Fine Minds

Fine Music Radio is broadcasting an exciting series of lectures co-ordinated by the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Extra-Mural Studies.

The Fine Minds series aims to bring the intellectual stimulation of the centre’s busy annual Summer School directly to the armchair listener. Fifteen distinguished speakers over three years – including JM Coetzee and William Kentridge – will cover a wide range of topics.

Fine Minds has been made possible by a grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation and will be repeated on Thursday afternoon just after the 1pm news.
Monthly English South Africa News
15 Episodes

'African Equus: Jouneys of Blood and Dust' by Prof Susan Kidson

Susan Kidson of UCT discuss's how the relationship between humankind and equids – a family that includes horses, asses, donkeys, and zebras – shaped the path of history on the African continent. In this Fine Minds lecture, Professor Kidson will draw on research by Equus in Africa, a documentary project…
8 Apr 2018 55 min

'Our Skin and the Things We Do to It' by Prof. Lester Davids

Skin: it's the largest organ of our bodies; it protects us, gives us valuable sensory input, and helps to control our temperature. It also defines us as members of a species and a culture. Our obsession with skin can be seen in the numbers: an estimated 80 million people worldwide…
18 Jun 2017 53 min

'Of Mystery, Manners and Harper Lee' by Prof. Lesley Marx

Lesley Marx’s tertiary qualifications were all acquired at UCT. She taught in the English department at UCT from 1979-2002, serving as Head of Department from 1997-2000. She then served as a Deputy Dean in the new Faculty of Humanities and established the Centre for Film and Media Studies in 2003…
19 Feb 2017 52 min

'Revolting Music: Songs of Protest in the Global South' by Neo Muyanga

Composer Neo Muyanga describes the role played by music in the national liberation struggles of India, South Africa, Brazil and Egypt in his lecture "Revolting Music: Songs of Protest in the Global South". Performing live and using archival sound material, he reflects on what sort of future there might be…
30 Oct 2016 54 min

'The Battle of Delville Wood' by Judge Kathie Satchwell

Judge Kathie Satchwell takes listeners back to a devastating military offensive that took place 100 years ago during the Battle of the Somme. On July 14, 1916, just over 3000 men of the South African Brigade were instructed to hold Delville Wood "at all costs". Less than a week later,…
28 Aug 2016 53 min

'Notes Towards a Model Opera' by William Kentridge

One of South Africa's great artists and one of the most recognised contemporary artists in the world, William Kentridge, will deliver our Fine Minds lecture. Kentridge will reflect on the genesis of 'Notes Towards a Model Opera', a three-screen projection that was the centrepiece of his June 2015 exhibition in…
26 Jun 2016 49 min

‘Stressed and sexy – lexical borrowing in Xhosa’ by Tessa Dowling

African Languages academic Dr Tessa Dowling will give a Fine Minds lecture entitled ‘Stressed and sexy – lexical borrowing in Xhosa’. Though in the 1850s the ‘expert’ view was that ‘the Xhosa language will soon be supplanted by English’, Dowling shows how Xhosa, the first language of more than eight…
24 Apr 2016 44 min

'How can we define music' by Professor David Wolfe

'How can we define music' by Professor David Wolfe Emeritus Professor David Wolfe holds a PHD from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and has been a faculty member at a number of universities, the university of Chicago, the university of Washington and the University of New Mexico,…
27 Feb 2016 51 min

'The Possibilities of Biography' by Lyndall Gordon

'The Possibilities of Biography' by Lyndall Gordon On Sunday December 6, just after the 18:00 news, Lyndall Gordon, Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, delivered the last Fine Minds lecture of 2015. In “The Possibilities of Biography”, she will discuss the frontier of the genre of biography as…
6 Dec 2015 45 min

'The Practice of Medicine in the Ancient Egypt' by Professor Ian Aaronson

'The Practice of Medicine in the Ancient Egypt' by Professor Ian Aaronson Professor Ian Aaronson, distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Medical University of South Carolina and one of the University of Cape Town’s most popular Summer School lecturers, will deliver the fourth lecture in the Fine Minds series, a collaboration…
10 Oct 2015 54 min

‘Resistance to German Conquest in Namibia...’ by JM Coetzee

‘Resistance to German Conquest in Namibia: The letters of Hendrik Witbooi’ by renowned novelist and critic JM COETZEE. This lecture takes as its focus Hendrik Witbooi, a dogged leader of resistance to the German takeover of what is now Namibia. The lecture shows how Witbooi’s letters provide absorbing insights into…
2 Aug 2015 58 min

'Addressing Mandela' by Professor Colin Bundy

“Addressing Mandela” is presented by Professor COLIN BUNDY, retired principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford and formerly vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand and principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Professor Bundy uses details of Nelson Mandela’s dress at different stages of his…
26 Apr 2015 51 min

'Whose war was it, anyway?' by Professor Bill Nasson

'Whose war was it, anyway?: Jan Smuts, Louis Botha and the Union of South Africa in the First World War' by Professor Bill Nasson. Bill Nasson, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the University of Stellenbosch and the author of several books including ‘Springboks on the Somme’ and…
15 Feb 2015 52 min