The Research Chair is anchored in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University (SU) where it engages with other departmental and university-wide research initiatives that relate to and complement its activities, and benefits from the research expertise of other staff, including in social theory and research methodology. Under the leadership of the Chair, the programme is designed around a portfolio of individual and group projects as well as cross-cutting programme activities.

Individual projects are linked through a regular schedule of shared intellectual activities which bring the research team together as a collective, to reflect on research challenges, debate theoretical and methodological concerns, review findings and draw out emerging themes. These activities include weekly meetings of the Cosmopolitan Karoo Research Forum, shared field trips, and team-specific workshops and seminars. There are also opportunities to engage with the Chair’s wider network of local, national and international partners through exchange trips, visiting lectureships, and participation in workshops and conferences.

Examples of current collaborative projects with research partners are:

‘Contemporary Karoo: Interdisciplinary perspectives’ (working title), an edited book of articles on the theme of changing social-ecological environments in the Karoo, with Timm Hoffman (UCT)

‘Constitutional Amendment, Land Reform and the Future of Redistributive Justice in South Africa’, an international conference at STIAS in Stellenbosch, organised with Olaf Zenker (Martin Luther University), Zsa-Zsa Boggenpoel (SARChI Chair in Property Law, Stellenbosch University) and James Ferguson (Stanford University), leading to an edited book; the conference itself had to be postponed twice because of the covid pandemic but finally took place in February 2022.