Humanities Scholars challenged to re-invigorate what Humanities represent

Scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences have been challenged to raise up and reclaim their rightful space or else lose out in the 21st Century competitions.

The call was made by the Principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) Prof. Josephine Ahikire , who is also the Principal Investigator for Makerere University  Centre of Excellence in  Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL).

The Principal and PI was opening the CERTL Publication Peer Reviewing workshop that was held on 7th February 2024 at Fair way hotel in Kampala where expert reviewers met CERTL Publication Authors to review their chapters.

CHUSS through her Center of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) has partnered with the Fountain publishers, Mawazo and Journal of Languages, Literature and Communication aimed at expediting graduate publications and nurturing the next generation of academics to excel.

The intervention funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation will culminate into a publication named the “CERTL Book”

The reviewers  comprising  Prof. Grace  Musila ( University of  the Witwatersrand), Prof. Lynda Spencer ( Rhodes University), Dr. James Taabu Busimba (Uganda Christian University) and Dr. Rebecca Nambi (Makerere university School  of Education), Dr. Godwin Siundu (University of Nairobi), Dr John Wakota (University of Dar es Salam) gave  their expert opinion on eleven chapters that were submitted  for review by the authors.

Representing the Principal, the  Director CERTL Prof. Andrew Elias State explained that the CERTL came into existence around September, 2020  because Makerere University prided itself as a Centre of excellence in  learning and teaching  and as well as a premiere university.

Prof. State congratulated the 11 chapter authors for the work they submitted for review.

“We are looking at high level scholarship in this proposed book and we are very serious with timeline. From today onwards, keep your emails because we are going to overdrive. We will be asking you a few questions at awkward hours.  So your response to those comments is key to the success of this project.

The Director hailed peer reviewers for accepting to read and offering their intellectual input saying, the Centre looks forward for more input and nurturing the scholarship.

He noted that humanities today are living in the 20th century that is full of competition and appear to have been relegated to the back seat. He said it is their role at this moment to re-invigorate what humanities represent.

“We live in the tenacious waters and that we have to raise ourselves back to the rightful place. This is an opportunity for us to show case what we have done”. Prof. State noted.

In order to succeed, the State enumerated three elements that must be met.

The first element according to the Principal was that scholars must do the writing and continue writing until they perfect.

“Two, the scholarship must be anchored in integrity and three time keeping. With those, I am sure that humanities will shine again”, part of her speech read.

The eleven authors are investigation different aspects of teaching and learning at Makerere University.  They include Nkonge D. Kiyininki (Using Blended learning approach to teach and learn Luganda at Makerere University; Boaz Mutungi (Enhancing 2nd language oral expression competencies: Intervention for thre Kiswahili beginners program at Makerere University  and Dr. Danson Sylvester Kahyana ( Guiding students to write better; Examining major bottlenecks to students’ creative writing at Makerere university.

Others are James Wasike Mangeni and Nicholas Mugabi (You will be around but hardly learning visually impaired students experience of eLearning at Makerere university) Eric Jjemba (Music connotation as a conduit for ethnic dance teaching and learning at Makerere University) and Mercy Mirembe Ntangare (Using socio drama to teach theory at graduate level: Experiences in Journalism and Peace studies at Makerere University).

The others include Dr. Niringiyimana Julius (Think Pair Share(IPS) and collaborative learning skills in large size class at Makerere university); Peace Musimenta (Documentng existing transformative pedagogies with potential to interrupt relations of domination in Gender Studies at Makerere university); Isaac Tibasiima and Caesor Jjingo (Writing centers as avenues for meeting students’ academic writing needs and challenges at CHUSS), Sarah Nikijoba ( The status of teaching academic writing to undergraduate students at Makerere University: An exposism).

CHUSS Project Co-ordinator Dr. Edgar Nabutanyi appreciated Prof. Andrew Elias State and Prof. Aaron Mushengyzi who conceived the idea of a Centre of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning with a special focus on the global South.

Nabutanyi noted that unlike their colleagues in the Global North who have resources and infrastructure that makes teaching   the humanities and social sciences a little easier, the situation is different in the Global South.

Dr. Nabutanyi also thanked the Principal for leading the college and especially emphasizing having deliverables.

“This project came around CoVID and we had all thses anxieties we  didn’t know we would live to the next year and so  planning ahead and having an outcome like a book as we were proposing for  posterity is really an outcome of good leadership”, he said.

Nabutanyi appreciated the team that has expended the physical and intellectual energy to look at the work to be created into a book.

 “Peer reviewing as thankless task and doing it and coming here to share with the writers is a sign of generosity on your part. Thank you very much”, Dr. Nabutanyi added.

To the authors, Nabutanyi said he was a hard task master towards the beginning of January, but, it was for a good cause. He expressed happiness that they have managed to get into the chapters and give reviewers enough time to look at them.

“This workshop is because of the work you are doing and the intellectual contribution you want to make. Thank you very much”, Nabutanyi appreciated

The coordinator also recognized the partner publisher from Fountains publishing company. The partner gave highlights of what was expected of the authors as they do the revisions to expedite the publication.

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