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Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape


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Research associate

Associate Professor at Centre for Humanities Research

University of the Western Cape

Prof Suren Pillay  


Research niche/s


Bio in brief

Suren Pillay is an Associate Professor in the NRF-DST Flagship on Critical Thought in the African Humanities, Centre for Humanities Research at UWC. From 2007-2010, he was seconded to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa as a Senior Research Specialist in the Democracy and Governance Programme. From 2003-2004, he served as a Programme Officer at the Centre for African Studies at Columbia University. He held a position of senior lecturer in the Dept. of Political Studies, UWC, from 1995-2010. Prof. Pillay holds an Mphil, and a PhD in Anthropology with distinction, from Columbia University in New York (2011). He also has a Masters (cum laude) in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

While at the HSRC, Pillay led a research team on violence. In 2008, he helped co-ordinate a team of researchers from the HSRC in response to the xenophobic violence which broke out in South Africa. He served as Acting Director in the Centre for Humanities Research in 2011. Pillay also served as Editor of the journal Social Dynamics, published by Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town between 2009 and 2012. He has published extensively in the press, including the Mail and Guardian, Cape Times, Ugandan Monitor, Jerusalem Post, and Al Jazeera international online. His awards include a prestigious Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Award for Anthropological Research, a CHOICE Award from the American Publishers Association for Outstanding Book title (2011), and a Special Mention for authoring one of the ten most downloaded articles in African Studies by the African Studies Association (USA) in 2010.


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