The Department of Historical Studies has a longstanding commitment to creating and developing innovative and sustainable linkages between teaching, research and social dissemination of academic knowledge. It patiently and systematically trains graduate students in the art of writing empirically solid, conceptually alive and socially relevant histories through a diverse but balanced platter of coursework, a series of lively seminars, workshops, conferences, and colloquia, and intimate and meticulous supervision of primary research. No wonder that the Department has played a consistently leading role in generating internationally recognised historical research of excellent quality and thereby training students for careers both within and beyond academia.
Much historical research at this University has predictably been on the South African past, including the city of Cape Town and its rural hinterland. But in recent years, research interests of both staff and students have remarkably extended to other parts of Africa and the world at large, including the nature of South Africa’s and Africa’s relationship with the Indian, Atlantic and Antarctic worlds. Therefore we particularly encourage proposals for research with a comparative or transnational perspective. Increasing collaboration between the Department of Historical Studies at UCT and several academic institutions abroad is opening up exciting sites and styles of research, enabling our students to speak simultaneously to local and global audiences.
The Department runs three postgraduate programmes: