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Welcome to the Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI), a vibrant platform standing on three pillars that underpin our commitment to shaping a brighter future. Through ESI Press we support early career scholars publish their research. Tomorrow’s Lab, our research arm, shapes positive change through multi-disciplinary collaboration and a challenge-based learning approach. Our Research Visibility pilar focuses on promoting academic impact by facilitating broader distribution of scholarly work. This is where  diverse perspectives thrive, innovative research unfolds and scholarly impact shapes a more informed and a better future.

Vol. 8 (2020): African Disability Rights Yearbook

The African Disability Rights Yearbook aims to advance disability scholarship. Coming in the wake of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is the first peer-reviewed journal to focus exclusively on disability as human rights on the African continent. It provides an annual forum for scholarly analysis on issues pertaining to the human rights of persons with disabilities. It is also a source for country-based reports as well as commentaries on…

HumanEATies – 100 Recipes by the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria

Why a cookbook, and why does it matter to a Faculty of Humanities?

Food represents our edible world. It is a concept, an idea and a practice. It is because food is more than a micronutrient and a science. Food represents what Appadurai describes as the social lives of things. It is deeply sociocultural and fundamentally associative and relational.

Tangible Heritage Conservation: Three years of success towards changing the context of African conservation

The Tangible Heritage Conservation programme is based at the School of the Arts and within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria (UP). This is the first such programme offered at a university in sub-Saharan Africa and was inaugurated in 2019. It’s launch is the culmination of many years of developments which converged at the proverbial ‘right place at the right time’.

launching soon

launching soon


Author: Mahunele Thotse


This book examines sites in Limpopo Province where the history of the Wars of Resistance is represented on the landscape through public art that celebrates the traditional leaders who fought those wars. The Public Art of Commemorating the Wars of Resistance: A Brief Limpopo Chapter explores the overlapping and oftentimes complex relationships between identity, memory, heritage and the cultural landscape. The book draws particular attention to the powerful role that statues, honouring traditional leaders who fought wars of resistance, have played in saving their peoples’ land from colonial conquerors. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the memorialisation of the Wars of Resistance in South Africa. The book further provides a stimulating introduction to the issue of how South Africans commemorate the Wars of Resistance.


Author: Rory du Plessis

The casebook for the Institute for Imbecile Children, and the casebooks of the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum constitutes one of South Africa’s largest archived records for people with intellectual disability (PWID) who were institutionalised from 1890 to 1920. In I See You I testify how the viewing of the casebooks’ content and photographs gave rise to a personal recognition of the personhood of the PWID. My testimony takes the form of poetry that is composed to honour and memorialise each individual person who is included in this album.

Rory du Plessis is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Studies at the School of the Arts, University of Pretoria. He is a NRF-rated scholar, the co-editor of the academic journal, Image & Text, and author of Pathways of Patients at the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum, 1890 to 1907 (Pretoria University Law Press 2020).


Author: Johan Ferreira & Seite Makgai (Editors)

Embark on a captivating journey through the enchanting world of time-series analyses with Fiction and Fable: Tales of Time-Series. This extraordinary collection of short stories, penned by undergraduate students from the prestigious Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria, brings to life the fascinating concepts taught in the time-series analysis syllabus. What began as a mere optional assignment evolved into a remarkable book of stories that blend the realms of creativity and statistics. Stories such as The Shepherd and the Wolf or The Tale of the ARMA Warriors transport readers to the moments of comfort and delight that fables and fairytales hold for all. The fusion of imagination and analytical thinking invites readers to explore a magical realm where mathematical models intertwine with storytelling. Join us on a literary adventure where Fiction and Fable meet the captivating world of time-series, proving that the magic of storytelling knows no bounds.



UP’s ‘HumanEATies’ cookbook wins International Gourmand Award

Date: December 13, 2023

HumanEATies topped the list in the B22 category, which recognises free books published by university presses. Dr Heather Thuynsma, Executive Director of UP’s Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) Press, which published the book, recalls the team’s reaction upon hearing the news.

“The ESI Press team was on a team Zoom call when we found out that the book had won,” she says. “We could hardly believe it. Needless to say, everyone did a little happy dance at their desks!”

UP’s ESI Press launches free book on history of De Aar 

Date: June 23, 2023

The Emerging Scholars Initiative Press (ESI Press), based at the University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Humanities, recently published a book on the history of the town De Aar in the Northern Cape.

The book, De Aar: Lines of Architecture in the Making of a South African Town (1902–1977), was written by Dr Giorgio Miescher, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland’s oldest university. Dr Miescher launched the book in De Aar on Monday 19 June 2023 at the Olive Schreiner House.


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