Current Institutional Affiliation
Tutor and academic facilitator, Department of English, University of Cape Town

Chad Brevis is a PhD student in the Centre for Film & Media Studies at the University of Cape Town specializing in socio-political disapprobation to freedom of speech and the rise of online ‘hacktivism’ culture in a digital democracy. During his undergraduate and honors years, he worked as a tutor for the Department of Religion and Theology specializing in ethical theory. Brevis currently works as a tutor in the Department of English at the University of the Western Cape and also as an e-tutor for English at UNISA. His work experience includes journalism, editing, literary critique, and activism for the NGO The Right2Know Campaign, defending freedom of speech.
  Brevis completed a Master’s degree in English iterature as a full dissertation with a focus on 20th century literature, taboo topics in fiction, totalitarian censorship law, sociolinguistics, and ethics in literature. He also completed a MA qualification in realizing rights and social justice as well as violent conflict, media, and the politics of representation from the Institute of Social Studies in The Netherlands. Accolades are as follows:

Activist/academic researcher /editor for the Right 2 Know Campaign;
Member of the Golden Key International Honors Society;
Mellon Fellowship recipient and fellow;
DAAD-NRF bursary holder for 2012-2014;
Abe Bailey Europe Travel Bursary holder for emerging leaders and academics in Africa;
SKILLS MA scholarship holder for master’s and Doctoral studies at The Institute of Social Studies in The Hague;
Social Science Research Council: Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellow (2018; 2019);
Author of the academic book: Taboo Topics in Fiction: The Case of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2019
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Department of English, University of Cape Town
Communicative Freedom in a Digital Democracy: Political and Economic Resistance to Free Speech and the Rise of Digital Activism in South Africa.

My research focuses on a discourse analysis of violent conflict in protests, media and the politics of representation. It explores the idea of South Africa as a democracy, and how the language of communicative legislation at once promotes and inhibits communicative freedom. My analysis discusses democracy as a system of requirements that need to be fulfilled to be considered as functional. I intend to trace the study of digital cultures within social media to suggest a reallocation of power from government back to citizens in the nexus between the physical and digital space of protest. An innovative aspect of my thesis is the exploration of digital activism in South Africa. I argue that institutionalised corruption is condoned into existence due to misappropriation of communicative legislations. I aim to show that the misappropriation of the Promotion of Access to Information Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act undermines communicative freedom as enshrined within the South African Constitution.