Historical Trauma and Transformation
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Seminar Programme



Anthro - History, Crises and Futures Webinar

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

In this webinar Dr Mosa Phadi, Dr Emery Kalema and Dr Shaheed Tayob reflect on the role of history and anthropology as disciplines and methods at the present conjuncture of political and environmental crises, and the pandemics of race violence, GBV and Covid-19, and the contribution these disciplines can make to charting out a different, more hopeful future.  


National Woman's Day Webinar​

"Women in Solitary: Inside the Female Resistance to Apartheid" ​​
Wednesday, 11 August 2021 

Shanthini Naidoo speaks about her book Women in Solitary: Inside the Female Resistance to Apartheid (2020). She explains that the minimisation of women’s contribution in the fight against apartheid triggered her research. She highlights the everyday sacrifices and contributions made by ‘ordinary’ women and explores the bigger story of South Africa's unprocessed collective trauma through the stories of four women activists who were imprisoned under apartheid's laws. Nomfundo Mogapi contributed her profound insights on trauma and its transgenerational wounding in her response and Dr Azille Coetzee shared her expertise on feminism and women’s resistance in hers.

                                                        Webinar Replay

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Webinar Speakers: Shanthini Naidoo, Nomfundo Mogapi

Chair: Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Dr Azille Coetzee (Studies in Historical Trauma & Transformation, Stellenbosch University)​

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"Post-Conflict Hauntings" Virtual Book launch webinar
"Reflecting on historical trauma and living with the haunting power of the past"
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 


Post-Conflict Hauntings brings together a collection of interdisciplinary contributions to reflect on the haunting of post-conflict memory from the perspective of diverse country case studies including South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Northern Ireland, North and South Korea, Palestine and Israel, America, and Australia.

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Webinar Speakers: Prof Stephen Frosh (University of London), Dr Thando Njovane (Rhodes University), Dr Stephen David (Stellenbosch University), Dr Kim Wale (Stellenbosch University)

Chair: Dr Melike Fourie (Studies in Historical Trauma & Transformation, Stellenbosch University)

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Social Justice and Gender Research: Decolonial Feminist Possibilities. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Webinar Speakers: Professor Floretta Boonzaier (UCT) & Professor Puleng Segalo (UNISA)

Resondents: Professor Peace Kiguwa (Wits) & Professor Catriona Macleod (RU)

Chairs: Dr Melike Fourie & Dr Samantha van Schalkwyk (Studies in Historical Trauma & Transformation, Stellenbosch University) 

Go to our video page on this site | View the video on YouTube.


Studies in Historical Trauma & Transformation hosted a panel discussion for International Women’s Month titled Social Justice and Gender Research: Decolonial Feminist Possibilities. The conversation focused on what social justice means in the context of decolonial feminist research. Panelists spoke to the potential of decolonial feminist research/methodologies/practice for working towards forms of social justice that disrupt oppressive systems of power.​

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Webinar Speakers: Professor Floretta Boonzaier (UCT) & Professor Puleng Segalo (UNISA)

Respondents: Professor Peace Kiguwa (Wits) & Professor Catriona Macleod (RU)

Chairs: Dr Melike Fourie & Dr Samantha van Schalkwyk  (Studies in Historical Trauma & Transformation, Stellenbosch University)

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ENGAGE|DISENGAGE Intergenerational Conversations about
Apartheid Trauma

Wednesday, 25  November 2020


Go to our video page on this site | View the video on YouTube here

Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation collaborated with Stellenbosch University’s Visual Arts Department by inviting third year students to ‘listen’ to the stories that are currently featured in the digital exhibition, Through the Eyes of Survivors of Apartheid: Life Despite Pain and Suffering. This conversation draws on ways in which the students engaged with the stories and the storytellers and the possibilities for human connection that emerge from these encounters. Dr. Marietjie Oelofsen is a post-doctoral fellow at the Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation unit and the curator of the digital exhibition, Through the Eyes of Survivors of Apartheid: Life Despite Pain and Suffering. She was in conversation with:
  • John Edwin Mason, professor in African history and the history of photography in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, USA.
  • Dr Thembinkosi Goniwe, an artist, art historian and lecturer at Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • Dr Karolien Perold-Bull, a lecturer and coordinator of the Visual Communication Design division in the Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


Gender and the Slow Violence of Poverty Intergenerational Legacies

Wednesday, 18  November 2020

Professors Lou-Marié Kruger and Malose Langa to reflect on this topic based on their books:
Of Motherhood Melancholia: Notebook of a Psychoethnographer by Lou-Marié Kruger and Becoming Men: Masculinities
in a South African Township by Malose Langa.

Go to our video page on this site | View the video on YouTube here



Through the Eyes of Survivors of Apartheid: A Digital Exhibition - hosted by the Chair, Historical Trauma and Transformation (by invitation only).

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Through the Eyes of Survivors of Apartheid: Life Despite Pain and Suffering

“Through the Eyes of Survivors of Apartheid” is a digital exhibition that contains stories about the ‘things that sit with us’ in the aftermath of historical violence. The exhibition is based on stories from the book, “These Are the Things that Sit with Us”, which feature personal narratives of 29 people about their memories of life under apartheid. Through photographs, voice recordings, and other images, these stories come alive, forcing viewers to look, to listen, and to reflect on the range of meanings that the exhibition may evoke.


VISUAL POLITICS  Navigating Violent Histories

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Images of black social protest are forever fixed in the popular imagination through photography. From the medium’s beginning, race and gender have shaped and controlled the production and reception of photographic representations of people, both politically and aesthetically. This conversation will explore the mobilisation of photographs in the ongoing struggle for human rights, and with reference to the American Civil Rights and Anti-Apartheid movements. We will think about visual activism, visual politics and the power of images to record and advocate at the same time as register violence, erasure and repression. The historical role of photographers in producing an archive chronicling social issues, racialised death and trauma as well as resistance and refusal provides a resource with which we can think, navigate and describe the past.  How these relate to current struggles for recognition and redress are urgent issues that contemporary reworkings of the archive, and visual/oral testimony address.

Go to our video page on this site | View the video on YouTube here


Citizens’ Action against Corruption in Times of Coronavirus

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

This discussion will show the partnership between scholars and activist to fight the spread  of the Coronavirus on the corruption front. Response to global health pandemics such as the Coronavirus present opportunities for corruption by those in positions of power who take advantage of the crisis to enrich themselves.

A striking example of this is the use of a guest house in a small village in the Eastern Cape owned by an MEC’s daughter as a quarantine facility without following proper Covid-19 protocols.  This panel discussion will show the power of citizens’ action to stop the plague of brazen corruption from spreading Coronavirus in their community. 


Coloured Identity and the Violence of History

13 May 2020

Brindley Fortuin will explore how memories of violence are intricately bound up in constructions of Coloured identity.


"White Work" and Engaging with the Violence of Racism

22 April 2020

Join us for a panel conversation with Prof Melissa Steyn, Dr Wilhelm Verwoerd, and Helgard Pretorius, exploring the challenges and possibilities of doing "white work" as a response to the violence of racism in South Africa today.
Go to our video page on this site | View the video on YouTube here


Theatrical Politics:  Ubu and the Truth Commission Revisited

4 March 2020

Premesh Lalu is former director of the Centre for Humanities Research, and Principle Investigator  of the DST-NRF Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities, at the University of the  Western Cape revisits the theatrical co-production of Ubu and the Truth Commission by William Kentridge, Jane Taylor, and the Handspring Puppet Company.


Designing Reparations - The Reparative Potential  of Film, Documentary and New Media

11 March 2020

This joint presentation by Andrea Durbach, Professor of Law at UNSW, and Jill Bennett, a Scientia Professor in Art & Design at UNSW,  will focus on the reparative potential of arts-informed processes to redress harm resulting from historical trauma.




Please visit our Archive page for archived material