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SU’s Extended Degree Programme provides comprehensive student support’s Extended Degree Programme provides comprehensive student supportAsiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​​​​​​​​Thanks to the Extended Degree Programme (EDP), the future is full of possibilities for students such as Axola Dlepu, a BA Social Dynamics student who gained access to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) through the programme.</p><p>This innovative programme was instituted at SU in 2008 to deal with systemic obstacles to equity and student success and to assist students with additional academic support.</p><p>Coordinator of the programme, Dr Anita Jonker, says the EDP's role is to redress past inequalities and transform higher education by responding to new realities and opportunities.</p><p>According to Jonker, the programme is open to students who are interested in studying towards a Bachelor's degree with an average of 60–64,9% in their National Senior Certificate (NSC). She added that the National Benchmark Test (NBT) results, students' socio-economic status, as well as availability of places, are taken into consideration in EDP admissions.</p><p>EDP and mainstream students obtain the same degrees after completion of their undergraduate studies. The only difference is that EDP students do their first year over two years. Over and above their mainstream subjects, EDP students take modules that prepare them better for their graduate studies, such as Texts in the Humanities, Information Skills and Introduction to the Humanities.</p><p>In the first-year Texts in the Humanities, the focus is on academic reading and writing, plagiarism and referencing, , rhetorical structure, , text-linguistic characteristics, critical thinking and argumentation. The lectures are presented in separate Afrikaans and English classes to provide optimal academic support in students' preferred medium of instruction.</p><p>In Introduction to the Humanities EDP students are introduced to four different subject-fields, with a specific focus on multilingual technical concepts that provide a foundation for other subject fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences. All the terminology and lecture notes are available in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa and interpreters give students the opportunity to participate in lectures in their mother-tongues.</p><p>Students who speak Afrikaans, Kaaps and other related language varieties have a tutor, Jocelyn Solomons, who facilitates the tutorial discussions in these language varieties, and those who speak English and, inter alia, isiXhosa, have a tutor, Busiswa Sobahle, who facilitates the tut discussions in English and isiXhosa.</p><p>Extensive extra-curricular support is integrated into the academic offering to enhance student success. This includes the EDP mentor programme, which has received co-curriculum recognition and which is coordinated by Ms Shona Lombard. Here senior EDP students mentor first-year students with similar BA programmes and help them to adjust to the new challenges of university life.</p><p>Expressing his gratitude for being chosen to be part of the programme, Dlepu said, “The EDP programme has helped me a lot with academic support alongside being mentored. It made my life a lot easier than that of a mainstream first-year student."</p><p>The 20-year-old from Saldanah Bay encouraged other students in the EDP to use the programme to shine.</p><p>He said the EDP modules gave students a broader worldview and taught them how to engage with multilingual students from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.</p><p>Bavani Naicker, a 20-year-old BA Social Dynamics student from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) described the EDP as a comprehensive support system. She said they were given foundational knowledge to assist them in their studies.</p><p>“My highlight of the course was when we visited Parliament and interacted with representatives of the different political parties," she said.</p><p>Chloe Krieger, a BA International Studies student from Cape Town, said if it were not for EDP, she would have dropped out in her first year. “The EDP taught us crucial literacy and life skills that the basic education system failed to teach the majority of students."</p><p>Krieger said that the EDP helped her to develop an awareness about critical issues that she would not otherwise have been aware of. “I was also inspired to be an activist and to be an agent for change. I am currently serving on the 2019/2020 SRC and I am learning so much about issues that marginalised groups on campus face that many people overlook," she said.</p><p>Students who have provisionally been admitted to the EDP and their parents/guardians are invited to the first meeting with EDP lecturers and mentors on Friday, 24 January 2020 from 09:30 to 12:00 in Room 3001 of the Wilcocks Building at 52 Ryneveld Street.</p><p>Prospective students who want to read more about the EDP, can consult the EDP website at <a href="/english/faculty/arts/edp/home"></a><br><br></p>
SU names building after Krotoa names building after KrotoaCorporate Communication and Marketing Division<p>​The RW Wilcocks building of Stellenbosch University (SU) has been renamed the Krotoa building. This building on the Stellenbosch campus houses the departments of History and Psychology, the Division of Research Development, SU International, the SU Archives, as well as the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology.<br></p><p>Krotoa (1642–1674), a woman of the Khoe people, lived at the Cape in the time of Jan van Riebeeck, who came to establish a settlement for the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) at the tip of Africa in 1652. Named “Eva" by the Dutch, Krotoa served as, among others, an interpreter and interlocutor between her people and the VOC. <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Click here</strong></a> to read more about her.</p><p>SU's Executive Committee of Council (EC(C)) approved the renaming at its meeting of 16 August 2021 after the Rectorate received a shortlist of proposals from the Committee for the Naming of Buildings, Venues and Other Facilities/Premises in June. Following extensive debate and taking various aspects into consideration, including Krotoa's complex personal history, the Rectorate proposed the name to the EC(C). </p><p>“The name Krotoa is particularly significant now that we are celebrating Women's Month. Apart from a few residences, no SU buildings have previously been named after women," says Dr Ronel Retief, Registrar and chair of the Naming Committee. </p><p>“The Rectorate also considered it important that the name, although linked to a historical figure, has symbolic value and, as such, represents more than simply a person. The name Krotoa is not only linked to a woman, but also to an entire underrepresented group of people indigenous to Southern Africa and the area now known as the Western Cape. As such, it acknowledges the heritage of the First Nation people of our region, and we also acknowledge something of our shared and complex history.</p><p>“In addition, Krotoa's role as interpreter between different cultural and language groups is a demonstration of bridge building, which is particularly relevant to conversations on multilingualism, inclusivity and creating a mutual understanding between different groups of people," Retief concludes. </p><p>“So, with this name, we wish to send a strong message about our commitment to transformation and redress at SU."</p><p>Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director of Social Impact and Transformation, and member of both SU's Visual Redress and Naming committees, adds: “SU acknowledges the role and place of the First Nation people in the broader history of Southern Africa. The significance of linking the name Krotoa to a prominent building on campus should also be understood against the backdrop of ongoing conversations about supporting and formalising Khoekhoegowab language-related courses at SU. </p><p>“SU decided in 2019 already to call the new dining hall of Goldfields residence Sada Oms, a Khoekhoegowab term for 'our home'. Therefore, this added symbolic acknowledgement through the Krotoa building forms part of our ongoing partnership and engagement with the First Nation people of Southern Africa.</p><p>“Conversations about the name, also with the relevant Khoe structures, gives recognition to Krotoa as an important figure, but does not ignore her complex, tragic history as a person."</p><p>Installations contextualising both the Wilcocks and the Krotoa stories are being planned for inside and outside the building.</p><p><strong>Process</strong></p><p>Back in 2019 already, the Rectorate gave approval for the Registrar and the Senior Director of Social Impact and Transformation to follow an institutional and inclusive process for the renaming of the Wilcocks building.</p><p>As part of the process, various stakeholders were interviewed. The University also notified more than 100 community organisations and institutions of the planned renaming. These included the Stellenbosch Co-management Forum (including Die Vlakte Forum), Stellenbosch Municipality, the Western Cape Education Department (Stellenbosch), the Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network, and the Stellenbosch Ratepayers' Association, all of whom have seats on the University's Institutional Forum.</p><p>A <a href="/english/rw-wilcocks-building"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">call for proposals</strong></a> was distributed among all staff and students as well as members of the community (as represented by the structures serving on SU's Institutional Forum) in July 2020. In October 2020, the Naming Committee, which had been expanded for the purpose of renaming the RW Wilcocks building, agreed on the process to arrive at a short list. The 17 proposals received were subsequently whittled down to the most suitable options, which were presented to the Rectorate. </p><p>The Rectorate also requested that the relevant stakeholder groups be approached to determine whether there would be any opposition to using the name Krotoa in the context of SU. Keen support for the use of the name was expressed by the relevant leaders and representatives of the First Nations structures.</p><p>A date for the unveiling of the new name is yet to be determined. In the meantime, SU's new Visual Redress Policy will serve before Council for approval in September. </p><p><strong>More information</strong></p><p>The RW Wilcocks building was opened in 1966 and named after Prof Raymond William Wilcocks, who was Rector of the University from 1935 to 1954.</p><p>The renaming of the RW Wilcocks building forms part of a long-term and extensive visual redress process on SU's campuses in an attempt not only to remove certain symbols, but also to introduce new visual symbols that point to a shared history, our diverse stories, and public spaces that are welcoming to all.</p><p>This process was launched a few years ago, and much progress has been made in recent years to create student and staff-friendly living and work spaces that meet the needs of a diverse group of students, staff and other stakeholders, and at the same time promote a welcoming campus culture.</p><p><strong>Recent name changes at SU:</strong></p><p>Some name changes over the past few years include the Coetzenburg Centre (previously the DF Malan Centre), the Stellenbosch University Library (previously JS Gericke Library), the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6115"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Adam Small​ Theatre Complex</strong></a> (previously HB Thom Theatre), <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5997"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Pieter ​Okkers House</strong></a> (7 Joubert Street, now named after the first resident of the building, Mr Pieter JA Okkers, 1875-1952) and <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5315"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Simon N​koli House</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1"> </strong>(39 Victoria Street).</p><p>Recently constructed buildings have been given the following names: Russel Botman House (named after the late Prof Russel Botman), Ubuntu House, <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5662"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Nk​osi Johnson House</strong></a> and the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5422"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Jan</strong> <strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Mouton Learning Centre</strong></a>.</p><p><strong>Other recent projects:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6690"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">“The Circle</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">"</strong>, a bronze art installation featuring 11 phenomenal South African women thought leaders (including Krotoa), which was erected on the Rooiplein towards the end of 2019</li><li>Welcoming messages carved on benches in public areas on campus in 15 languages, including in Braille, South African Sign Language and San</li><li>Installation of a map of Die Vlakte at the entrance of the Arts and Social Sciences building, which is built on land from where families were evicted under the Group Areas Act in the 1960s</li><li>The creation of the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6727"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Lückhoff Living Museum</strong></a></li><li>Displaying the University's Centenary restitution statement at the SU Library<br><br><br></li></ul>
SU’s Extended Degree Programme opens many doors for graduates’s Extended Degree Programme opens many doors for graduatesCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie <p>​<br></p><p></p><p>No less than 42 graduates whose academic potential had been unlocked thanks to the Extended Degree Programme (EDP) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU), received their qualifications at the University's December 2019 graduation ceremonies this week.</p><p>Of the 42 EDP graduates, 19 of the students received distinctions during their studies at SU. One of those students, Tammy Jefthas, received 18 distinctions and will be doing a MA (Geography and Environmental Studies) next year. </p><p>“The EDP is a wonderful opportunity to not only gain a degree but offers much more. It sees the potential in students and sometimes even before a student sees it in themselves. My field of study presented to me the opportunity to grapple with current pressing geographical issues and I see myself using my knowledge gained to make a difference in society," says Jefthas.</p><p>SU launched the EDP in 2008 to help deal with systemic obstacles to equity and student success and to assist students with additional academic support. </p><p>According to Alex Zeeman, who managed to obtain no less than 16 distinctions during her studies, the EDP programme was a lifesaver after she received poor matric results. “I thought my life was over, but the lesson that university has taught me is that you're stronger than you think you are."</p><p>For Vuyolwethu Qinela, who obtained nine distinctions during her studies, the programme not only helped her excel academically, but also gave her the opportunity to do an exchange abroad. </p><p>“I was an average student in high school, so I never thought that I could achieve anything greater than just passing. The Extended Degree Programme, I believe, gave me a better advantage over mainstream students in that I was given foundational modules that covered all topics that are covered in most social science modules, while also improving my critical thinking skills," says Qinela. </p><p>Tamaryn Taylor Fourie from Eerste River says one of the highlights of being a student at SU for her is the fact that many doors were opened and that she had many opportunities. “Some amazing highlights would be when I had the opportunity in 2017 to travel to Johannesburg to represent the University at the Cradle of Humankind as part of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. I was able to engage with other like-minded individuals and expand my network. In 2018, I was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society," says Fourie.</p><p>In addition to this, Fourie had the opportunity to travel to Germany as an international student at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, which is one of SU's partner institutions.</p><p>Through the EDP, Fourie was also able to impact many lives by being a mentor and senior mentor for first-year EDP students, class representative on the PSO committee and a member of other campus-wide societies and organisations.</p><p>EDP and mainstream students obtain the same degrees after completion of their undergraduate studies. The only difference is that EDP students do their first year over two years. Over and above their mainstream subjects, EDP students take modules that prepare them better for their graduate studies, such as <em>Texts in the Humanities</em>, <em>Information Skills</em> and <em>Introduction to the Humanities</em>. </p><p>The EDP programme is open to students who are interested in studying towards a Bachelor's degree with an average of 60–64,9% in their National Senior Certificate (NSC). Extensive extra-curricular support is also integrated into the academic offering to enhance student success.​<br></p><p>Prospective students, who want to read more about the EDP, can consult the EDP website at <a href="/english/faculty/arts/edp/home"></a> <br><br></p><p>In the photo from left, Vuyolwethu Qinela, Tamaryn Taylor Fourie and Alex Zeeman​. ​<br></p><p>Photo by Stefan Els. <br></p><p><br></p>
Polyandry strikes at the heart of patriarchy strikes at the heart of patriarchyLize Mills & Amanda Gouws<p></p><p>Polyandry gets men hot under the collar because it strikes at the heart of patriarchy and can break their monopoly over women's sexuality, domestic and care labour, and their property. This is the view of Dr Lize Mills (Department of Private Law) and Prof Amanda Gouws (Department of Political Science) in an opinion piece for <em>Daily Maverick</em> (1 June).</p><ul><li>​Read the article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style=""> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Lize Mills and Amanda Gouws*</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In South Africa, there are men who have as many as ten wives according to polygynous marriage practice that is legal in South Africa. But when women desire to have more than one husband, also called polyandry, all hell breaks loose. Or this is what the reaction to the mere mention in the Green Paper, published by the Department of Home Affairs in May this year, that “activists submitted that equality demands that polyandry be legally recognised as a form of marriage" shows. Mostly men are up in arms. Some have claimed that polyandry will “destroy family values", “has never existed" and will demand more DNA tests to determine who the father of a child is.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Hence, a woman must never be allowed to have more than one husband, let alone ten. Nor must same-sex partners be able to have more than one spouse. What is good for the gander, cannot be good for the goose.  What this means is that South Africa must ignore section 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa 2003; and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979 (CEDAW), all confirming women's equality, because the social evils that will follow will be too much to bear. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, a study published in 2012 by Starkweather and Hames of 53 societies outside of the classical Himalayan and Marquesean area that permit polyandrous unions, found that polyandry may have existed throughout human evolutionary history. Polyandry, which is also practiced in parts of Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya, becomes more likely where the operational sex ratio is male-biased (there are more men than women in the society), environmental resources are scarce (it is believed to limit population growth and enhance child survival) or men are forced into prolonged absences from home. In these societies, men are committed to be involved in the raising of children, because the children belong to all of them (no man can be certain of his paternity), and in the case of fraternal polyandry (brothers who marry the same wife), a joint estate remains intact from generation to generation.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The benefits of polyandry show that because there is no single (male) authority in polyandrous households, power is dispersed through the union.  Property is usually owned collectively which means that nobody is excluded from property ownership, even after one of the husbands dies. These unions are also economically more prosperous because women are not economically dependent on one man. Paternity is not located in who fathered the child but in the knowledge that any of the men can be the father and therefore fathering is a social and collective issue and men are more committed to be involved in child rearing. Children and property belong to families not individuals. As far as women are concerned, it gives them more agency (decision making capacity) and control over their sexuality and their bodies. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In May 2021, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women again expressed its concern regarding the “alarmingly high" levels of domestic violence and femicide in South Africa. In several of its reports, it has called for the abolition of polygamy since it has “grave ramifications" for the human rights of women. Their 2021 report was issued following information that was submitted by several NGOs working with female victims of violence, pointing out that the extraordinary levels of gender-based violence in this country are also exacerbated by polygyny. In fact, in a joint general recommendation in 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child discussed the relationship between polygynous relationships and violence against women and children, criticising “[c]onstitutional and other provisions that protect the right to culture and religion … used to justify laws and practices that allow for polygamous unions". The South African Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998 allows for polygynous unions. By permitting only polygyny, the Government is contravening Article 5(a) of CEDAW, an international legal instrument that the country ratified in 1995, and thus negating to take appropriate measures “[t]o modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">So, why is the reaction of men so stark when it comes to polyandry? We argue that polyandry is deeply threatening because it poses a challenge that strikes at the heart of patriarchy. In most heterosexual relationships a man enjoys a monopoly over his wife's sexuality, domestic and care labour and her property and can claim a right to children born of that union.  A father therefore can know with great certainty who his children are. Polyandry diminishes male dominance and the control over women's sexuality, something that is integral to patriarchy. In her landmark article “The Traffic in Women: Notes and the 'Political Economy' of Sex" (1975) Gayle Ruben (a cultural anthropologist) argues that we need to understand kinship relationships and how women fit into “gift transactions". Women are the objects of exchange in monogamous or polygamous marriages.  As she puts it - women are given in marriage (the father gives his daughter away), taken in battle, exchanged for favours, traded, bought and sold, or forced into arranged marriages.  In this gift exchange men dispose of women, but women cannot dispose of men, giving men power over women.  But more than merely the exchange of women, kinship systems also exchange sexual access, genealogical statuses, lineage names and ancestors in concrete systems of social relationships.  It spells out the rights of men in relation to women - this is embedded in the power and the control over women's sexuality that determines how families are constructed and governed.  What polyandry does is that it undermines these power relations, prevents control over women's sexuality and enhances women's agency, at the same time as it demands of men to care for their children.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Polygamy and polyandry therefore are not symmetrical systems, because polygamy gives men access to more than one woman to satisfy his sexual needs, with the benefit of having multiple wives rearing his children, very often with little help from his side. Research shows that polyandry, on the other hand, is more egalitarian, ensures greater care equality and more harmonious relationships between all parties involved. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">By legalising polyandry nobody will be forced into such marriages. It will be a matter of personal decision, just like same sex marriages is a personal decision.  It is time that South Africans who still oppose same sex marriages and now polyandrous marriages reflect on their attitudes that are deeply sexist, homophobic, unconstitutional and offensive.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>*</em><em>Dr Lize Mills is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University (SU). </em><em>Prof Amanda Gouws is the SARChI Chair in Gender Politics at SU.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>​ ​</em></p><p>​<br></p>
‘Science meets art’ exhibit addresses stigma of illness‘Science meets art’ exhibit addresses stigma of illnessWiida Fourie-Basson<p></p><p>The public has until the end of February to visit a unique exhibition at the interface of science, art and the stigma around illness at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch.</p><p>The exhibit, '<a href="">Science meets Art: Art addressing stigma in illness</a>', is an initiative of the postgraduate students in Physiological Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU), in collaboration with Prof Elmarie Constandius from the SU Department of Visual Arts, and the Rupert Museum. It involves curated micrograph images of cells and cell processes associated with neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and depression, as well as cancer. They were produced by Prof Ben Loos and the postgraduate students in his research group. </p><p>Prof Loos says his students realised there is a need in African communities to understand mental illness and neurodegeneration better. Often, the scientific nomenclature for these diseases does not exist in African languages, or their African names are unknown, making communication a particular challenge.</p><p>The curator of the collection, Elizabeth Miller-Vermeulen, then worked with six artists from Kayamandi and Gordon's Bay to engage with the micrographs and articulate their interpretation of it through various mediums, including beadwork, recycled material and paper. </p><p>The collection is beautifully captured in a full-colour brochure, with explanations of the micrographs and accompanying artworks in English and isiXhosa. There is an effort underway to have the text translated into more languages in an effort to reach out to more communities.</p><p>During an interactive workshop on 30 January this year, Miller-Vermeulen explained how a beautifully crafted beaded basket by artist Nomsa Mukwira, based on a micrograph of a brain cancer sphere (human glioma) imaged by PhD student Jurgen Kriel, can become the visual link to help a community talk about and deal with an illness that is mostly hidden to us.</p><p>The artworks therefore become the entry point to discuss symptoms such as depression and forgetfulness, associated with mental illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease and adolescent depression.</p><p>According to Miller-Vermeulen, completing the exhibit during strict lockdown conditions last year was a huge challenge, but at the same time it provided a lifeline to the artists involved, as so many other exhibitions were cancelled.</p><p>“I want to thank the Rupert Museum for hosting this exhibit. Working towards completing it on time became a symbol of hope and survival for all involved."</p><p>The postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues involved are: Dr André du Toit, Kim Fredericks, Jurgen Kriel, Prof Craig Kinnear, Naomi Okugbeni, Dr Tando Maduna, Kyra Waso, Tamryn Barron, Sinnead Cogill, Demi Pylman, and Nsuku Nkuna.</p><p>Participating artists are Gerald Choga, Portia Mphangwa, Nomsa Mukwira, Zacharia Mukwira, Simon Shumi and Zingisa Vula.<br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/science%20meets%20art%20group%20pic.png" alt="science meets art group pic.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>At the launch of the 'Science meets Art' exhibition at the Rupert Museum in October 2020, from left to right, Nicola Heathcote, Kim Fredericks, Jurgen Kriel, Dr Tando Maduna, Prof Ben Loos, Elizabeth Miller-Vermeulen, artists Zacharia and Nomsa Mukwira, Tamryn Barron, Demi Pylman, Sinnead Cogill, Naomi Okugbeni, Dr Caroline Beltran, Prof Elmarie Costandius, Nsuku Nkuna and Robyn-Leigh Cedras-Tobin (director of the Rupert Museum). <em>Photo: Tatum Cogan</em></p><p>​<br></p>
Dr Roomaney – one of 51 SA academics selected for advancement programme Roomaney – one of 51 SA academics selected for advancement programmeLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​​<span style="text-align:justify;">​​Dr Rizwana Roomaney, a lecturer in the Psychology Department at Stellenbosch University, has been selected as one of 51 black academics from across South Africa to participate in the Black Academics Advancement Programme in 2020. She is one of three academics at SU to be selected for the programme. </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Black Academics Advancement Programme (BAAP), which is being funded to the tune of R165 million over the next five years, is a strategic partnership between the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the FirstRand Foundation (FRF) “to promote the development of Black South African academics and South African academics with disabilities, to become nationally and internationally recognised researchers". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The programme gives black academics, who are completing a PhD degree or working on post-doctoral research, the opportunity to take a sabbatical for two to three years and to fund the sabbatical through a grant. The grant covers the academic's running expenses, such as local and international conference expenses, research-related costs and lecturer replacement costs for the duration of the sabbatical. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This grant has allowed me to significantly increase the time that I am able to focus on my postdoctoral research by buying out my teaching obligations over the next two years," explains Roomaney, who is also a registered counsellor and research psychologist. “I teach almost 2 000 undergraduate students a year and currently supervise 15 postgraduate students. So I look forward to having time off from lecturing to focus exclusively on research and mentoring my postgraduate students."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through her research, Roomaney seeks to understand psychosocial well-being among men and women who seek fertility treatment. She leads a team of researchers in South Africa and Ghana. With 10 million couples in sub-Saharan Africa experiencing infertility, Roomaney's research will make an important contribution to scholarship in this regard. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The magnitude of importance attached to biological parenthood in Africa makes cultural beliefs about infertility inseparable from the experience of infertility. Globally, many couples with infertility experience anxiety, depression, stress, and stigma. In Africa, the experience of infertility seems to be aggravated by the cultural worldview of the couple, making the psychosocial well-being of the couple more difficult to disentangle," she adds.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“There is limited current research on the psycho-social aspects of infertility among men and women in South Africa," explains Roomaney. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She adds that this research may be used to provide psychological and social support to men and women seeking fertility preservation. The original intervention was developed by her co-investigator, Dr Florence Naab at the University of Ghana.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the years, Roomaney's research interests have focused on the field of health research, specifically reproductive and women's health. She is an experienced methodologist, and is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a Research Psychologist. It was during her postgraduate studies that she found herself drawn to research on reproductive and women's health and she is currently working on studies with research collaborators and students in oncology, oncofertility (the preservation of reproductive health in cancer patients after treatment), endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and infertility. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I became interested in women's health and reproductive health mainly because women often find themselves isolated as they silently struggle with their health issues. For example, women who live with endometriosis struggle to talk about matters such as menstruation because we have been socialised not to talk about it and other matters that affect our reproductive health. It is encouraging to see though that women are becoming more empowered and taking charge of their bodies and their health by seeking help online and engaging with other women experiencing the same issues." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Understanding these matters, says Roomaney, is not only about helping women who suffer silently. Studies has shown that there is a real impact on the economy when women have to remain absent from work due to debilitating symptoms that accompany endometriosis or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Roomaney has been building a solid academic career in the field of reproductive and women's health and has published 19 journal articles and two book chapters during her relatively short career in academia<em>.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">At present, she is the national delegate for South Africa on the European Health Psychology Society and is working with the Psychological Society of South Africa to develop a Health Psychology Special Interest Group (SIG).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I hope that the SIG creates a space for all psychologists working and conducting research in health psychology to share ideas, collaborate and be of service to communities."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​“I would like to make a contribution to the field of health psychology and am grateful for the support that I received through this grant. There is a need to advance black academics, and the NRF and FRF are providing much needed support. It is now up to the universities to further support young black talent and strive to further transform the academic body."  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Roomaney calls attention to the fact that the professorate is not sufficiently transformed. She states that this lack of transformation is a structural problem because mainly privileged people can afford the years of study to get a PhD and work towards to becoming professors. This goal can take decades to achieve, while lecturers struggle to manage their competing academic roles. The BAAP therefore fast-tracks people to become professors who have been disadvantaged because of structural inequalities in society.​<br></p>
Making history? Untold stories see the light thanks to R11.7m grant history? Untold stories see the light thanks to R11.7m grantDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>The untold stories of South Africans who were overlooked in the past and bypassed by history are set to see the light thanks to a new project settled within Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. This project, named the <em>Biography of an Uncharted People</em>, has just received a financial injection of R11.7m, spread out over the next five years, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.</p><p>The project involves delving into the treasure trove of historical data of South Africans, especially black citizens, transcribing large numbers of historical microdata and is a first attempt to bring to light histories of families that were overlooked in the past. </p><p>"The good news is that historical records in digital format are rapidly becoming more available, but the bad news is that the stories these sources can tell remain untold," says project leader and associate professor, Johan Fourie. "Now we have funding to transcribe and analyse these records so as to be able to tell these stories."</p><p>According to Fourie, the project will contribute to the expansion of the Digital Humanities. He says Digital Humanities operates at the intersection of the humanities and computing. Scholars using the methods of the Digital Humanities can make use of a variety of tools, from algorithms that help with textual analysis, to image recognition, to big data techniques. They can digitise and transcribe large databases and analyse individuals' characteristics and behaviour. In the absence of other microdata of South Africans, particularly black citizens, who were often excluded from censuses and reports and underrepresented in other types of archival records such as personal collections of letters, individual-level records are a treasure trove of information about the economic, social, demographic, health, labour, genealogical and migration histories of the Cape Colony and South Africa. </p><p><strong>Contribute to debates in South African history </strong></p><p>Besides transcribing and disseminating these datasets, the project will also begin to analyse the information systematically in order to contribute to debates in South African history. In addition to the research topics to be undertaken by five masters and five honours students, five flagship projects for PhD students have been identified. These sources and the methods of the Digital Humanities will also be introduced into undergraduate and graduate teaching curricula. This will equip a new generation of historians to engage critically with primary sources and large amounts of quantitative and qualitative evidence. </p><p>Fourie says because the apartheid system handicapped South Africa by imposing on it a higher education system designed to maintain social and economic inequalities of race, class, gender, region and institution, this project is also an attempt to narrow the methodological divergence that have occurred in the discipline. </p><p>"We see historical privilege or disadvantage reflected in students' varying ability to work with large sets of quantitative and qualitative historical evidence using technological tools. This project aims to remove the handicaps and produce young scholars skilled in the Digital Humanities and able to teach the next generation," he says. </p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, says the University is grateful for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's continued support to the development of social science and humanities research and knowledge creation and hope to continue this cooperation in future.</p><p>"This initiative clearly addresses our institutional strategy with regard to research in the social sciences and humanities as well as the crucial element of capacity development of young researchers, including those from designated groups. This trans-disciplinary project supports and will contribute significantly to the establishment and development of the Digital Humanities in the Faculty. </p><p>"Furthermore, this project will initiate and anchor a new methodology in the Department of History. It will have an impact on teaching, learning and research and open up opportunities for the motivation of future academic appointments in this field of research and teaching," he adds. </p><p>The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has a longstanding relationship with SU and endeavours to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, the Foundation supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. </p><p><strong>On the web: </strong></p><ul><li><a href=""></a></li><li><a href=""></a><br></li></ul><p> <em>Photo: Project leader, Prof Johan Fourie. </em><br></p><p><br></p>
Genetic make-up plays hidden role in our development make-up plays hidden role in our developmentXanthe Hunt and Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">While we are all well aware of how our genetic make-up influences a host of individual characteristics, a study conducted by Prof Mark Tomlinson of the Psychology Department at Stellenbosch University, has now revealed a large, hidden role that a child's genetic make-up can play in intervention efforts to maximise his or her development.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The study, which will be published on 28 February in <em>PLoS Medicine, </em>was funded  by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada's Saving Brains programme and sheds new light on why some children benefit more than others from interventions. It also raises complex questions about psychosocial intervention programmes in future. </p><p>Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health and is funded by the Government of Canada and supports innovators in low- and middle-income countries and in Canada.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"These findings provide the tantalising possibility of being able to better focus intervention efforts to ensure that everybody receives the appropriate interventions that they need to optimise the development of their children," says Principal Investigator Tomlinson who conducted the study in collaboration with other colleagues from Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, University of Reading (UK), the University College London, and Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the original study an intervention was implemented between 1999 and 2003 in which expectant mothers received a home-visiting parenting intervention to improve attachment with their children.  Attachment was used as a measure of a child's psychological security and is predictive of future well-being.  In that study Tomlinson, together with colleagues from the University of Reading, the University of Cape Town and the Parent Centre, found that the intervention had a small-to-moderate effect on mother-child attachment, which was evaluated once the child reached 18 months of age. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The follow-up study, conducted nine years later, re-examined the original attachment results and revealed something surprising.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The intervention had in fact worked well for toddlers who had a particular genetic characteristic," says Tomlinson.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the follow-up study, caregivers and their children were re-enrolled and the original attachment results were re-analysed based on whether the child had the short or long form of gene SLC6A4.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This enabled the investigators to test whether the original attachment outcomes were influenced by a gene-intervention interaction," says Tomlinson.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The researchers factored in whether the child had the short or long form of gene SLC6A4 — the serotonin transporter gene, which is involved in nerve signalling, and which other studies have linked to anxiety and depression. Serotonin is popularly thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. Previous studies have also shown that individuals with the short form of SLC6A4 are generally more sensitive or 'susceptible' to psychosocial interventions, in other words, they benefit when they get it, and do not benefit or actively suffer harm when they do not get it. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The attachment of children with the short form of the gene, and whose pregnant mothers received the intervention, were almost four times more likely to be securely attached to their mothers at 18 months old (84%) than children carrying the short form whose mothers did not receive home visits (58%). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Meanwhile, children with the long form of the gene were apparently unaffected by their mother's training or lack thereof: in both cases, the children's rates of secure attachment were almost identical (70 and 71% percent).  According to lead author Dr Barak Morgan this "may mean that this group of children appear less susceptible and derived little benefit from the same intervention, and little detriment from not getting it".  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Our findings are subject to further validation," says Tomlinson "but the insight has important implications for scientists designing and evaluating interventions to benefit as many people as possible in South Africa and worldwide. Without taking genetics into account, it is possible that other studies have underestimated the impact of their interventions, as we originally did." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is an enormously important insight because, in this case, the subgroup with the short form of the SLC6A4 gene is also the one with the most to lose if not helped," says Morgan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Indeed, separating the effects of an intervention on different subgroups will allow researchers to better detect when interventions work, and for whom.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Adds Professor Tomlinson: "In the original study, we did not see such a big impact from this intervention because only those with the short gene improved, and this improvement was 'diluted' by the large number of children with the long gene who did not improve."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tomlinson cautions that, among other limitations, this study involved a relatively small sample and only measured one gene and one outcome – in this case, attachment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Going forward, the implications are therefore two-fold. Firstly, measuring genetic differences will allow for proper assessment of the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of an intervention for a particular outcome in different individuals. Secondly, this information can then be used to find out how to intervene effectively for all – to guide what might be done to improve outcomes for a non-responsive gene-intervention interaction while continuing to optimise outcomes for the responsive one."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Commenting on the findings, Dr Karlee Silver, Vice President: Programs at Grand Challenges Canada says: "This work is fundamentally about better understanding the impact of interventions and shows that some outreach efforts may be much more effective than we thought, especially for those for which it matters most — for children most susceptible to harm from poverty, poor nutrition and other adverse conditions."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is an important step forward to creating a world where every child can survive and thrive."</p>
Afrikaans Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Two international conferences focused on interpreting and translation studies are being hosted by the Afrikaans and Dutch Department<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>by<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Non-Professional Interpreting and Translation<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(NPIT4)<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>organisation from 22 to 24 May 2018 and the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Association for Translation Studies in Africa<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(ATSA) from 25-26 May.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Both conferences are held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Prof Harold Lesch, a lecturer in Interpreting and Afrikaans Linguistics and the main organiser of the NPIT4 conference, the NPIT4 “provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners within the field of interpreting and translation studies to share recent and relevant work within this discipline and related to the activities of non-professional interpreters and translators".<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The conference will build on previous international discussions regarding interpreting and translation offered by non-professional interpreters and translators which were initiated by the organisation in Bologna in 2012, in Mainz in 2015 and in Zurich in 2016. This year the conference will focus on <em>Finding a balance between required skills and available resources in non-professional interpreting and translation.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“As a language intermediary certain skills are required, but in the case of non-professionals these skills can be absent or there could be a lack thereof but nevertheless a service is being provided – dare I say a functional service. The divide between a first and second economy is prevalent in the African context and the practice of non-professional language intermediaries proves to have a role to play. In the same vein people are flocking to affluent countries, also to SA from other African countries and extended communication, extended due to the service of an interpreter – as opposed to a linear communication – is an everyday reality. The language combinations also bring its own challenges," says Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Some of the topics to be addressed during the three-day conference, include defining and mapping the field of non-professional interpreting and translation; ad hoc interpreting and translation in everyday life; language brokering by family members (oral, written or sign language); non-professional sign language interpreting; and interdisciplinary approaches to research in non-professional interpreting and translation.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Interpreting in itself is an age-old practice. Within the context of the recent past, emphasis was placed on the professional interpreter and translator. However, one is of the opinion that the role of the non-professional language intermediary is also a source for research and empirical studies. The term non-professional brings its own ramifications to the topic, but in essence, it refers to a non-trained, semi-trained or unpaid language practitioner. This is in contradiction to the professionally trained and experienced interpreter. One is of the opinion that there is room for both within our context," adds Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Keynote speakers will include Prof Cecilia Wadensjö,  Professor of Interpreting and Translation Studies at The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies in the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism at Stockholm University; Prof Leslie Swartz, a clinical psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at SU; and Prof Maria Tymoczko, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The ATSA conference, which starts on Friday, 25 May, will be the first official conference of the association and will focus on <em>Translation and context: Perspectives on and from Africa</em>. ATSA was founded in 2016 in Nairobi with SU's Prof Ilse Feinauer as a founding member. The conference in Stellenbosch was planned at the founding meeting to coincide with SU's centenary celebrations as well as Africa Day.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“To consider Africa as a context, one could conceptualise Africa from a number of perspectives. In translation studies, a postcolononial perspective and political-culture perspective, could be used, to name only two. Researchers could also use alternative conceptual perspectives from which to study translation," says Feinauer, who is the Vice Dean: Languages in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and  Professor in Translation Studies and Afrikaans Linguistics in the Department. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Recent work in conceptualising the relationship between translation and development would be one option. It also seems that many options exist for sociological studies as not much has been written about translation in Africa from a sociological perspective. Translation studies scholars have also not yet explored the economy, in particular the informal economy, as a discussion partner for translation studies. Tapping into the oral culture of Africa may open further avenues. Lastly, the teaching of translation and interpreting in Africa in response to the contextual constraints that the context set is an avenue that warrants exploration," adds Feinauer who is also the convenor of the ATSA conference. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Feinauer, delegates from countries all over Africa including Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania as well as persons from countries such asBelgium, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK will attend the conference. Some of the topics to be discussed are theoretical work on context and universalism in translation studies, including the implications of continentalism; conceptualisations of translation as influenced by Africa as context; empirical data on translation and interpreting practices in Africa; and comparing data from Africa with data from other contexts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The conference will be followed by the 5<sup>th</sup>School for PhD students in Translation Studies in Africa from 28 May until 1 June. The guest professor will be Prof Tymoczko from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I want to specifically thank Stellenbosch University for the Africa Collaboration Grant  that covered most of the costs for both the ATSA conference and the PhD School."<br></p>
Africa Open student and staff member win HSS Awards Open student and staff member win HSS AwardsLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Kyle Shepherd, an award-winning international pianist and composer from South Africa, who also happens to be a Masters graduate (cum laude)  of the Africa Open Institute (AOI) at Stellenbosch University (SU), and AOI staff member, Prof Christine Lucia, have been awarded South African Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Awards.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Shepherd received the HSS Award: Book, Creative Collection and Digital Contribution 2018 and Lucia received the HSS Award: Best Digital Humanities Project for Community Engagement.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Shepherd received the award for the Best Musical Composition for the film score he composed for the internationally acclaimed film <em>Noem My Skollie,</em><em> </em>based on the true story of former gangster John W. Fredericks which was penned by the former convict himself.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am incredibly honoured to have received this very prestigious award. As a musician and composer I make music that serves the purpose of communication – with an audience, so to speak. An Award is an absolute plus side to the honour of working on such a great piece as <em>Noem My Skollie.</em><em> </em>I am very thankful for the acknowledgement," says Shepherd who, together with pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, made history by becoming the first MMus graduates in Jazz Performance at SU when they graduated in March 2018. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Both Shepherd and Makhathini were students of the AOI, an independent music research institute of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SU that focuses on music, research and innovation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Lucia received the award for her project which involved the research, transcription, translation, editing and publishing of the choral music of Bataung clan member Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa. The Joshua Pulumo Mahopeloa Critical Edition in Six Volumes was written over several years, with the second edition published in 2016. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her acceptance speech, Lucia noted that the award acknowledged “… not only…my own work, it acknowledges a very important musical area of South African culture that has been overlooked as a research field - African choral music and the writing of African composition. This award puts not just my project but all the music composed by African composers in the past and the present, laboring away in their homes with little hope of fame or fortune, into the limelight."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The HSS Awards is hosted by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) which aims to “advance and co-ordinate scholarship, research and ethical practice in the fields of Humanities and the Social Sciences (HSS) within and through the existing public universities and those to be established or declared in future as public universities". It also focuses on broadly enhancing and supporting the “HSS in South Africa and beyond, as well as to advise government and civil society on HSS related matters" through its programmes which include Doctoral Schools, Catalytic Projects, the African Pathways Programme, and through supporting the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in the implementation of the proposed corrective interventions". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The awards laud the preeminent creative contributions of academics, curators and artists based at participating South African universities, who are working to advance HSS.Altogether 39 non-fiction books, nine fiction books, 10 creative collections and seven digital contributions, which represented 23 publishers, were received and judged by more than 30 esteemed judges and reviewers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The HSS Awards were born of a strategic intent to build a robust post-apartheid higher education system shaped by an equally spirited HSS, while promoting, recognising and celebrating members of the HSS community who are creating post-apartheid and post-colonial forms of scholarship, creative and digital humanities productions," said Prof Sarah Mosoetsa, the CEO of the NIHSS.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“They honour outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship as well as digital contributions," she added.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Kyle's achievement, weeks after he graduated, is something all of us at AOI celebrate. It is an honour for Stellenbosch University to welcome such a celebrated musician as a new alumnus. Christine Lucia's work is in many different ways a benchmark for music scholarship in South Africa, and we value her association with AOI as an Honorary Professor where she is pursuing research on the music of Michael Moerane as part of the Andrew W Mellon Delinking Encounters project," said Prof Stephanus Muller, the Director of the AOI. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Prof Christine Lucia (left) and Kyle Shepherd during one of his concerts were both awarded</em><em> </em><em>South African Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Awards recently</em><em>. (Photographer: Gregory Franz) </em></p>