Projects initiated and managed by Lucy Graham:


April 2018:

Fallism and the Cultural Politics of Decolonisation
Panels and seminars with students from UWC and UCT

At Duke University, New York University, University of North Carolina, Wabash College, De Pauw University




The Mendi Centenary Project 2017 

Through the arts and the academy, this project commemorates the sinking of the SS Mendi that occurred on 21 February 1917, during the First World War. It pays tribute to the South African Native Labour Contingent, and the men on the Mendi who died en route to fight for their dignity and human rights through service to the war effort.

The project will converse with the Mendi centenary commemoration organised for 2017 by the South African Department of Defence and hosted by the University of Cape Town. 

Scheduled for 2017, the project will comprise an exhibition and a conference at the the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, as well as a musical tribute. 




Musical Tribute


See: "Re-framing SS Mendi: Curating and commemorating a 'missing' memory in South Africa" 






The New York University Postcolonial Colloquium Presents: 

The award-winning documentary:

Miners Shot Down

The director reconstructs the sequence of events that unfolded when mineworkers striking for a living wage were massacred by state police forces in August 2012 at Marikana platinum mine, South Africa. 

Screening and interview with the director, Rehad Desai

6 November 2014, 6-8pm

The Event Space, NYU English Department, 244 Greene St


South Africa after Twenty Years of Democracy

7 November 2014, 6-8pm

The Event Space, NYU English Department, 244 Greene St

This colloquium takes as inspiration the exhibition of South African photographer Ernest Cole’s work at  New York University’s Grey Gallery; the return of South African writer  Nat Nakasa’s remains from upstate New York to South Africa; and the Ubuntu Music and Arts Festival at Carnegie Hall, New York – all of which coincide with South Africa’s twenty-year anniversary of democracy in 2014, and gesture to a long history of transnational flow between South Africa and New York.

The colloquium seeks to address the following questions: If ubuntu refers to an African sense of ethics expressed in the idiom umntu ngumntu ngabantu (Xhosa)/ umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” (Zulu) (“a person is a person through other people”), what relationships or dissonance can be traced between the continuing structures of oppression exposed in Cole’s House of Bondage (New York: Random House, 1967) and South Africa as home of ubuntu? How does the idea of ubuntu appear through the lens of black intellectual traditions in South Africa, and can black intellectual traditions themselves be understood through the lens of ubuntu? How are dispossession and unfreedom in South Africa being framed and understood? To what extent can the humanities and social sciences work beyond exclusionary Western or European conceptualizations of humanism or “humanness”, without reifying or romanticizing what Achille Mbembe has called “the nativist reflex”? To what extent do South African issues speak to the rest of the world, particularly to the United States?


Jacob Dlamini:

“Askari: Apartheid Collaborators”

Xolela Mangcu:

“Nelson Mandela: Towards a New Angle of Vision”

Hlonipha Mokoena:

“The Policeman, Reconsidered”

Mark Sanders:

“Learning Zulu, In Hindsight”

Jennifer Wenzel:

“Amandla Awethu: Energy, Infrastructure, Rights, Services”


The outputs from this colloquium were published in a special issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, guest-edited by Lucy Graham, in 2016.


MinersShotDown Screening    HouseofBondage HomeofUbuntu



Launch of monograph, State of Peril: Race and Rape in South African Literature


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