In line with the National Development Plan, the research programme in Identities and Social Cohesion places focus on the interrelations between art forms, identities, knowledge production and social cohesion. Fusing philosophical inquiry with practice-based knowing in the various arts, the aim is to investigate whether and how intellectual experimentation and aesthetic practices may work to undo bounded, adversarial identities, re-imagine emancipatory social spaces and dynamics, and promote the kind of dialogue and healing that restores dignity.

The relevance of such collaboration between philosophy and the arts is at once pedagogical and ethical. Making a paradigmatic shift beyond both self-confident conceptual models and self-assertive anti-conceptual strategies, such aesthetic exploration calls upon researchers to modify ingrained habits of thought, developing intellectual confidence, and draw on art's unique power to engage people emotionally in questioning raising doubts, creating dialogue, and opening educational spaces in which to imagine novel solutions to social issues. The ethical hope is that reflective spaces of dialogical interaction between diverse voices, will create better ways to see and be in the world.

Professor Andrea Hurst remains engaged, broadly speaking, in examining the interfaces between philosophy as a way of life in its many dimensions, psychoanalytic thinking, and the development of notions of ethical responsibility within the contemporary paradigmatic shift from "simplicity" to "complexity". The extension of this research into the field of aesthetics and practice-based knowing in the various arts, promises to be an exciting new development.

Contact information
Prof Andrea Hurst
Professor (Philosophy)
Tel: 27 41 504 4848