Prof. Dr. Premesh Lalu

Premesh Lalu is Research Professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. Under his leadership, the CHR was awarded the Department of Science and Innovation-National Research Foundation Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities. During his term as director, he worked with colleagues to establish the CHR’s Greatmore Arts and Humanities Hub - a laboratory of kinetic objects (with Handspring Puppet Company and Ukwanda Puppetry and Design Collective), a programme in music and new media, a documentary film training programme, and an international consortium on communicating the humanities.

Lalu is an advisory board member of Käte Hamburger Research Center in Munich, and a juror at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. He is past chairperson of the Handspring Trust for Puppetry in Education and, between 2014 and 2022, served as board member of the Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes.

Lalu has published widely in academic journals on historical discourse and the study of the humanities and is a regular contributor of public opinion pieces on the arts and humanities. His articles have appeared in History and Theory, Journal of Southern African Studies, Journal of Asian, African and Middle Eastern Studies, Critical Times, Kronos: Southern African Histories, Economic and Political Weekly, and the South African Historical Journal.

His book publications include Undoing Apartheid (forthcoming, Polity Press); Love and Revolution in the Twentieth-Century Colonial and Postcolonial World (co-ed.) (2021); Remains of the Social: Desiring the Post-apartheid (co-ed.) (2017); Becoming UWC: Reflections, Pathways, and Unmaking Apartheid's Legacies (co-ed.);The Deaths of Hintsa: Post-apartheid South Africa and the Shape of Recurring Pasts (2009). His first book, The Deaths of Hintsa: Post-apartheid South Africa and the Shape of Recurring Pasts (2009) was included in the Alan Paton longlist in 2010.