Humanities Academic wins Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award

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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. The award is bestowed 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 been at UKZN for almost ten 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 1 January 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 the University of the Western Cape (UWC),’ she said.

Maart has always acknowledged the influence of Adam Small, who during her interdisciplinary undergraduate studies at 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 went on to study towards her Masters’ degree, courtesy of a British Council scholarship, at the University of York in the UK, and 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. In 2016, she received the William R. Jones Award from the organisation, Philosophy Born of Struggle. She has also won several international awards, including the Journey Prize: Best Short Fiction in Canada in 1992 and a monetary prize for her short-story, No Rosa, No District Six.