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Everyone must take a stand against rape culturehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3806Everyone must take a stand against rape cultureLouise du Toit<p>​It is crucial that all South Africans support campaigns against the rape culture in our country, writes Prof Louise du Toit of the Department of Philosophy in an opinion piece published in Cape Times on Tuesday (12 April 2016).</p><ul><li><p>Read the complete article below or click <a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/LduToit_Cape%20Times_April%202016.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></a> to read the piece as published.<br></p></li></ul><p><strong>Putting the spotlight on 'rape culture'</strong></p><p><strong>Louise du Toit</strong></p><p>The Student Representative Council (SRC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) recently launched a campaign to fight against 'rape culture' on campus. The term 'rape culture' triggered an avalanche of emotional responses, but seemingly without leading to any attempts to clarify what the term may mean. </p><p>Unfortunately, lack of conceptual clarity, especially with regards to an emotive term such as 'rape culture', often leads to miscommunication, misunderstanding, heated debates and high rhetoric, which hinder rather than promote much needed concerted action.</p><p>When thinking about or discussing the term 'rape culture' or 'rape-prone' culture, it is important to keep in mind that it does not mean that actual rape has become the literal norm, or even that a majority of cultural members become involved in it.  Rather, it means that there is a pervasive culture in a country or institution which renders rape a meaningful or easy option for would-be offenders. </p><p>With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is important to consider the term 'rape culture' and its origins to avoid clouding the issue through conceptual obscurity.</p><p>It was coined in the 1970s by second-wave American feminists such as Noreen Connell and Susan Brownmiller, when feminists for the very first time placed sexual violence on political and academic agendas. This is indicative of the ancient history of women's sexual oppression: that the theme appeared in public consciousness only so late in modern western history.  </p><p>Connell, Brownmiller and other feminists basically meant two things by 'rape culture', namely that rape and other forms of sexual violence are much more pervasive than most people think and will like to admit, and that rape and other forms of sexual violence are to some extent normalised and trivialised by mainstream cultural practices and perspectives. They thus drew attention to how misogynist cultures, jokes, media, role models, and so on, have the effect of normalising or naturalising sexual violence against women. </p><p>Not only South Africa, but also the USA, Australia, Canada, India, and Pakistan have all been accused of sustaining 'rape cultures' (or, in the words of American anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday, 'rape-prone' cultures). Add to this the sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls during armed conflicts – even by peace-keeping forces – and it becomes clear that 'rape cultures' are indeed much more prevalent than we think. </p><p>Since 'rape culture' seems to be pervasive in certain countries, one must ask what the factors are that may contribute to this phenomenon. Among these, we can highlight the following: (i) practices of blaming and shaming the victims rather than the offenders; (ii) rape jokes; (iii) trivialising or denying the harms of rape; (iv) high-profile figures who get away with misogynist behaviour; (v) the denial that men and boys are also victims of sexual violence; (vi) official investigative, medical or other procedures that subject rape victims to secondary victimisation and traumatisation; (vii) institutions that place their reputation, brand and public image above the sexual integrity of their members; (viii) naturalising rape as a tendency of male sexuality as such; (ix) trivialising sexual violence as 'rough sex'; (x) selective, e.g. racist or classist applications of the sanction of sexual violence; (xi) apathy displayed by the relevant authorities; (xii) reinforcing of sexual stereotypes such as female sexual passivity and male sexual agency or even force; (xiii) general tolerance of sexist behaviour and institutionalised disrespect for women;  and (ix) fraternity practices that treat sex with women as a competition amongst men.</p><p>​Regarding our own context, the stakes in this type of debate are undoubtedly high, because nothing less is at stake than the full citizenship of women and girls (as the primary victims of sexual violence) in post-apartheid South Africa. We have witnessed countless times how sexual violence and the threat of such violence are being used as effective means of stripping women of their political status and reducing them to voiceless, obedient, fearful, second-class citizens. The extent of sexual violence in South Africa is very well documented – we have one of the highest incidences in the world – and it poses a substantial threat to our democratic project as a whole. With this in mind, campaigns like the one initiated by Stellenbosch University's SRC are important political struggles that we should all support. Not just universities, but also society as a whole stands to benefit from such initiatives.</p><p>*Prof Louise du Toit is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University. She is the author of the book, A Philosophical Investigation of Rape: the making and unmaking of the feminine self.</p><p> </p><p><br></p>
Invite: Steven Robins' Letters of Stone launchhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3499Invite: Steven Robins' Letters of Stone launchLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="font:13px/1.6 "segoe ui", segoe, tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;margin:0px 0px 10px;color:#444444;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;widows:1;font-size-adjust:none;font-stretch:normal;">Penguin Random House invites you to the launch of <em>Letters of Stone </em>by Steven Robins and the exhibition 'The Chair' by Greer Valley.</p><p style="font:13px/1.6 "segoe ui", segoe, tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;margin:0px 0px 10px;color:#444444;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;widows:1;font-size-adjust:none;font-stretch:normal;"><em>Letters of Stone </em>tracks Steven Robins' journey of discovery about the lives and fates of his father's family, in southern Africa, Berlin, Riga and Auschwitz. <br><br>Prof Steven Robins from the Sociology and Social Anthropology Department will be in conversation with Prof Kees van der Waal, also from the same department. <br><br>Date: 16 February 2016<br><br>Time: 16:00<br><br>Venue: Sasol Art Museum, 52 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch<br><br>RSVP: <a href="mailto:lbrown@penguinrandomhouse.co.za" style="color:#663399;line-height:20.8px;text-decoration:none;">lbrown@penguinrandomhouse.co.za</a><span style="line-height:20.8px;"> | 011 327 3550</span><br><span style="line-height:20.8px;"><span style="line-height:20.8px;"><br>Greer Valley, a curator from the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University, will talk about her new exhibition 'The Chair', which touches on them</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">es that intersect with </span><em style="line-height:20.8px;">Letters of Stone </em><span style="line-height:20.8px;">in unexpected ways. </span>​<br></span><em style="line-height:20.8px;"><br>Please note: This talk will only be presented in English.</em></p>
SU experts write about societal issues on Mandela Dayhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4073SU experts write about societal issues on Mandela DayCorporate Marketing / Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>Today (18 July 2016) people across the globe are celebrating Mandela Day. In opinion pieces in the media, two staff members at Stellenbosch University write about societal issues that we should think about on this particular day. Click the links below for the respective articles.</p><ul><li><p>Prof Amanda Gouws (<a href="https://theconversation.com/reflections-on-building-the-south-africa-of-nelson-mandelas-dreams-62317" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">The Conversation</strong></a>)</p></li><li><p>Prof Nico Koopman (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/Koopman_Cape%20Argus_18July2016.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">Cape Argus</strong></a>)</p></li></ul><p> </p>
Former Matie's recycling company is a winnerhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4135Former Matie's recycling company is a winnerDevelopment & Alumni/Ontwikkeling & Alumni-betrekkinge<p>From setting up recycling in residences at Stellenbosch University (SU) to being chief executive officer of an award-winning waste recycling company - meet SU alumnus, Matthew Haden, who is hard at work tackling waste management challenges in Tanzania.</p><p>Haden's company, The Recycler, was recently awarded the prestigious Sankalp Africa Award, beating out over 250 other African enterprises. These awards recognise the most sustainable and scalable social enterprises that are doing business. Sankalp is Asia's largest social enterprise forum designed to support the growth of social enterprises and catalyse impact investments.</p><p>The Recycler was started in 2014 and offers professional waste management and recycling solutions for waste streams in Tanzania. It specialises in separating all kinds of recyclable waste in order to process and trade to domestic and international markets. The company has also set up recycling collection points throughout Dar es Salaamand   is developing projects in large-scale bio-gas, waste to energy, insect-derived protein and informal collection networks. According to Haden, they have over 20 staff members and 40 clients.</p><p>"It is nice to be recognised, not just as a social impact venture, but also as a business that people would like to invest in," he says.</p><p>Haden is originally from Kansas in the United States but called Stellenbosch home for over four years. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 2011 and went on to do his Masters' Degree in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Matthew_Haden.jpg" alt="Matthew_Haden.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:371px;" /></p><p>"I came to South Africa for the first time in 2004 when I was 19, but just to travel and work with street children. However, I came back in 2008 to start my studies," he says.</p><p>So why did he choose Stellenbosch University? "I choose to become a Matie because I wanted to study in an emerging economy and Stellenbosch had a great course for international relations. It is also incredibly beautiful."</p><p>Haden remembers his time in Stellenbosch fondly and says he is grateful for his experiences and the path it ultimately took him on. "I lived in Kayamandi for two years working with the community. I was also elected to the Student Representative Council (SRC) where I was in charge of the Societies Council and Environmental Affairs. I helped set up the first large-scale recycling system in the residences whilst a SRC member and learned about waste management and recycling as a business," he says.</p><p>After graduating from Stellenbosch, he went to work with a recycling company in Cape Town, the same company that was collecting the recyclables from the system that was set up for the residences.  "I did that for nine months, learning the business and then went on to do my Masters at Cambridge. When I graduated from Cambridge I went to work with the United Nations in Tanzania. After about a year, I saw the huge potential for a recycling company in Tanzania and decided to give it a go."</p><p>So what is next for this successful businessman? "The Recycler is currently breeding thousands of maggots using organic waste in order to make chicken feed and is expanding into large-scale bio-gas and waste to energy. We are also setting up a buy-back centre for the city's poorest to sell recyclable waste to us per kilogramme."</p><ul><li><span style="line-height:1.6;">For more on The Recycler go to </span><a href="http://www.recycler.co.tz/our-team/" style="line-height:1.6;">http://www.recycler.co.tz/our-team/</a><br></li></ul>
Letters of Stone captures heavy burden of knowinghttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4138Letters of Stone captures heavy burden of knowingLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">If ever a book's title could appropriately capture its contents, Steven Robins' Letters of Stone seems to have succeeded in doing so perfectly. Like the heaviness of stones, the reader is left with dread and knowing as they trace – along with Robins – his grandparents', aunts' and uncle's final years during the Holocaust. By sharing his journey, sparked by a single photograph of his grandmother, Cecilie, and his aunts, Edith and Hildegard, displayed in his family home, Robins provides a deeply personal and painful reflection of the true horror and extent of the Nazis' racial policies against Jews. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This didn't start off as book, but rather a yearning to know what happened to my father's family. While I was aware that my father and one sibling, Artur, had managed to get out of Germany, an old photo of three unknown women in our family home had haunted me throughout my childhood, and I was curious to know who they were," says Robins as he talks about the family photo of his grandmother and aunts, photographed in Berlin, Germany, before they were deported to various concentration camps and killed. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"My journey to discover their story started in 1989 when I first interviewed my father. I felt it was time to delve into my own family history, but in this one hour interview we never really got around to discussing that photo and my father's family's fate."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Six years after his father, Herbert, passed away in 1996, Robins travelled to the United States to attend a conference of the American Anthropology Association in Washington. While there, he visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Here he discovered the names of his father's family, who had been killed during the Holocaust, in the Berliner Gedenkbuch (in English, The Memorial Book of The Federal Archives for the Victims of the Persecution of Jews in Germany (1933-1945).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I stopped at the names of the six Robinski family members: Cecilie, David, Edith, Hildegard, Siegfried and another Edith (Siegfried's wife). Next to their names were their addresses in Berlin, dates and places of birth, and dates and places of deportation," writes Robins in his book. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The discovery, to me, seemed similar to those made by members of the TRC when they unearthed the brutal secrets of the apartheid regime. I remember the confusion on the museum worker's face as he witnessed the satisfaction and relief that passed over me after learning the truth about my family. In my mind, however, the terrifyingly mundane, bureaucratic facts about the Robinski family's deportation and their final destinations gave substance to their existence. It meant the memory of my father's family had not been completely erased off the face of the earth."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With that information in hand, Robins travelled to Berlin, where a stop at the state archive led to the discovery of a folder that had been compiled on the Robinski family by Nazi officials. The folder, like so many others stored there, contained information about his family's racial classification, the property expropriated from them, their deportation and eventual extermination. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Three days after this form [a declaration of assets] was filled in, my grandparents were deported to Riga," writes Robins. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Following their parents' deportation, Hildegard, Edith and their brother Siegfried would be forced to work as slave labourers at factories in Berlin from October 1942 until February 1943, when all three siblings were deported to Auschwitz. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Robins would use the information obtained at the archive to track down the Berlin apartment building of his uncle Siegfried and his wife Edith, as well as the place in Berlin's city centre where his grandparents, Cecilie and David Robinski once lived. While Siegfried and Edith's apartment building in Kreuzberg still stood, the building his grandparents had once called home had not survived the Allied bombings. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Two years later, while working as an academic at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, Robins was invited to attend Humboldt University's Law School as a visiting scholar. It was during this visit that he would literally stumble across "brass plaques nested amongst the paving stones of building entrances". These stones, referred to as <em>Stolpersteine </em>(stumbling stones), were inscribed with the names of victims of the Holocaust and the dates of their deportation. They had been installed by Berlin artist Gunter Demnig, a haunting reminder that the buildings in front of which they were placed had once been the homes of Jews who had been deported and murdered. Demnig had placed these stones in various public places in Kreuzberg in the dead of the night and without the permission from municipal authorities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Robins immediately contacted Demnig and, in 2000, laid the first of these stones for Siegfried and Edith, followed by additional stones for his grandparents and aunts in the area where their apartment had stood in the Berlin neighbourhood of Mitte. This, Robins believed would be the conclusion to a long journey of delving into his family's tragic history. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Back in South Africa, the ghosts of his family would not let Robins rest. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I found myself drawn towards investigating the life of another Robinski forebear: my great-uncle Eugen Robinski, my grandfather's elder brother who had immigrated to South Africa in the late nineteenth century and settled in the dry Karoo town of Williston," notes Robins. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Together with South African documentary filmmaker Mark Kaplan, and colleague, Prof Kees van der Waal, Robins visited the Karoo to trace Eugen's steps. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The large footprint that Eugen had left in this small Karoo town differed vastly from the absence of traces of my father's family in Berlin, or the millions of other Jews whose existence has been erased by the Nazis." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Eugen would go on to establish Williston Hotel, own a bottle store and two sheep farms, and become mayor in 1911. Later a street would also be named after him. These achievements were remarkable, but not unique, for a Jewish immigrant in a predominantly Afrikaans farming community and in a country where anti-Semitic sentiments were intensifying. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As Robins delved into Eugen's past, he found himself drawn into South Africa's own dark racialised history. He discovered that Williston was once "a violent frontier world, where colonial brutality led to the virtual extermination of the 'Bushmen' (San) from the area following bloody skirmishes in the 1860s with the Basters [the offspring of white men and Khoikhoi women] and the Trekboer". Eugen himself had taken in a "Bushman girl into his household after her mother came to his home begging to exchange her for medicine and food" and it is believed that even though this girl became the childhood companion to one of Eugen's daughters, that she had ended up primarily working as a servant in his household. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the 1860s, the Basters were dispossessed of their land in Williston as a result of new racial laws and they eventually settled in Rehoboth in German South West Africa (now Namibia). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"What was interesting was that while I was discovering the history of the town my great uncle lived in, I remembered how I had come across the work of German anthropologist and eugenicist Eugen Fischer during my visit in 1996 to the Holocaust Museum in the United States. Fischer came to South West Africa in 1908 to study the effects of miscegenation amongst the Rehoboth Basters, and the more I looked into Fischer's history, the more I realised that his study, published in 1913, had created the scientific ideas that were to be later taken up by many other Nazi racial scientists," says Robins.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Nearly two decades after his 1908 visit to Rehoboth, Fischer established the Berlin-based Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Hereditary and Eugenics, which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Institute. Then, in 1933, he was appointed as Chancellor of the Friedrich Wilhelm University (now Humboldt University) by Hitler. German racial science, which had originated in studies conducted in the Baster settlement in Rehoboth would later shape racial policies regarding Jews, Roma and Sinti leading up the Holocaust. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The argument about Jews was that they were racially mixed and that they threatened to dilute the Aryan purity of the German nation. This was translated into Fischer's studies. But what I learnt is that these ideas influenced immigration policies in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world too. In the US, laws such as the 1924 Immigration Restriction Act made it nearly impossible for German and Eastern European Jews to gain entry, and eventually Jewish immigration into the US dropped to a trickle. The same was happening in South Africa, where a rise in Afrikaner nationalism led to the Aliens Act of 1937, and thereby closed the door to German Jewish refugees. Driven by HF Verwoerd, who was a professor at Stellenbosch University earlier, and who later became the architect of apartheid, this law prevented my father from rescuing his family trapped in Berlin," explains Robins. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It was this rise of anti-semitism in South Africa, especially in the 1930s and the war years, that also led his father and relatives to change their names from Robinski to Robins, he says. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2012, Robins would be drawn back to Berlin following the discovery of a bag of letters that his cousins, David Robins and Cecilia Singer, found amongst their late mother's belongings at her Sea Point flat.  The letters had been in the custody of Artur, David and Cecilia's father. The letters, written between 1936 when Herbert and Artur had moved to South Africa, and 1942, when the Robinski family members in Berlin had been deported, finally provided Robins with insights into the inner lives and thoughts of his extended family. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The letters, which were mostly written by my grandmother and her daughter Edith, as well as family members who had fled to Bolivia, Sweden and other parts of the world, gave me insights into who my family members were, their struggles to get out of Germany and the racial laws that slowly and systematically stripped them of their citizenship, human rights and dignity."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">To access the content of the letters, which were written in a German Gothic script, Robins had to enlist the help of Ute Ben Josef, an art historian and the former Director of the Jacob Gitlin Library in the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. The letters had to be transcribedinto modern German before Ute could begin translating them into English. "Ute was not only able to translate, but to read between the lines and to understand what could not be said because of Nazi censorship, and because of the self-censorship on the part of my grandmother, who did not wish to burden her sons in Africa." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">One of these letters from Robins' grandmother following Kristallnacht – the deliberate destruction of Jewish homes, public institutions, businesses and places of worship by Nazi soldiers and members of the armed and paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party – on 14 November 1938, read: "Thank God that Artur has managed to get to Rhodesia legally … I am so happy that he is away from here, because you will have read in the newspapers about all that has happened."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She goes on to write: "Hermann Holz has been absent since Friday and Aunt Hildchen is quite heartbroken", hinting at the incarceration of thousands of Jews in concentration camps following Kristallnacht. Two weeks later, Cecilie's desperation to leave Germany was clearly apparent.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"It would be very desirable if we would also succeed in emigrating as soon as possible and you must try to submit an application on our behalf," she wrote to Herbert. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cecilie, her husband and her three children, and many other family members, would, despite all their efforts, never leave Germany, and they were all killed in concentration camps in Riga and Auschwitz. </p><p>"This book is written in different genres – on the one hand it is a family memoir, but it locates my family within a much broader historical era and situates their story within the larger processes of twentieth century colonialism, eugenics, Nazism and Apartheid. It shows us the scientific pathways of destruction and how scientifically- based policies can impact directly upon the everyday lives of people. But of course it is also the story of millions of others as well. It is not only confined to what happened to my family in Berlin." </p><p>"So while initially this project was a personal project about trying to find out wat happened to my family, it turned into a project which integrated my academic world and personal life. The boundaries were blurred between my family's history in Berlin and the history of racial science that emerged in the colonies and was taken to Europe, and ended up shaping not only Nazism but also influencing immigration policies in the US, South Africa and elsewhere. All of these developments colluded to trap my family in Germany, and eventually led to their extermination." </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Letters of Stone</em> can be purchased for R250 at bookshops.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: The discovery of the fates of the three women in this family picture would drive social anthropologist and Stellenbosch academic Steven Robins' to pen </em>Letters of Stone. The book<em> recounts his "journey of discovery about the lives and fates of the Robinksi family, in southern Africa, Berlin, Riga and Auschwitz". This account of his father's family takes place amidst a worldwide rise of eugenics and racial science, which would eventually become the justification for the murder of Jews, Roma and Sinti by the Nazis and cause South Africa and other countries to close their doors to Jewish refugees seeking asylum. (Photo supplied.)</em></p>
Political Studies Association honours SU’s Pierre du Toithttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4245Political Studies Association honours SU’s Pierre du ToitCorporate Marketing/Korporatiewe Bemarking <p>The South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) has honoured Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Prof Pierre du Toit with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. </p><p>SAAPS is the oldest professional and subject association for political scientists in the country with one of its aims to recognise scholars (students and lecturers) for their scientific contribution to SAAPS and political science in general. </p><p>The Lifetime Achievement Award is based on a peer review of a scholar's work and recognises exceptional and internationally-recognised sustained scholarship over a period. Du Toit, of SU’s Department of Political Science, has been recognised for this work on, inter alia, democratisation and South Africa’s democratic transition. </p><p>He received the award at the Association’s recent Awards Ceremony that formed part of its National Conference held at the University of the Western Cape. </p><p>In his acceptance speech, Du Toit reflected on the rewards of an academic career (which he called a vocation rather than a mere job) by focusing on research, methodology, teaching and academic discipline. </p><p>SAAPS congratulated Du Toit for his major academic contribution and wished him well for the future. </p><p>Prof Hennie Kotze, former dean of SU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, received the award in 2014. </p><p>Photo: Proff Pierre du Toit and Amanda Gouws of the Department of Political Science<br></p><p> </p>
Alumnus investigates "challenges in journalism education and training"http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3491Alumnus investigates "challenges in journalism education and training"Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​Dr Bevelyn Dube graduated with a PhD degree in Journalism from Stellenbosch University (SU) in December 2013. Prior to receiving her degree, she presented some of the research contained in her thesis at the 3rd World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC) in Belgium. Her paper, which focused on Transformation of journalism education and training in post-1994 South Africa: The challenges, was selected as the runner-up for the best paper presented at the conference. Lynne Rippenaar-Moses spoke to her about her research and the contribution it will make to scholarship in South Africa. ​​<br></p><div><p><strong>​QUESTION:</strong> Could you tell me what you currently do and why you decided to pursue a PhD in Journalism at Stellenbosch University?</p><p><strong>ANSWER:</strong> I am currently a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Applied Language Studies at the University of Venda, in Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province. I chose to do my PhD in Journalism with Stellenbosch University because of the excellent reputation they have of producing quality journalism graduates. The department's keen interest on journalism curricula issues also persuaded me to choose Stellenbosch as my own interests lay in that direction.</p><p><strong>Q:</strong> How did it feel to be selected as the runner-up for the best paper at the Belgium conference?</p><p><strong>A:</strong> When my name was called out, I was stunned and humbled at the same time. It is only after I had actually been handed the prize and the certificate that the whole thing sank in. I must admit that I never expected to be selected for the any of the three prizes that were on offer; after all, over 100 papers were submitted at the congress. Besides, there were so many seasoned journalism scholars, and truly speaking, I did not even dream that I would be honoured in this way. I must admit that I would not have done all this without my wonderful supervisor, Professor Lizette Rabe. We have come from far, and when I look at the first draft of my PhD proposal, I wonder why she did not tell me to forget it. My growth academically and this award are all because of her. Thank you Lizette, You are a true role model.</p><p><strong>Q:</strong> What drove you to focus on a topic such as the Transformation of journalism education and training curricula in post-1994 South Africa: The challenges, specifically for the Belgium conference?</p><p><strong>A: </strong>Firstly, I was guided by the theme of the conference, "Renewing Journalism through Education", to focus on this specific aspect of my thesis. Secondly, despite the general consensus amongst journalism education and training (JE&T) scholars in South Africa that JE&T curricula should be transformed to meet the needs of a transforming South Africa, no significant change has taken place. My PhD study revealed several challenges that JE&T institutions in South Africa faced, challenges which made it very difficult for them to transform their curricula. I felt that these findings would generate scholarly debate as the challenge of transforming JE&T programmes is not peculiar to South Africa.</p><p><strong>Q: </strong>One of the conclusions your thesis, entitled Challenges for journalism education and training in a transforming society: A case study of three selected institutions in post-1994 South Africa, reaches is that "despite the subject of transforming JE&T curricula in South Africa being topical since 1994, no significant change has taken place and that these curricula continue to be underpinned by Western epistemologies and thought." Could you elaborate on this?</p><p><strong>A:</strong> It is no secret that most JE&T scholars in South Africa, as seen in the many conferences and colloquia, as well as the papers written on the subject of JE&T transformation, are not happy with the fact that JE&T curricula in South Africa are rooted on Western epistemologies, which put a lot of emphasis on observable and measurable facts and individualism. Scholarship in the Western context is viewed as scientific and detached from social concerns. Journalists educated in this tradition would be expected to be neutral and objective in their reporting. Whilst not completely dismissing Western epistemologies, South African JE&E scholars are almost all in agreement that these epistemologies are ill-suited to meet the needs of a transforming South Africa.</p><p>Knowing this and acting on it are, however, two different things. To de-Westernise the curricula, there is need to move away from Western-produced towards knowledge which is underpinned by African philosophies and thought. But what we currently have are programmes which rely heavily on Western-produced textbooks, especially textbooks from the USA. To compound the problem, South African JE&T educators, who are supposed to de-Westernise the curricula are themselves Western educated. This is a catch 22 situation. Africa in general and South Africa in particular still do not have the capacity to produce the knowledge which would lead to the de-Westernisation of the programme</p><p>We have to understand that transforming the JE&T curricula is never going to be easy, but it has to be done. I believe the first step towards transforming the curricula is to hold a series of workshops to discuss and come up with a possible model curriculum for JE&T schools in South Africa. The model can be adjusted to meet the needs of the individual localities. Curriculum development is a process, hence the need for a series of workshops. It is high time that South African journalism scholars acted on their convictions.</p><p>To de-Westernise the curricula, I would also suggest that South Africa JE&T scholars embark on an aggressive training programme in which potential researchers can be identified among journalism students. An investment in these young researchers can enrich South African journalism scholarship.<br></p><p><strong>Q: </strong>What contribution will your research make to scholarship surrounding this topic in South Africa or the rest of Africa and even the world?</p><p><strong>A: </strong>Firstly, existing literature shows that there are no studies on JE&T curricula in South Africa. None of the studies done since 1994 have made an attempt to show how a transforming South Africa is reflected in JE&T curricula. Most of the studies done in South Africa have focused on journalism practice in the media industry. This study, has, therefore, made a significant contribution to journalism scholarship in South Africa.<br><br>Secondly, the discourse of JE&T has largely been theoretical and commentary. This study, therefore, has contributed to knowledge on JE&T in South Africa by adding empirical findings to test transformation and blended this with theory. Its findings, though not generalisable to all JE&T institutions in South Africa, indicate the challenges that these tertiary institutions face in their endeavours to transform their curricula.</p><p>Thirdly, the study exposed the shortcomings of JE&T programmes at three universities examined with respect to their specific programmes and their contributions in a transforming country.</p><p>It has also has raised questions which have opened up new avenues for further study.</p><p><strong>Q: </strong>Finally, what advice would you give to journalists or even academics wishing to pursue a doctoral degree?</p><p>My advice is that more PhD students in the field of JE&T should carry out research on journalism education in South Africa. Transformation of JE&T in South Africa will not take place unless there is a concerted effort from JE&T scholars to research extensively on journalism curricula. I recommend Stellenbosch University because I believe it is one of the best in the field of JE&T in South Africa.</p></div>
SU alumnus wows audienceshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3419SU alumnus wows audiencesWayne Muller<p>An alumnus of Stellenbosch University (SU), the actor Marlo Minnaar, will perform in the acclaimed one-man show, <em>Santa Gamka</em>, in the Baxter Theater in Rondebosch, Cape Town, from Monday, 1 February.</p><p>The piece is based on Eben Venter's novel by the same name, and Minnaar reworked it into a theatre play himself. He is also the producer.</p><p><em>Santa Gamka</em> received the Kanna Awards for Best Debut Work, the Herrie Prize for Best Ground-breaking Work and for Best Director (Jaco Bouwer) at the 2015 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). </p><p>Marlo Minnaar was also nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Lucky Marais. The production also received three KykNET Fiësta nominations – for Best Solo Performance, Best Newly-created Afrikaans Production, and Best Director. (Winners will be announced in February.)</p><p>In recent years Minnaar was seen in productions such as <em>Blood Brothers</em>, <em>Balbesit</em> and <em>Die Kortstondige Raklewe van Anastasia W.</em> </p><p><em>Santa Gamka</em> tells the story of a young coloured man from the Karoo, who navigates his way through life in a rather unusual way. Driven by his fear not to fall back into poverty, he becomes a rent boy.</p><p>Lucky tells the audience about his seven greatest adventures – better known as his seven customers: a woman who lost her son in a car accident, the mistress of the local hotel owner and olive farmer, his high school English teacher, the municipal manager, the farmer and his father's employer who continues to oppress Lucky's parents, his aunt, as well as a young German man.</p><p>However, his white lies start catching up with him and he finds himself in a furnace of hell. Suddenly the Karoo has become too hot for him. His time is up. He only has seven minutes left to live and he is now faced with the dilemma of having to review his short life.</p><ul><li><em>Santa Gamka</em> is performed in Afrikaans in the Baxter Theatre's Golden Arrow Studio from 1 to 19 February at 20:15 daily.</li></ul>
​ Drama department alumni victorious at the kykNET Fiëstas http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3605​ Drama department alumni victorious at the kykNET Fiëstas Verskaf / Supplied<p>​<span></span><span></span>Alumni of the US drama department made a clean sweep at this year's KykNet Fiëstas.</p><p>All four of the main acting categories went to <em>draMATIES</em>. Stian Bam, who was a part-time lecturer at the drama department, and acclaimed actresss Tinarie van Wyk-Loots respectively won the best actor and best actor awards for their work in the KKNK production, <em>In Glas</em>.  </p><p>The two awards for the best-supporting actress and actor went to Greta Pietersen for <em>Son. Maan. Sterre.</em> (Woordfees)  and Dean Smith for <em>Die Dag is Bros</em> (Innibos).  Dean will receive his Hons in acting in the coming graduation ceremony.  Marlo Minnaar won the award for the best acting in a solo performance for his role in <em>Santa Gamka</em> (KKNK).</p>
Former classmates lead international theological organisationshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3721Former classmates lead international theological organisationsAlec Basson<p>During the seventy's they were classmates in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University (SU) and today they are leading international theological organisations.</p><p>Proffs Johann Cook of the Department of Ancient Studies and <span style="line-height:20.8px;">Johan Cilliers of the Discipline Group Practical Theology and Missiology</span> at SU graduated together in 1979 and today they are the presidents of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) - the biggest Old Testament organisation in the world - and Societas Homelitica respectively. ​​<strong><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:115%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=874">Cook was elected in 2013</a></span></strong> and <span style="line-height:20.8px;">Cilliers </span>in 2014. Their terms end this year.</p><p>At the recent Societas Homelitica conference in Stellenbosch, which was held in Africa for the first time, Cilliers delivered the presidential address. Cook will do the same at the IOSOT conference to be held at SU from 4-9 September. Cook was instrumental in bringing the conference to Africa for the first time. It will only be the second time that the conference will take place outside of Europe.</p><p>Both Cook and Cilliers say they enjoy working with colleagues from all over the world. They add that it is an honour to lead their respective organisations.</p><p>Cilliers says he is fortunate to have a capable team helping him deal with the administrative challenges of his position.</p><p>Prof Louis Jonker, from the discipline group Old and New Testament in the Faculty of Theology, will serve as conference secretary of IOSOT 2016. </p><ul><li><strong style="line-height:1.6;">Photo</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;">: Proff Johann Cook (left) and Johan Cilliers</span><br></li></ul>