Wits University Press books shine at the NIHSS Awards 2020 …. Book on Dung Beetles wins!

Wits University Press is delighted that Dance of the Dung Beetles: Their role in our changing world, is the winner in the Best Non-Fiction: Monograph category of the annual National Institute of Humanities & Social Sciences (NIHSS) Awards 2020.

The prize was awarded at a glittering and joyous ceremony at the historical Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Thursday, 12 March.  


Congratulations to the authors, Wits University entomologist, Marcus Byrne, and co-writer, Helen Lunn, for this brilliant and funny tour through mythology, evolution and the day-to-day innovations of scientific research!

Dance of the Dung Beetles was shortlisted with two other non-fiction monographs, also published by Wits University Press. The competitors in this category were Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld by Jonathan Cane and Writing the Ancestral River: A Biography of the Kowie by Jacklyn Cock.

The judges said of these books: “Together these three shortlisted titles weave together the intersectional landscapes of history, literature, ecology and more, in intriguing and insightful ways.”

Two more Wits University Press titles were shortlisted in the category for Best Non-Fiction: Edited Book Award.

Acts of Transgression: Contemporary live art in South Africa edited by Jay Pather and Catherine Boulle was noted for its ability to capture the feelings and complexities and shifts of the democratic South African society; the judges noted the book’s demonstration of live art as more than just experiential, rather highlighting art as a tool and methodology for furthering social justice.

 And Transforming Research Methods in the Social Sciences: Case studies from South Africa edited by Sumaya Laher, Angelo Fynn and Sherianne Kramer was praised for improving access to research resources as a means of capacitating research in the Global South.

Publisher Veronica Klipp said: “Wits University Press is immensely proud of its excellent and committed authors. In the words of board chair Prof Ari Sitas, South African writers, researchers and publishers are all engaged in the development of an African Knowledge Commons, and the NIHSS plays a significant role in recognising and promoting this work.”

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