A LEADING academic in the field of philosophy will join Rhodes University when he takes up the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship in the department of politics and international relations.
Professor Lewis Gordon, currently visiting professor in the French-German Summer School at the University of Toulouse in France, starts his two-year stint in the City of Saints next year.
The professorship, set up last year, aims to bring renowned scholars to the Grahamstown university and will alternate between people working in international relations and political theory.
Visiting professors teach a post-graduate course in each year of their appointment and also give public seminars and lectures.
Professor Fred Hendricks, dean of humanities, said the programme had worked well and been mutually beneficial.
"The impact on the department, the faculty and in some cases the university as a whole has been phenomenal. It has really been very good to have that kind of exposure to international scholars coming here talking about their research," he said.
Hendricks described Gordon as a leftist scholar known for his work on race and other issues.
Gordon said he was honoured and humbled by the appointment. "The Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship, as I see it, is a national professorship since its namesake embodies the spirit of the nation, its aspirations and its sense of character. That Mandela cannot – indeed, could not – be everything for the nation is a reminder of there being much to do, much to learn, much to figure out."