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Rhodes > ISER > Sections > Other Research Initiatives

Other Research Initiatives

In addition to its key focus areas of Social Policy and Labour Studies, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) engages in a number of other research initiatives. These include Quality of Life Studies and the Jazz Heritage Studies. Until the end of 2013, ISER also included a programme of research on bio-cultural diversity – that programme has since moved to Rhodes University’s Department of Social Anthropology (for further information on that programme, visit www.bioculturaldiversity.co.za).  

Quality of Life Studies

Led by Emeritus Professor Valerie Møller, a former Director of the ISER, this area of research has been built on her many productive years of research in the ISER, and has included the following:

  • A study on TB-related stigma in the time of HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Cape.
  • A study on ageing, wellbeing and development in Brazil and South Africa.
  • A comparative study of quality of life in South Africa and Algeria.

The ISER is currently working on facilitating improved access to the many reports and publications produced under Emeritus Professor Møller’s leadership. Further information on such access will be published here.

Jazz Heritage Studies

The ISER, together with Cory Library and Rhodes University’s Department of Music and Musicology, convenes the Eastern Cape Jazz Heritage Project, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The aim of the project is to undertake scholarly research on the aesthetics and politics of South African jazz and to record the history of jazz that has its roots mainly – but not exclusively – in the Eastern Cape. This is undertaken through research on local Eastern Cape musicians and the collection and digitisation of rare vinyl records never before released in digital format, as well as the ephemera of the “jazz life” such as posters, handbills and various artefacts. In 2012, the Jazz Heritage Project convened a major international colloquium on South African jazz under the auspices of the Department of Music and Musicology. In 2013, it hosted a colloquium at the National Arts Festival on the Blue Notes, the seminal South African modern jazz band. The project has been fortunate in securing the archives of the late Chris McGregor, the internationally acclaimed pianist of the Blue Notes jazz band and band leader of the Brotherhood of Breath, as well as those of Todd Matshikiza, famed jazz pianist and composer of the King Kong Opera. The materials in these archives will be made publically available once digitisation has been completed.

In 2013, Rhodes University also hosted the launch of a new edition of Maxine MacGregor’s book (published by Rhodes University) entitled Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath: My Life with a South African Jazz Pioneer.


Last Modified: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:24:01 SAST