CCMS Academic appointed co-editor of Critical Arts

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Professor Lauren Dyll.
Professor Lauren Dyll.

Professor Lauren Dyll of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) within the College of Humanities has been appointed co-editor of the Critical Arts journal that is jointly housed at UKZN and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

‘Professor Dyll is a part of the journal’s succession planning, which is necessary to build continuity and ensure the journal’s continuing success,’ said Professor Keyan Tomaselli (UJ), Critical Arts founding editor.

‘I feel honoured to be working alongside Professor Keyan Tomaselli and with the international editorial board that includes Professor Emeritus Ruth Teer-Tomaselli. I am excited that I can contribute to supporting scholarship where authors in cultural and media studies engage in critical dialogues generated within the South-North and East-West relationship, with special reference to transdisciplinary epistemologies,’ said Dyll. ‘To co-edit a journal that has published two Nobel Laureates (Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee), and ground-breaking scholars like Stuart Hall, not to mention African luminaries such as Njabalo Ndebele and Ntongela Masilela, is a valued experience.’

Dyll will be dealing with a significant increase in editorial management work in the journal’s day-to-day operations, as well as future planning. ‘Managing Critical Arts has become a full-time operation in the complex South African scholarly journals’ regulatory environment. Added to this is the increased intensity of submissions, and the need for rapid turnaround.’

She will also provide academic and training support to some of the exciting projects currently underway, such as the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS)-funded Postdoctoral Fellow Special Issue scheduled for late 2022. This project provides training and mentorship to enable emerging scholars to publish.

Dyll also curated a selection of 20 previously published Critical Arts articles written by UKZN scholars (2015-2021) that is available online as a Taylor and Francis Critical Arts collection. As collection editor, she thematised the collection as Revisiting curriculum transformation and the decolonisation debate: Perspectives from University of KwaZulu-Natal scholars.

Collection sub-themes include Western models of knowledge in South African universities; curriculum and epistemological transformations; the role/s of indigenous knowledge; neoliberal/market-driven priorities and approaches in university management and publishing processes in the Humanities.

The collection can be accessed at: https://staging.www.tandfonline.com/journals/rcrc20/collections/kwazulu-natal-scholars-decolonisation-debate

Dyll is an National Research Foundation rated researcher with research interests in participatory communication, critical indigenous qualitative methodologies and issues around cultural heritage and tourism in terms of the relationship between social change and identity. She has been a key contributor to Keyan Tomaselli’s long-standing Rethinking Indigeneity project that signals strategies that aim to facilitate the participatory and transformative aspects of the research (and/or development) encounter.

The majority of Dyll’s fieldwork has been conducted in the Kalahari area of southern Africa, and more recently in Mpumalanga (South Africa) where she is project leader for the South African National Heritage Council (NHC)-funded project, Mashishing Marking Memories.

She is a member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Clearinghouse, and serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Autoethnography (University of California Press) and Communication, Technology and Development Journal (published by the UNESCO Chair at University Bordeaux Montaigne for Emerging Practices in Technology and Communication for Development).

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