South Africa - 2018

The 2018 International Faculty Seminar took place May 14 - May 27, 2018 in South Africa. The seminar was co-led by Dr. Elizabeth Ransom, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Martha Merritt, Dean and the Carole M. Weinstein Chair of International Education, and was preceded by several months of personal research and on-campus presentations, during which the country was studied through an interdisciplinary lens.

Seminar Participants

Notable Outcomes
Since their return from the seminar, faculty participants have garnered three major international grants, media inclusion in a number of news publications, co-teaching opportunities, and healthy return engagement to South Africa, including:

  • Jory Brinkerhoff - teaching an upper-level course on African ecology; making several more trips to Southern Africa as part of ongoing biology work on ticks.
  • Laura Browder - multiple return visits around the exhibit on inequality in South Africa and steps toward a Museum of Inequality in Johannesburg; teaching independent study course for a Spider athlete.
  • Kasongo Kapanga - attending and presenting at a July 2019 conference in Johannesburg on "Cultures of Populism"; hosted film critic Chris Broodryk from Pretoria during South Africa Week.
  • Todd Lookingbill - two classes worked on photos of inequality by Johnny Miller, whose visit during South Africa Week was electrifying; hosted a scholar from VCU who works on South African ecosystems.
  • Nicole Maurantonio - presented at the "Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins" conference in Witwatersrand; quoted by Chris Torchia of the AP in story on commemoration and painful legacy; possible teaching and research collaborations with South African colleague.
  • Elizabeth Ransom - Fulbright Global Scholar, Beef Production and Food Security in the Arid and Semi-Arid Environments of Namibia and Australia in the Context of Climate Change, 2020-21.
  • Carol Summers - Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study fellowship looking at archival research in Uganda, Britain and Canada, and South African sources.
  • Amy Treonis - 10-month Fulbright Award to the University of Namibia in 2020, researching nematodes (an understudied group of microscopic organisms found in soils and sediments).