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Humanities academic wins Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Rozena Maart
Professor Rozena Maart

Academic within the College of Humanities Professor Rozena Maart has won the 2021 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to literature and philosophy, awarded by the internationally renowned Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA).

The committee, headed by CPA President Dr Hanétha Vété-Congolo, said: "Professor Maart was selected for this award for the philosophical, political and literary richness of her writings and her contribution as an institution-builder in education and her work as a psychoanalyst and social worker."

Maart has always acknowledged the influence of Adam Small, who, during her interdisciplinary undergraduate study at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), invited her to study philosophy with him in social work, where he was the chair and from which she obtained her first degree.

She later went on to study towards her master's degree, courtesy of a British Council scholarship, at the University of York in the UK, and later her doctoral degree in philosophy and psychoanalysis from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCS) at the University of Birmingham, UK.

This is Maart’s second lifetime achievement award. Her first was awarded in 2016: “The William R. Jones award” by Philosophy Born of Struggle. She has also won several awards internationally, including the 1992 award: “The Journey Prize: Best Short Fiction in Canada”, along with a monetary prize for her short story, 'No Rosa, No District Six'.

Professor Maart has been at UKZN for almost 10 years and is also an International Research Ambassador at the University of Bremen in Germany.

"The award came as a big surprise. I woke up just after 6am on January 1st to the news. Later, as I was getting ready to start my day, I had to ask myself whether the phone call was real. None of us live in this world alone. We are all the products of the communities in which we were raised and nurtured. This award belongs to District Six, to Lavender Hill, to Steenberg High and to UWC," said Professor Maart.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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