Each year, the Department of African Studies and Anthropology invites a distinguished Africanist scholar to give the Department’s annual lecture Fage Lecture.

This year’s Fage Lecture took place on 4 December 2017 and was given by Professor Carolyn Hamilton (University of Cape Town), who spoke on ‘Displacements of  Discourse and the Making of the Concept of African Oral Tradition’.

Professor Hamilton is NRF Research Chair In Archive and Public Culture at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is the leading authority on pre-colonial Zulu history today, and on the problems and politics of conducting research on 18th and 19th-century Southern Africa. She has published widely on the pre-industrial history of South Africa. Her recent work focuses on the limits and possibilities of archives, and on operations of power in and through archives.

In her Fage Lecture, Professor Hamilton brilliantly explores the creation of the concept of ‘oral tradition’ in Southern Africa, and discusses the politics of decolonising knowledge in South Africa and beyond.