The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York has awarded the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) a generous three-year research grant amounting to eight hundred thousand (800,000) US Dollars. The research grant will facilitate a three-year (2019-2022) College-wide research project entitled: Historicizing the Humanities at Makerere University Since 1922. The Project seeks to rethink the research and scholarship enterprise of the humanities and humanistic social sciences at Makerere University.
Historicizing the Humanities at Makerere University is premised on the critical role of both the humanities and humanistic social sciences in interpreting and comprehending societal commonalities and differences as well as fostering critical thought, social justice, equity and democratic practice. As Makerere University prepares to commemorate 100 years of existence (1922 – 2022) in the next three years, there is need to re-examine the role of humanities and humanistic social sciences in advancing the vision and mission of the university and interrogate the theoretical and methodological approaches that have informed the scholarship of these disciplines thereof. In this regard, the research project will specifically address the following objectives:
- Examine the basis of the disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences
- Examine the evolution of these disciplines at Makerere University and what their existence has meant for Uganda
- Identify the core features that define humanities and humanistic social sciences at Makerere University and in the country
- Evaluate the contribution of humanities and humanistic social sciences at Makerere University to interdisciplinary research and global knowledge production since their introduction at Makerere University
The project will muster academic synergies and rigorous engagement with the public, including local authorities, public intellectuals, professional bodies and alumni of humanities and humanistic social sciences to enact platforms and congregate publics to debate important issues plaguing the Ugandan polity.
The anticipated activities include the following:
- Quarterly symposia at which humanities and humanistic social sciences scholars, practitioners policy makers and CHUSS alumni will engage in critical debates;
- Public dialogues with professional bodies and public intellectuals; among others to interrogate issues of national and regional importance;
- A national conference on the theme of the role and position of Humanities in Uganda and the region;
- Publication of an edited book on Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences at Makerere since 1922;
- Curate two special issues of the MAWAZO Journal on contemporary debates on the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the region;
- An international conference on repositioning humanities and humanistic social sciences at the centre of knowledge production.
This is one of the many grants that the Foundation has been awarding to the College since 2017. The Foundation awarded 1.5 million USD to Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) for research on decolonization (Decolonization Project), 800,000 USD for the Early Career Scholars Research project and 800,000 USD for the Building Capacity for Research project. The Foundation also gave CHUSS a planning grant worth 100,000 USD to study the operations of centres of learning and teaching across the globe in a bid to establish one at Makerere University. And recently, the Foundation committed 729,000 USD for the Urbanization project.