About Teach-In

The Annual Teach-In takes the form of a week of public lectures hosted by the Rhodes University Department of Political and International Studies.

We have held these lectures annually ever since 2002. The Teach-In brings a particular issue of interest and concern in the public sphere to the attention of the University and the wider community. The lectures take place over lunch and run for an hour. The public is welcome to attend any of the lectures and to engage with our speakers.

Teach-In Lecture Series 2019

The 2019 Teach-In focused on the question of the opposition in South Africa. We asked if the opposition could be understood as being in crisis. We had four invited guests:


  • Dr Somadoda Fikeni (Director of VC Special Projects: University of South Africa) who addressed the topic ‘The crises of the opposition in Southern Africa’
  • Ms Ranjeni Munusamy (Associate Editor: Tiso Blackstar Group) who spoke on ‘Unexpected coalitions and bitter break-ups: Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters’
  • Mr Khaya Sithole (Financial Analyst: Business Day/Kaya FM) who discussed ‘Economic visions of the opposition’
  • Ms Tasneem Essop (Assistant Researcher: Society, Work and Politics Institute) who spoke on ‘South African opposition parties and their public positioning’

Teach-In Lecture Series 2018

The 2018 Teach-In focused on the land question- a very contentious and topical issue! We had four invited guests:

  • Ms Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo (Chief Land Claims Commissioner, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform) who addressed us on the topic of ‘Policy successes and failures in land redistribution. 
  • Mr Siyabulela Manona (Land and Rural Development Specialist Phuhlisani) who spoke about ‘Legal hurdles towards expropriation without compensation. 
  • Ms Nolundi Luwaya (Deputy Director, Land and Accountability Research Centre at the University of Cape Town) who addressed us on the topic of ‘Gender and the Land Question: traditional authority and apartheid geographies’). 
  • Prof. Nomalanga Mkhize (Nelson Mandela University) whose topic was ‘The urban land question: spatial transformation in 21stcentury Africa and the future’.

Teach-In Lecture Series 2017

Our 2017 Teach-In was on the theme ‘The Post-American World’ and aimed at making sense of what is to follow the American world order.

The public lectures specifically examined what a post-American world means for Africa, the Global South and South Africa. The line-up of speakers included: 

  • Wamkele Mene, an Old Rhodian who is currently Chief Director: Africa Economic Relations at the Department of Trade & Industry on day one. His talk is titled “Trade and Integration Issues for Africa in a Post-American World: What does Africa need to start doing differently?”. 
  • Former Chairperson of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma reflecting on the topic “Africa in 2063”. 
  • Professor Mzukisi Qobo (Professor and Deputy Director at the NRF Chair on African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg) presented on the topic “The Future of American Power”. 
  • Dr Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya (Global Strategy Officer for Ntsele Global) whose topic was “South African Foreign Policy under Jacob Zuma: Hot Economics and Cold Politics?”. 

Previous Teach-In Lecture Series

Our Teach-Ins have been annual events ever since 2002 and have covered a wide range of topics:

  • The 2016 Teach-In focused on the 2016 Local Government Elections. The invited speakers were Thoko Mpumlwana, Angelo Fick, David Maimela and Steven Friedman.
  • The 2014 Teach-In was on the 2014 National Elections and featured Ranjeni Mumusamy, Nomboniso Gasa, Ebrahim Fakir, Sisonke Msimang and Eusebius McKaiser.
  • The focus on the 2013 Teach-In was ‘The Rape Crisis’. Invited speakers were Lisa Vetten, Pumla Gqola, Mbuyiselo Botha, Catherine Burns and Eusebius McKaiser.
  • In 2012, our Teach-In asked the question ‘A Second Transition’ and brought in Mandy Rossous, Joel Netshitenzhe, Catherine Burns, Steven Friedman, Pierre de Vos and Verashni Pillay.