The winners of the 2024 Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Awards are out! The award ceremony was held on March 14, and the 21 South African winners were celebrated at the ceremony.

The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) ensures the excellence, integrity and dynamism of the Humanities and Social Sciences, through enhancing and coordinating scholarship, research, and ethical practice in the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

Hosted by the NHISS, the 9th installment of the HSS Awards sought to honor outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship, creative and digital contributions that enhance and advance the Humanities and Social Sciences.

A panel of 26 judges picked the winners. A total of 217 entries were submitted – 63 fiction entries, 82 nonfiction entries, 55 creative contributions, and 17 entries in the digital humanities. A number of established writers were seen moving into new genres – poets trying their hand at prose fiction or experimenting with a blend of genres.

Judge Ms Sukoluhle Nyathi observed genres such as magical realism and speculative fiction taking shape in the South African literary scene. Similarly, Prof Sikhumbuzo Mngadi discovered engagement with familiar themes such as “the alienation of the individual in a changing society, the tensions between traditional and contemporary ways of life, meditations on mortality, and self-reflective reconstructions of the apartheid past.”

Out of the 21 winners, the selected literary texts and their authors are:

Best Non-Fiction Edited Volume

Revisiting Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: Reconsideration and Restoration by Sebato Mpho-Mokae and Brian Willan

Best Non-Fiction Monograph

Joint winners:

Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks and Bioscopes by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed

Guerillas and Combative Mothers: Women and the Armed Struggle in South Africa by Siphokazai Magadla

Best Non-Fiction Biography

Joint winners:

Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Twala by Joel Cabrita

Eto La Mofaladi by Moses Seletisha

Best Fiction Novel

The Ghost of Sam Webster by Craig Higginson

Best Fiction Poetry

Ontaard by Pieter Odendaal

Best Fiction Short Stories

What Remains by Dawn Garisch

Best Fiction Edited Volume

Fluid: The Freedom to Be by Joanne Hichens and Karina M Szczurek

Best Fiction Emerging Winners

Joint winners:

Peaches and Smeets by Ashti Juggath

Everyone Dies by Frankie Murrey

Congrats to all the winners!