The PSTC is involved in multiple research, capacity-building and scholarly activities in South Africa. The PSTC is affiliated with the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) through the WBCA consortium, described above. The PSTC has also worked with Wits regarding the development of its demography curriculum, as well as advanced training to the manager of its Agincourt demographic surveillance system. Anthropologist Nicholas Townsend (who has longstanding research ties to Wits and Agincourt) and sociologist John Logan collaborate with Wits and Agincourt researchers on their NIH project examining child well-being and social connection in rural South Africa.
Three PSTC faculty associates (Abigail Harrison, Mark Lurie, and Stephen McGarvey) are engaged in research and scholarly activities with the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, which Harrison and Lurie helped to found, and which is affiliated with the University of KwaZulu/Natal. Harrison’s work examines adolescent and reproductive health and HIV risk in rural South Africa. Lurie is engaged in NIH-funded research on the public impact of antiretroviral therapy and how ART affects secondary transmission of HIV, and two awards from Brown (Salomon and CFAR) have included work with the Africa Centre, as does his new R01 award from NIH includes the Africa Centre as the main collaborator. McGarvey is beginning pilot studies with the Africa Centre on the nutrition transition in South Africa.
Under the guidance of Harrison and Lurie, several Brown students have used data from the Africa Centre in their thesis work. Additionally, one of the PSTC’s current African students is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu/Natal, and in 2006-2007, the PSTC hosted a research fellow from UKZN as a one-year Visiting Research Associate. Harrison, Lurie, and McGarvey have preliminary plans underway to both establish meaningful long-term research opportunities at the Africa Centre for Brown graduate students, as well as to bring Brown undergraduates to the Africa Centre for shorter-term fellowship opportunities.
Patrick Heller, associate professor of sociology, conducts fieldwork in South Africa, exploring processes of democratization through case studies of the civics movement and local government re-structuring. With Daniel Schensul, a graduate student in the Brown sociology department, Heller is currently engaged in an NSF-funded research project on the post-apartheid city. The project uses both GIS data and qualitative fieldwork to examine the impact of planned transformation on the racial and economic reconfiguration of South Africa’s three mega cities.
Don Operario, associate professor of community health, focuses on South African children whose parents live with AIDS, studying the impact on these children of parental health decline, the stigma of living in a household affected by AIDS, and the burden of having to care for sick parents.
Anthony Bogues who is also a Honorary Research Professor at the Center for African Studies, UCT, regularly supervises graduate students in the fields of political studies and political theory.