prosopographical Lexicon of Byzantine History (Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, 2009) and the Encyclopedia of the Bible (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2012). He is also a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Hennie Stander has also written several popular books, and is a regular guest on radio and television stations.

Prof Stander is a member of several professional societies, such as the North American Patristic Society and the Society of Biblical Studies. He has also served as the national representative at the Association Internationale d’Etudes Patristiques since 2008. Prof Stander is currently working on a project titled Early Christianity and the Economy in Antiquity: Implications for Present-Day Societies. This research project is co-chaired by John T. Fitzgerald of the University of Miami and Fika J. van Rensburg of North-West University (SA). Prof Stander and Charles Bobertz of the College of St. Benedict at St John’s University (USA) are the lead researchers on Sub-Project 3: Early Christianity of the Second to the Fifth Centuries. Prof Stander holds a C-rating with the NRF.

Prof Stander’s vision for his role as Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities:
“The deanery of the Faculty should continuously make sure that we are moving in the same direction as the University, and that the vision of the Faculty is aligned with the vision of the University. Regarding teaching and learning, I would like to ensure that our teaching is relevant. Our students should be exposed to diverse opinions, and the diversity of our country should therefore also be represented in our lecture halls – a place where students can learn to reflect critically on themselves and on all aspects of our society.”

We wish both Prof Stander and Prof Buhlungu well during their terms as Deputy Deans.

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