Jonny Steinberg to join Wits as part of Distinguished Scholars Programme

Internationally renowned scholar and author, Dr Jonny Steinberg will join Wits University in January 2015 as part of Wits’ Distinguished Scholars Programme.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Steinberg has a doctorate in political theory from Oxford University where he currently teaches. A public intellectual of note, Steinberg is a multitalented writer whose insightful and engaging work covers a remarkably wide range of topics related to some of the fundamental questions facing South Africa and the African continent today.

Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University elaborates: “We are honoured to have Jonny Steinberg at Wits as a Full Professor next year. He embodies the quality of talented individuals that we wish to attract, both from our shores and abroad, through the Distinguished Scholars Programme. We are looking to announce a few more high profile names in the near future.”

The Distinguished Scholars Programme aims to attract the best academic talent to Wits. “Our goal is to recruit 30 leading scholars and researchers to the University over three years,” adds Habib. “These are distinguished scholars who will generate new research, supervise postgraduate students and in so doing develop a new generation of scholars and intellectuals. They will build research entities, centres and groups around them that will ideally generate more research from these concentrated hubs over the years.”

To date, seven key appointments, including Steinberg, have been made. The other six are Professor Lenore Manderson (Faculty of Health Sciences); Professor Kandala Ngianga-Bakwin (Faculty of Health Sciences); Professor Florian Luca (Science); Professor Robert Scholes (Science); Professor Samantha Vice (Humanities); Dr Johnny Steinberg (Humanities) and Professor Linda Richter (Health Sciences/Humanities).

“We are confident that Wits’ research footprint and its output will be enhanced through the Distinguished Scholars Programme, but we are also hopeful that this Programme will contribute more broadly to South Africa’s research goals and expertise. Moreover, this programme will help us develop the next generation of researchers,” concludes Habib.