South Africa: Appointment of Dean - Humanities

Dear colleagues and students

I write to inform you that Associate Professor Shose Kessi has been appointed as the Dean of Humanities. The appointment of Associate Professor Kessi, who has been acting in the role since 1 March 2019, was approved at a special Council meeting held on 15 November 2019.

She brings with her a wealth of institutional knowledge and experience. Since joining the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2011 in the Department of Psychology, she was appointed chair of the Humanities Transformation Committee in 2016 and deputy dean for transformation in the faculty in 2018. She was appointed to the Special Executive Task Team in 2016 and the University Strategy Forum a year later. She is also the founder and first chairperson of the UCT Black Academic Caucus. In addition to all these roles, Associate Professor Kessi has served on numerous other faculty and university committees.

Her research centres on political psychology, decoloniality, community-based empowerment and social change. She explores issues of identity, such as race, class and gender, and how these impact on people - individually and collectively - as change agents in transformation efforts. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Hub for Decolonial Feminist Psychologies in Africa, an emerging research grouping that is gaining traction within and outside the university.

Her qualifications include a PhD in Social Psychology and an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology with distinction, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Wits Business School.

She was the UCT Mandela Fellow at the WEB Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, for 2014; and visiting scholar in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the LSE in 2017.

Before joining UCT, she worked in the development sector in the area of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, development finance, and programme evaluation.

Read Associate Professor Kessi's abridged CV.

We congratulate Associate Professor Kessi and are looking forward to continue working with her as part of the Leadership Lekgotla.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng


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