Institute for Social and Health Sciences (ISHS)

Transdisciplinary African Psychologies


Asserting emancipatory Africa(n)-centred psychological knowledges within the global context in the service of humanisation and justice


  1. Undertake emancipatory Africa(n)-centred research and scholarship into psychosocial phenomena and teaching, training, intervention and community practices
  2. Train postgraduate students and support teaching faculty
  3. Establish strategic partnerships to grow research and capacities
  4. Produce knowledge resources and services for multiple publics
  5. Develop an efficient and effective system of management and organisational operations

Thematic areas and flagship projects

Emancipatory Africa(n)-centred community psychology

Under this thematic area, we employ a community-engaged, transdisciplinary, liberatory Africa(n)-centred lens to theorise community engagement. We also use an Africa(n)-centred community psychology perspective to undertake community-engaged research and interventions. Our work on community practices lies at the intersections between the material and the psychological.

The Springer Book Series, co-edited by Mohamed Seedat and Shahnaaz Suffla, is a flagship project with the goal of building emancipatory community psychology that is both Africa(n)-centred and global.

Emancipatory Africa(n)-centred psychology of men and masculinities

What is an Africa(n)-centred psychology of masculinities? Read a recent article by Kopano Ratele on how psychology can better study African men, boys, and masculinities here.

Africa and Africa(n)-centred and liberatory knowledge traditions in teaching and training within psychology

This has to do with teaching and learning resources on Africa(n)-centred psychology.

The main question in which we are collectively interested under this thematic area is how Africa and Africa(n)-centred and liberatory knowledge traditions are situated in teaching and training within psychology.

From different angles, our staff and students pursue different critical scholarly studies and interventions that are generally focused on how Africa and Africans are written about in global psychology.

At the same time, we are also collecting materials that showcase a liberatory Africa(n)-centred psychology. We convene seminars, colloquia and symposia toward building a liberatory Africa(n)-centred psychology and are building a living archive of manifestations of emancipatory Africa(n)-centred psychologies.

Here is some of our recent work on Africa(n)-centred psychologies:

Alternative Academic Performance Measures Project: Towards Decolonising the Regimes of University Excellence

In understanding the university as the by-product of Eurocentric traditions that assess scholarship and excellence through neoliberal, institutionalised metrics that obscure the political economies of knowledge production, the university appears to be fast losing its legitimacy as an institution of knowledge advancement geared towards serving society. This project draws from a decolonial approach to offer a critique of existing academic performance measures.

In collaboration with project participants, the aim is to deconstruct, de-ideologise and problematise ways of knowing, being and doing, and thereby to consider alternative appraisals of university excellence. Specifically, the project aims to decentre the technocracy of university performance measures through a critical interrogation of the “world-class university” ideology, its colonial/neoliberal foundations and its technologies of power. Then, we would propose an alternative paradigm that offers a (re)visioning of the Percritical function of the university in service to society, and to propose the avenues through which such a function might be evaluated.

You can find more on our work on African psychologies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Last modified: 2018/08/23