Colin Murray Award for Postdoctoral Research in Southern Africa

Journal of Southern African Studies


About the prize

The Editorial Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS) oversees the Colin Murray postdoctoral research award. 

The Board welcomes applications from post-doctoral researchers for up to £2,500 to support original ‘engaged field research’ on a topic relevant to the diverse interests and work of the late Colin Murray. For an overview of his work please follow this link

Eligible applicants must be within TWO years from the award of their PhD. The research should be conducted within, and have potential benefit to Southern African studies (defined as the region covered by JSAS – see the Journal cover or website for details).

It is expected that applications will be made for such expenses as travel costs, but all requests that can demonstrate a benefit to Southern African scholarship will be considered. Applications for any amount below the ceiling are equally welcome.

Current Winner

The Colin Murray award for 2023 has been awarded to Tara Weinberg of the University of the Western Cape. 

By studying collective land-holding schemes on farms in the former Transvaal province, Tara Weinberg’s research offers accounts of land buyers’ economic strategies, social bonds and changing philosophies of land ownership and law. She will use the Colin Murray Award to expand her research geographically from the former Transvaal into Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, to investigate the origins of land buyers’ ideas and practices. Dr Weinberg will look at archival records in those provinces, and conduct oral history interviews with the descendants of land buyers, sharecroppers, labour tenants and farmworkers. Her goal is to work with interviewees to locate family and personal archives that might help reconstruct a history of land purchasing. 

Submissions Information

Applications are not currently open for the award.  

Submissions Information

Applications are now open for the award, and must be received by midnight UK time on Sunday 24 September 2023. The decision to award funding will be made at the discretion of the Award committee of JSAS. Successful applicants will be informed within one month of the application deadline. Forty per cent of the sum awarded will be payable initially to cover essential expenses, and receipts will be required once the money has been spent. The balance will become payable on production of receipts after the costs are incurred. Payment will be made in the form of a cheque drawn in pounds sterling (GBP) or electronic bank transfer.

YearWinnerNominated For
2023Tara Weinberg Collective land-holding schemes in the former Transvaal, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal
2022Nadia NcubeMatabele narratives of ukukhula (‘growing up’)
2021Kristina PikovskaiaLived Citizenship in Zimbabwe’s Urban Informal Sector during the Second Republic (2018–2021)
2020Innocent DandeCooking, the crisis and cuisine: Household food economics and politics in Harare, 1997 – 2020
2020Francisco MiguelThe Waltz movement’: political activism of transgender people in Southern Mozambique
2019Charles DubeDube will research the ways in which 3300 displaced families (forced to make way for construction of the Tokwe Mukosi dam in Masvingo, Zimbabwe) are responding to and managing discontinuities in interfamily social relationships in their daily lives. Dube is particularly interested in these families everyday experiences of belonging, sharing, and trust. Dube holds a PhD from the University of Stellenbosch and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council Africa Institute in Pretoria, South Africa.
2018Edmore ChitukutukuEdmore completed his PhD in Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2017. His project is entitled ‘Conflict and its intimacy: political violence among neighbours in northern Zimbabwe.’ The project examines the causes, the organisation, the experiences and the legacies of the 2008 political violence in Bindura South. The project is particularly interested in the ways that ‘intimacy’ was implicated in the violence. It therefore examines how kinship and family relations were politicized and become the object of hate mobilisation. It also explores how families grappled with the legacies of the violence. The research will primarily be conducted in Northern Zimbabwe.
2017Janne Juhana RantalaJanne Rantala defended his thesis in September 2017 at the University of Eastern Finland. His research centered around urban popular memory in Mozambique, with a focus on rappers’ contributions to political remembering in the capital city of Maputo. Rantala’s postdoctoral research project, ‘Memory, Political Ancestors and Reconciliation’, will be based at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with the Colin Murray grant supporting his new field work in Beira, central Mozambique.
2016Chrisitanne Naaman
2015Joseph Mujere

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