Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Research on "The Human Economy", University of Pretoria, South Africa

The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria invites applications from suitably qualified researchers for Post-Doctoral Fellowships to contribute to an interdisciplinary project on ‘The Human Economy’.   

People always insert themselves practically into economic life on their own account. But what they do is often obscured, marginalised or repressed by dominant economic institutions and ideologies. The human economy is conceived of as being made and remade by people themselves, being based on a holistic conception of human needs and with the interests of humanity as a whole in mind.

This project builds on and will contribute to a collaborative international research program that began in the World Social Forum, 2001 and has already brought together theoretical and practical work on alternative economic institutions in Brazil, Argentina, France, Britain and other countries. Its prime focus is on the growing scope for economic initiatives that lie between the stark alternatives of the free market and state planning. As well as guaranteeing social rights, governments must encourage forms of self-organization where solidarity has a greater role. Equality and freedom come from the mutuality of everyday life, and not just from market contracts or citizenship.

Scholars who have undertaken research relevant to these topics in disciplines such as Social Anthropology, Sociology, History, Political Economy, Development Studies, Philosophy, Literature or Geography are welcome to apply.  Because the making of world society is at stake, there are no restrictions on where this research has been done. But the Faculty has a particular interest in fostering a dialogue on such issues between researchers from countries in the ‘global South’.

The Faculty intends to award up to six Fellowships associated with this project to begin in January 2011, with the aim of bringing together scholars from around the world, and stimulating an
international and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. Successful applicants will

·         Have completed a doctoral degree in a relevant discipline within the past seven years

·         Preferably be younger than 40 years

·         Have undertaken in-depth and high-quality research on a topic relevant to the project

Fellowships are for one year (2011), with the possibility of renewal for a further year depending on progress.  Fellows will be expected to write up and publish research relevant to the designated theme, and will have an opportunity to undertake additional, comparative research in southern Africa, should this be appropriate.

Successful applicants will also be expected to

·         Contribute to the Faculty of Humanities Seminar Programme

·         Participate in an International Workshop on ‘The Human Economy’ to be hosted by the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria in the course of 2011

·         Provide guidance to postgraduate students who will undertake research on topics linked to the interests of particular Fellows.  Each Fellow would mentor at least one student.

Fellows will receive

·         A tax-free stipend of up to R175 000 per annum

·         A return air ticket between their country of residence and South Africa

·         Funding for possible research in southern Africa

·         Funding to attend one international conference outside South Africa during their tenure

·         Access to the facilities of the University of Pretoria, including office space.

Applicants must complete the University of Pretoria Post-Doctoral Application Form before 30 June 2010.  Applications will be considered by the university’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship Committee.

For further information, please contact

John Sharp, Professor of Social Anthropology and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria (


Keith Hart, Honorary Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Pretoria (


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