Jen Snowball

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Jen Snowball (1974-) is a professor of Economics and a researcher in cultural economics, with a specialization in festivals and theatrical events. Also known as Jeanette Snowball, Jeannette D. Snowball or J.D. Snowball


Born Jeanette Dalziel Snowball on 18 July 1974, she studied at Rhodes University, successively obtaining a BA Applied Economics (1996), BA Hons Classics (1997); BA Hons in Applied Economics (1997-8); MA Applied Economics (1998-2001) and a PhD in Applied Economics (2004-6)

On completion of her second BA Hons she joined the Department of Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University[1] as a Junior Lecturer (1998-2001), rising through the ranks to become a Lecturer (2002-5), Senior Lecturer (2006-8), Associate Professor (2009-2013), and finally Professor (2014-).

Contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

Her research from early on has been strongly focused on the economics of art and culture, exploring the National Arts Festival and the ways in which it could contribute to social cohesion, meaning making and interpretation of life experiences, and education. She tends to work in what she refers to as "non-market valuation", i.e. seeking "ways of valuing things that are not sold in the market, so that informed decisions about public and private funding can be made".[2]

Her first published work appeared in 1997 and was a study of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The report entitled "The present nature and future expansion potential of accommodation at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown", it was co-authored with Professor Geoffrey Antrobus, and set a pattern of research that led to a number of very significant studies of theatre and performance in South Africa. To date she has produced a book and more than 40 national and international journal publications, including many on various aspects culture and performance in South Africa. (See the relevant publications authored and co-authored by Prof Snowball in the ESAT Bibliography).


The President’s Prize for the best graduate paper at the Association of Cultural Economics International Conference in Chicago (2004);

The Best Paper presented at the Clute Institute for Academic Research conference in Cancun, Mexico (2006);

The Gold Medal for the best PhD thesis of 2006 by the Economics Society of South Africa; and

Joint leadership of the Commerce Research Focus Area in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (2012);

Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Medal (2014)


Go to ESAT Bibliography

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