Peter Vale’s public lecture and keynote speech in the Philippines

PHISO and UP-CIDS Decolonial Studies Program are very happy to announce the public lecture (free and open to public) and international conference’s keynote speech of Professor Peter Vale in the Philippines. Prof Vale is one of the most prominent scholars of global south knowledge creation and production.


UP Public Lecture: Decolonising Social Science in South Africa – Legacies and Lessons

South Africa offers a perfect case to explore decolonisation and its limits. Through the power of the English language, Anglo-Saxon ‘knowledge’ and its disciplinary systems had (seemingly) triumphed. Introduced from the 1920s onwards, the Social Sciences helped drive both modernity and industrialisation. It was they, too, which consolidated, first, then legitimised the hated apartheid system. Faced with apartheid’s ending, social scientists, with notable exceptions, turned to the increasingly lucrative ideas of policy and their making. Does South Africa’s experience help us understand why Social Science stubbornly resists decolonisation?

For free registration, click here.
November 6, Wednesday, 1pm, Asian Center GT Toyota Auditorium, UP Diliman


PHISO International Conference: ’Made in South Africa’: Late-colonialism and the origins of International Relations

Once a global pariah, South Africa has emerged as an unlikely source for one of the great stories about the origins of International Relations. But the country’s embrace of the discipline was halting, hesitant, and very ham-handed. The lecture will focus on the ideas which merge social categories of ‘the international’ and of ‘race’ and created the ‘racialised world order’ of the inter-War years. These rested framings of the social world which, it was believed, had the power to both order a world in flux and, simultaneously, strengthen the hold of an Empire on which famously ‘the sun never set’.

November 9, Saturday, 9am, Cebu Parklane International Hotel


Peter Vale was born in Duiwelskloof (now called Mojajiskloof), in Limpopo, South Africa, and matriculated from Polokwane’s Capricorn High School. He was an undergraduate at the University of the Witwatersrand, and took an MA and a PhD at the University Leicester in the United Kingdom. Currently, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, he was the Founding Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) and Professor of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg. He holds the title of Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics Emeritus at Rhodes University.

Career appointments include Research Associate, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; Director of Research, The South African Institute of International Affairs; Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University; Founder and Co-Director  of the Centre for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape – at the same institution, he was Professor of Southern African Studies and, later, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs. Among a range of visiting appointments, he has been UNESCO Professor of African Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Fellow at the International Centre for Advanced Studies, New York University; and Professor of Politics, Macquarie University, Sydney. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, and at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

Professor Vale’s research interests include social thought, intellectual traditions in South Africa, the politics of Higher Education, and the origins of International Relations in South Africa. Recent academic papers have explored the Johannesburg origins of the discipline of International Relations, and the role of cartoons in the development of Afrikaner Nationalism.

Vale has been honoured with the International Medal of the University of Utrecht and Rhodes University’s Distinguished Senior Research Award. His 2003 book, Security and Politics in South Africa: the regional dimension, received the Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award at Rhodes University. In 2013, Vale delivered the E.H. Carr Memorial Lecture at Aberystwyth University, Wales. In 2014 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Association of Political Science. He is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf), a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa (FRSSAf), Lid van Die Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (LAkadSA), and Fellow of the World Academy for Arts and Science (FWAAS).

A former journalist, Vale has been a prolific contributor to public debate in South Africa and elsewhere. Peter Vale is married to Louise: the couple have two children, Dr Beth Vale (31), a medical anthropologist, and Daniel (28), a lawyer.

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