Philosophische Fakultät

Wellbeing, Communities and Individuals

Thursday 09 July / 12:00 - 14:00 (CETS)

Round table discussion with introduction podcasts (linked in the names of participants):

Prof. Molly Brown, Associate Professor of English at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Prof. Irma Eloff, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Prof Tharine Guse, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Niq Mhlongo, prize-winning novelist, journalist and essayist from Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently a DAAD-Artist in Residence Fellow in Berlin, Germany

Moderation: Prof. Russ West-Pavlov (University of Tübingen)

Since time immemorial, what we now call the Global South has put in place instruments and strategies for guaranteeing the quality of life and the prosperity of its communities. Whereas European culture has been dominated by categories of individual salvation and later happiness as criteria of wellbeing, this focus contrasts with a complex balance between traditional notions of communal wellbeing, often extending to include the ancestors and the Earth, and individual aspirations to health, prosperity and social prestige. With the recent emergence of the UN-sponsored notion of “wellbeing” on the one hand and Indigenous cognates such as “buen vivir”, a similar range of variously calibrated balances between community and individual notions of good living, with all the very diverse implications that attach to these notions, is once again at play across the Global South and the North. This roundtable and the podcasts that precede it investigates various forms of wellbeing and the concomitant strategies or bundles of initiatives underpinning distinct zones or realms of “wellbeing” and the manner in which they presume, generate and support, or are encouraged by, communities and individuals.