Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Hamilton, Carolyn
dc.contributor.advisor Kar, Bodhisatva
dc.contributor.author Odendaal, Rehana Thembeka
dc.date.accessioned 2021-02-18T13:19:42Z
dc.date.available 2021-02-18T13:19:42Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.citation Odendaal, R.T. 2020. Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994. . ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the public roles and responsibilities of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in the period 1922-1994. It does this through a close investigation of four moments in the history of the University, namely the foundation of Wits (1910s and 1920s); early debates about the entry of Black staff and students (1930s and 1940s); the Academic Freedom protests (starting in the mid-1950s) and the formation of the Wits History Workshop (from 1977 to the early 1990s). In each of these moments, social roles and perceptions of public responsibility were actively asserted or challenged through engagements between internal-university constituencies and external communities. The thesis identifies three core roles for Wits University over this period: providing technical and professional training; generating and authenticating expert knowledge and shaping people's ideas of citizenship. The practical and conceptual understandings of these three roles, however, have shifted over time as the University's conceptualisation of the communities it serves has changed. These shifts have happened in conversation with different civic and state actors. The thesis has found that ideas of the public roles of Wits are informed by an institutional sense of self-referential authority accumulated through various moments and practices in the University's history. This self-referential authority depends on a selective recalling of particular events and the ability of multiple narratives about the University's identity to circulate simultaneously. This self-referential authority draws on Wits' origins as an institution of late-Imperial modernity and its legacy as a so-called ‘open' university. Understanding the practices and legacies that have created these narratives through an examination of the University's history, is particularly important in the present moment when the future public responsibilities of South African universities are being vigorously questions and debated.
dc.subject Witwatersrand University
dc.subject South Africa
dc.subject academic freedom
dc.title Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994
dc.type Master Thesis
dc.date.updated 2021-02-18T13:18:46Z
dc.language.rfc3066 eng
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities
dc.publisher.department Department of Historical Studies
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationlevel MA
dc.identifier.apacitation Odendaal, R. T. (2020). <i>Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994</i>. (). ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Odendaal, Rehana Thembeka. <i>"Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994."</i> ., ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Odendaal RT. Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994. []. ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Historical Studies, 2020 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Master Thesis AU - Odendaal, Rehana Thembeka AB - This thesis examines the public roles and responsibilities of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in the period 1922-1994. It does this through a close investigation of four moments in the history of the University, namely the foundation of Wits (1910s and 1920s); early debates about the entry of Black staff and students (1930s and 1940s); the Academic Freedom protests (starting in the mid-1950s) and the formation of the Wits History Workshop (from 1977 to the early 1990s). In each of these moments, social roles and perceptions of public responsibility were actively asserted or challenged through engagements between internal-university constituencies and external communities. The thesis identifies three core roles for Wits University over this period: providing technical and professional training; generating and authenticating expert knowledge and shaping people's ideas of citizenship. The practical and conceptual understandings of these three roles, however, have shifted over time as the University's conceptualisation of the communities it serves has changed. These shifts have happened in conversation with different civic and state actors. The thesis has found that ideas of the public roles of Wits are informed by an institutional sense of self-referential authority accumulated through various moments and practices in the University's history. This self-referential authority depends on a selective recalling of particular events and the ability of multiple narratives about the University's identity to circulate simultaneously. This self-referential authority draws on Wits' origins as an institution of late-Imperial modernity and its legacy as a so-called ‘open' university. Understanding the practices and legacies that have created these narratives through an examination of the University's history, is particularly important in the present moment when the future public responsibilities of South African universities are being vigorously questions and debated. DA - 2020 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town KW - Witwatersrand University KW - South Africa KW - academic freedom LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PY - 2020 T1 - Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994 TI - Wits imagined: an investigation into Wits University's public roles and responsibilities, 1922 - 1994 UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/32899 ER - en_ZA


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