Routes And Rites To The City: Mobility, Diversity And Religious Space In Johannesburg

The Wits Department of Sociology and African Centre for Migration & Society are pleased to host a book launch and panel discussion of Routes and Rites to the City: Mobility, Diversity and Religious Space in JohannesburgRoutes and Rites is an exploration of the ways religion and diverse forms of mobility have shaped post-apartheid Johannesburg, South Africa. The project has two inter-related publications: the first is a full length, multi-authored polygraph (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) edited by Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Lorena Núñez, Peter Kankonde Bukasa and Bettina Malcomess;  the second is a freely available visual supplement curated by Bettina Malcomess. Both include multiple authors and photographers.

The project analyses transnational and local migration in contemporary and historical perspective, along with movements of commodities, ideas, sounds and colours within the city. It re-theorizes urban ‘super-diversity’ as a plurality of religious, ethnic, national and racial groups but also as the diverse processes through which religion produces urban space. The authors argue that while religion facilitates movement, belonging and aspiration in the city, it is complicit in establishing new forms of enclosure, moral order and spatial and gendered control. Multi-authored and interdisciplinary, this edited collection and visual supplement deals with a wide variety of sites and religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Its original reading of post-apartheid Johannesburg advances global debates around religion, urbanization, migration and diversity, and will appeal to students and scholars working in these fields.

The book developed in the Religion and Migration Initiative of the African Centre for Migration & Society and Department of Sociology, and features several scholars from University of Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg and others. The visual supplement was produced through the Wits School of Arts. The publisher’s book link is here: The visual supplement can be downloaded here:

Speakers & Panelists: Bettina Malcomess (Wits School of Arts), Lorena Núñez (Department of Sociology, Wits), Pragna Ragunanan (Department of Sociology, University of Johannesburg), Alex Wafer (Department of Geography, Wits),  Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon (Department of Anthropology, Wits), Eric Worby (Graduate Studies Centre, Wits).

Date: Thursday 28 September 2017

Time: 13.30 -15.30

Venue: Humanities Graduate Centre Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus

*Photo credit: Dean Hutton.