Rhodes>Faculty of Humanities>Departments, Schools & Institutes

Departments, Schools & Institutes

PsycPIC 12017 philELN drama dept

The Faculty of Humanities is made up of 11 Departments, 2 Schools and 10 affiliated Centres, Institutes, Libraries and Units.   


Anthropology is the systematic study of human beings: past, present and future; body, mind, and spirit. Socio-cultural anthropology, the main focus of anthropology at Rhodes, is chiefly concerned with relationships between people in particular social and cultural contexts. Traditionally, anthropologists have studied small, isolated communities a long way from their own homes, where all aspects of the local society and culture could be investigated by a single researcher. Today, anthropologists' interests include a much wider range of contexts from families to classrooms, congregations to boardrooms, neighbourhoods to workplaces and they take account of the widest influences including the impact of globalisation - on their particular context of study. Whether traditional or postmodern, local or global in orientation, anthropology has always provided students with new ways of looking at their own social situations and of understanding those of others. 

 The Drama Department provides training in creative and technical skills associated with theatre: acting, dance, design, directing, mime, physical theatre, stage management, theatre administration and voice. On a personal level, drama also encourages growth, self-esteem and confidence by developing communication, interpersonal and collaborative skills - essential life-skills for all careers. A study in drama cultivates practices that are artistic, critical and collaborative. These practices lie at the core of the drama curriculum and provide exciting opportunities for future career developments.

Rhodes University in Grahamstown offers exciting possibilities for study in the field of visual art and art making. The Fine Art Department, situated on the beautiful Rhodes campus, has excellent facilities, plenty of studio space, and a fully equipped workshop. A team of skilled and enthusiastic lecturers, with expertise in several areas of contemporary art making, will help you develop your artistic skills both critically and creatively. This will enable you to pursue a career in a variety of art fields.

At Rhodes we have abandoned old-fashioned approaches to History. We do NOT require you to rote-learn dry factual material. Rather we stimulate you to think independently, imaginatively and critically. History is not just about the past. History courses at Rhodes are designed to help you make sense of the world, the continent and the country that you are living in NOW—and to help you better understand YOURSELF by examining some of the forces that have shaped YOUR life. The study of History pulls it all together and helps you place all other academic disciplines in context and perspective. Please note, not all Histroy 3 modules are offered every year.

Journalism & Media Studies aims to produce self-reflexive, critical, analytical graduates and media workers, whose practice is of probing, imaginative, civic minded and outspoken. Such graduates are equipped to act as thoughtful, creative and skilled journalists and practitioners able to make meaningful and technically proficient media productions.  Moreover, Journalism and Media Studies seeks to make a valuable intellectual contribution to the broad African media environment, to research, and to the integrated and ongoing education of media practitioners. Students wanting to major in  Journalism and Media Studies MUST do isiXhosa for Journalism in 2nd year.  Journ 4 is the final year of a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

The School of Languages and Literatures at Rhodes University is an exciting and dynamic unit within the Faculty of Humanities. We currently offer courses in the following areas of language and literary studies:

"Language is involved in and helps to shape most of the things we do as people. This means Linguistics is a multifaceted discipline, which is involved with language in all its forms and functions. It is interested in everything from the individual sounds of language to the ways in which language influences and reflects society.  In Rhodes University's Linguistics and Applied Language Studies courses we provide an explicitly South African focus and to use examples from local languages and texts, celebrating our rich and complex multilingual society."

English at Rhodes involves the study of literature in English, an intrinsically worthwhile cultural pursuit rather than a form of training for employment. Nevertheless, the range of skills associated with the practice of literacy criticism — imaginative reach, interpretive insight, the capacity to deal with verbal and intellectual complexity, the ability to argue coherently and to write with clarity and fluency add up to the kind of general capability that is required and valued in numerous fields of employment. English graduates are regularly selected for places in teaching, journalism, radio, television, theatre, public relations, research, advertising, banking, commerce and information technology.

The Rhodes Music Department, established in 1923, is one of the oldest music departments in the country. Its graduates have always played an important role in the musical and educational life of South Africa, and are now doing so increasingly at an international level. Rhodes Music has eagerly taken on the challenge asked of a changing country and world, reflecting not only the musical diversity of our country but the technological sophistication of the IT age.

Philosophy begins when we realise that this world is problematic and puzzling, and that we understand neither the world nor our own place in it.

Attempting to understand the problematic nature of our world involves questioning the basic assumptions we make about ourselves and about our place in the world. This is difficult, because these assumptions are often the assumptions we make without questioning and upon which we base our lives. Some of these assumptions provide a framework for the ways in which we look at and act in the world.

Political Studies focuses on the problems of politics from the wide ranging perspectives of several different disciplines. There is little agreement of what politics is, although there is an almost universal consensus that politics is important and of concern to everyone.

Psychology is the study of human experience and behaviour.  It is a science that offers a description of the range of human emotions, abilities and thought processes.  It examines people’s attitudes and motives, both conscious and unconscious.  The work of psychologists has many practical applications in organisations, schools, hospitals, clinics and counselling centres.  The study of psychology can also be personally enriching, providing insight into your experience of relationships, motivations and goals and emotional life.  It also offers guidelines for more skilful living and successful handling of everyday problems in the family, in relationships and in the work setting.  The subject matter of psychology is people:  people from before birth through infancy and childhood, through adolescence and young adulthood to mature adulthood and old age, and, ultimately, people facing death.  Psychology attempts to encompass the full range of human experience as it is lived in different political, socio-economic and cultural settings.

Sociology involves the understanding of the social influences which help to shape our lives. But how do sociologists do this?

A typical sociology study would look at the relationship between different social influences. For example, are working class youths more likely than middle class youths to join gangs in urban areas? If this is so, what are the reasons?

A sociologist’s main task is to understand what lies beneath the visible aspect of our social life. This Involves putting her/himself in the position of the group of people she/he is studying, and trying to understand the social factors influencing the groups behaviour.

An industrial sociologist may look at ways of improving relations between workers and management in a large company. The sociologist would ask such questions as why does management have a particular approach to labour relations and workers a different one. Do their different class backgrounds affect their behaviours and the way they view the world? How do we overcome the problems resulting from these different perceptions and positions?

  • African Studies Centre 
  • Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE) 
  • Centre for Economic Journalism in Africa (CEJA)
  • Confucius Institute (CI)
  • Highway Africa Centre
  • Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)
  • International Library of African Music (ILAM)
  • Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU)
  • Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute (SPI)
  • Unit of Zimbabwean Studies 





Last Modified: Tue, 01 Nov 2022 13:49:18 SAST