The Management of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) led by the Principal, Dr Josephine Ahikire on 11th January 2021 received and oriented the fourth cohort of PhD students under the Gerda Henkel Stiftung sponsored Interdisciplinary PhD by Research Programme in Historical Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences.
The 10 newly admitted students are; Ms. Laurene Manaa Abdallah from Ghana, Mr. Wasiu Olorunlambe from Nigeria, Mr. Okok Samuel, Ms. Juliet Ssematimba, Ms. Naomi Namanya, Ms. Moureen Nanteza and Ms. Fatuma Mirembe from Uganda, Mr. Samuel Nyasha Chikowera from Zimbabwe, Ms. Grace Njoki Maina from Kenya and Mr. Alene Kassaw Fentie from Ethiopia. The students were admitted following a rigorous selection exercise in which they emerged best out of 160 applicants.
Under their PhD study programme, the students will conduct research on a wide-range of issues in Historical Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences. Their topics of study include; Colonial Influences on the Construction of West African Anglophone and Francophone Cinema (Ms. Laurene Manaa Abdallah from Ghana), Historicizing Traditional Technology in Bunyoro: The Case of Salt Mining at Kibiro 1894 – 1997 (Ms. Juliet Ssematimba from Uganda), Historicizing the Religious Ethical Values in the Ugandan Education System (Ms. Naomi Namanya from Uganda), Linguistic Imperialism in Uganda: The Historical Influence of the Language and Culture of the Baganda (Ms. Moureen Nanteza from Uganda), Patterns and Trends of Iron Working in Uganda since the 7th to the 20th Centuries (Ms. Fatuma Mirembe from Uganda), The Challenge of Political Integrity in Uganda: An Ethical Inquiry into the Socio-Political Drivers (Mr. Okok Samuel from Uganda), Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Children During United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa (Central Africa Republic and South Sudan) –Mr. Wasiu Olorunlambe from Nigeria, Witchcraft and Belonging: The Reconstruction of Criminality and the Politics of Belonging in Zimbabwe, 1980 – 2020 (Mr. Samuel Nyasha Chikowero from Zimbabwe), Continuities in Agikuyu Women Indigenous Justice Systems, 1800 – 2010 (Ms. Grace Njoki Maina from Kenya), and Trans-Border Security Threats, Actors, Modi Operandi and Implications for State and Human Security in Ethiopia (Mr. Alene Kassaw Fentie from Ethiopia).
Addressing participants, the Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire congratulated the students upon their admission. She urged them to efficiently utilize their time in order to complete their studies in the stipulated time of three years (2021-2024). The Principal thanked Gerda Henkel Stiftung for the support rendered towards PhD capacity building programmes at CHUSS. In 2019, Gerda Henkel Stiftung in Germany, which has supported PhD training of 30 members of staff and students in the last three years, extended its cooperation with the College and committed to support more 60 PhD fellows for the next six years starting 2020.
Commenting on the renewed academic vibrancy at CHUSS, the Acting Deputy Principal, Dr Julius Kikooma urged the students to further the efforts by actively engaging and contributing to the development of humanities and social sciences scholarship through their research projects.
The Deans led by Dr Andrew Ellias State (Dean – School of Social Sciences) guided the students on ways of managing a PhD programme. They implored the students to actively engage in academic seminars and conferences and to continuously seek guidance from their supervisors. The students were also encouraged to endeavor to publish in nationally and internationally recognized journals as a way of boosting their academic growth. In addition, the students were advised to create and nurture strong and genuine academic networks.
The Dean, School of Psychology, Dr Grace Kibanja briefed the students on the National Council for Higher Education ethical requirements for PhD programmes whereas Dr Sarah Ssali, Dean School of Women and Gender Studies shared details about the College Monthly Seminar Series in which the students are expected to actively participate.
During the meeting, the students were given laptops to enable them to effectively pursue their studies.
The orientation meeting was coordinated by Dr Edgar Fred Nabutanyi, Coordinator of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung project at Makerere, Dr Levis Mugumya, also programme Coordinator at CHUSS and Ms. Catherine Kirumira, Programme Administrator.
About the Inter-disciplinary PhD by Research Programme in Historical Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences
The Inter-disciplinary PhD by Research Programme in the fields of Historical Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences engages a cluster of subjects that study human society with a particular sensitivity to change over time, historical context, and the development of various kinds of evidence to support analyses about the causes, characteristics, and implications of such changes in human society. These are subjects that equip students with many skills such as the ability to conduct independent research, analyse texts or images, and write persuasively. They also focus on helping students to understand better how these skills and analytical approaches can be applied to issues of societal significance beyond the university.