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OMT announces winner of 2020 Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award

The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust has announced that Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is the recipient of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award.

Gobodo-Madikizela is a professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University. As she is selected for this prestigious award, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award.

The project

Gobodo-Madikizela’s selection was based on her proposed project, Aesthetics of Trauma, Poetics of Repair, which concerns the re-thinking of trauma in new terms, specifically focusing on historical trauma and its transgenerational repercussions.

The project will explore how the arts, rather than forgiveness and reconciliation, might be deployed to pursue a reparative and transformative vision. This work will play an important role in shaping rigorous debates on historical trauma and its transgenerational repercussions. Gobodo-Madikizela holds the South African National Research chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma.

The recipient

Gobodo-Madikizela, whose accolades include the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, the Alan Paton Award, the Christopher Award, the Distinguished African Scholar Title at Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, was honoured to be selected for the 2020 Oppenheimer Fellowship Award.

On receipt of the award, she said, “Being awarded this prestigious fellowship simply overwhelmed me. It is a tremendous honour, which I accept with deep gratitude. I believe that few topics stake a more compelling claim on humanities research than the legacies of violent histories and their enduring traumatic effects across generations. An opportunity to advance new intellectual frontiers in this field and to be able to involve young scholars as partners on the project is a rare gift.”

Chair of the trust, Jonathan Oppenheimer, said, “Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is a globally recognised scholar, a luminary in a fractured world in desperate need of healing intergenerational wounds. Her research is timely, interdisciplinary and tackles transgenerational trauma in new and relevant ways, to open up global participation. Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is the torch bearer of truth and reconciliation and leads the charge from Africa.”

Applications for the 2021 Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship are now open and close on 31 October 2021. Find guidelines for how to apply here.
For more information about the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, go here.

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