UKZN Press proudly congratulates its authors on winning National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) 2021 Awards.
Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000–2018, edited by MakhosazanaXaba, was joint winner in the category – Best Non-Fiction – Edited Volume, while Wentworth: The Beautiful Game and the Making of Place by Ashwin Desai was named winner in the category – Best Non-Fiction Monograph.
The NIHSS annually presents awards to honour outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship, creative as well as digital contributions that enhance and advance fields in the humanities and social sciences.
Our Words, Our Worlds is a ground-breaking, multi-genre anthology of literary critique, personal essays and interviews. It assembles the writings of 23 contributors, documenting a slice of South Africa’s literary landscape and relating the seismic shift that transformed national culture through poetry. It is the first to explore the history and impact of poetry by Black women, in their own voices. It straddles disciplines: literary theory, feminism, history of the book and politics, and contributes to the decolonial conversation in relation to literary culture.
Wentworth is the history of soccer in Wentworth, Durban but, as more than one reviewer has pointed out, it is also a story of the emergent social relations beyond the boundaries of the playing field. The author innovatively uses what Knowles calls group biography to weave a beguiling narrative of people arriving in what was a barren landscape, and (back)yard by (back)yard, building soccer teams, and through this a sense of place. Page after page reveals writing of haunting power and sensitivity as memories are cajoled from ageing soccer legends and the interior lives of families are illuminated. It is an evocative exemplar of how community history should be brought to life.
UKZN Press prides itself on publishing quality works that critically and rigorously reflect on the history and contemporary issues facing the country.
Debra Primo, director of UKZN Press said: “South African university presses work in a very competitive environment and all produce publications of high calibre. We are therefore particularly proud that two of our titles were named winners from amongst a collection of outstanding works.”