Arts & Social Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

 

 

Call for applications: Full-time PhD scholarships in the Arts, Humanities and Social Scienceshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5092Call for applications: Full-time PhD scholarships in the Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;"><span>​​T</span><span>h</span><span>e </span><span>Graduate School for Arts and Social Sciences </span><span>is a HOPE Project initiative in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University to strengthen and advance doctoral training and scholarship in Africa.</span><span> </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">More than 180 doctoral students from 18 African countries, including South Africa, have enrolled in this scholarship programme since 2010. A total of 93 have successfully graduated, of which 78% completed in three years or less.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Suitable candidates who are citizens of any sub-Saharan African country are invited to apply for three-year full-time doctoral scholarships in the research programmes of the Faculty to commence studies in January 2018. Scholarships are available to the value of R 420 000.00 over three years.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Collaborative research, supervision and exchange will be encouraged through the Partnership for Africa's Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) involving leading universities across Africa.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Further information on the partially structured doctoral scholarship programme, eligibility and selection criteria, and application process is available online at <a href="/graduateschool">www.sun.ac.za/graduateschool</a></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>THE ​CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 25 AUGUST 2017.</strong></p>
Music students win top prizes at ATKV-Muziqhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5054Music students win top prizes at ATKV-MuziqLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>Two music students from the Music Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have walked away with the top prizes at the national instrumental classical music competition, ATKV-Muziq, which was held on 29 July in Parow, Cape Town. <br></p><p>Twenty-four year old pianist and Masters degree student Sulayman Human (photo) was named the overall winner of the competition and received a prize R65 000 while Cameron Williams (saxophone), a second-year BMus student,  received the overall second prize of R32 000. Both students also received additional prizes of R8 500 each with Human receiving the prize for the <em>Best Interpretation of a</em> <em>Baroque or Classical Work </em>for his rendition of Mozart's  Sonata no. 10 in C major, K330; III. Allegretto and Williams receiving it for the <em>Best Interpretation of a South African Composition during the Second Round </em>for his rendition of A. Stephenson's <em>Introduction and Allegro.</em> The overall third prize of R16 000 was awarded to Jeffrey Armstrong (violin).</p><p>ATKV-Muziq is the biggest and most prestigious annual classical music competition in South Africa, with previous winners including international award-winning pianists Ben Schoeman and Megan-Geoffrey Prins. Through the competition ATKV makes a contribution to classical music in South Africa. The competition is open to young musicians between the ages of 15 and 27 with a total of R180 000 in prize money awarded to the winners. </p><p><em>Photo: Pianist and Masters degree student Sulayman Human was the overall winner of the ATKV-Muziq competition this year. (Supplied)</em><br><br></p>
SU appoints three new Deanshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5002SU appoints three new DeansCorporate Communications / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) has appointed three new Deans. Prof Daniël Brink is the new Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences, Prof Anthony Leysens will become the new Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, while Prof Reginald Nel has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Theology.</p><p>Brink (57) has been the Acting Dean of AgriSciences since 2014, and has a long history with the University. In 1983, he was awarded the degree BSc Agric in Genetics and Animal Physiology <em>cum laude</em>, thereafter also completing his honours, Master's and doctoral degrees at SU.</p><p>In 1984, Brink was appointed as a technical assistant in the Department of Genetics, thereafter becoming a lecturer, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. He became Vice-Dean of AgriSciences in 2013.</p><p>Among Brink's academic recognitions are a THRIP Excellence Award in 1998, as well as the Rector's Award for Social Impact in 2008. He will take up his new position as Dean of AgriSciences on 1 July.</p><p>Leysens (57) also has a long history with SU. He was awarded a BA degree in Political Science in 1986, and also completed his postgraduate studies at US, which culminated in a DPhil degree in 2001.</p><p>In 1988, he began teaching in the Department of Political Science and was Chair of this department from 2009 to 2016. In January 2015, he was appointed as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.</p><p>Leysen's research fields include the political economy of Southern Africa and the politics of historical trauma. He starts on 1 January 2018 as the new Dean.</p><p>Nel (50), an alumnus of SU, is currently a professor in Missiology at the University of South Africa (Unisa), and was previously a lecturer at the Technicon of South Africa. In 1992, he completed his theological studies at SU – the first black student to obtain a degree from the SU's Faculty of Theology.</p><p>Before he entered the academia in 2001, Nel was a minister in the Uniting Reformed Church (URC). He joins SU as Dean of Theology on 1 November.​<br></p><p>​<br></p><p><br><br></p><p><br> </p>
SU Studios make music for Afrikaans romantic comedyhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2695SU Studios make music for Afrikaans romantic comedyKorporatiewe Bemarking/Corporate Marketing<p>When you watch the movie <em>Hollywood in my Huis</em>, be sure to pay extra attention to the soundtrack. The Stellenbosch University Studios at the Conservatorium, created the music for this Afrikaans romantic comedy, which recently opened in theatres.</p><p>"One would not normally associate pop music with the Music Department, but it was a nice challenge to produce a pop music soundtrack for a film," says Gerhard Roux, who heads up the Stellenbosch University Studios. These studios are the commercial recording facilities of the SU Music Department, specialising in the production of music for film, advertisements, as well as commercial classical and popular music albums. </p><p>"It is unique because similar Afrikaans films normally use existing pop songs in a movie, but this soundtrack was composed especially for the film. And as far as we know it is also the first Afrikaans pop music soundtrack that was produced in 5.1 surround sound," Roux says.</p><p>The music was composed by Ben Ludik, a Master's student in music technology (composer of the films <em>Wonderwerker</em> and <em>Skoonheid</em>) who were contracted to do this film. Apparently it was also a family affair because Ludik's mother and father composed two songs for the film.</p><p>According to Ludik, the film's soundtrack is a combination of typical pieces of instrumental music for films, which he wrote and a lot of pop songs, produced in collaboration with a few songwriters, "including Breda and Francé Ludik (my parents), Bibi Slippers, Kobus Louw, Christia Visser, Emile Logie and Joshua na die Reën. Then there is our version of Gerhard Steyn's <em>Babytjoklits</em>".</p><p>Roux says several local musicians were used and the theme song was sung by a first-year music student Aret Lambrechts. "We used a small piece of classical music in the film for comedic effect which was programmed by a PhD student in music, Antoni Schonken." Roux was responsible for mixing the 5.1 surround sound and Henry Steele played the electric guitar. </p><p>According to Roux, the recordings took a few months because the production process of pop music differs from orchestra recordings. "We are very fortunate to be able to do projects like these in an academic setting. We also use only our students as technical staff to remain true to our mandate of training and research. "</p><ul><li>For more information on the Studios go to: <a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/studio/">http://www0.sun.ac.za/studio/<br></a></li><li>Photograph: From left to right are Ben Ludik, Gerhard Roux and Aret Lambrechts at the premiere of the film <em>Hollywood in my Huis</em>.<a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/studio/"><br></a></li></ul>
SU journal on China-Africa relations becomes first in Africa to be accreditedhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2222SU journal on China-Africa relations becomes first in Africa to be accreditedLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">​The African East-Asian Affairs (AEAA) journal of the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at Stellenbosch University (SU) recently became the first African journal on East Asian-Africa relations to be accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"East Asia's relationship with emerging markets such as Africa, South America, South East Asia and Central Asia is still fairly new and Africa is an important player in this new field," explains Dr Ross Anthony, the Interim Director of the CCS and Associate Editor of the journal. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The CCS has spent the last 10 years focusing on China-Africa relations research and is the only centre in Africa to do so exclusively.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Mr Harrie Esterhuyse, a Research Analyst at the CCS and the Deputy Editor of the journal, the publication attempts to capture the developments and nuances of the relationship between Africa and East-Asian nations, including China, Japan, Korea and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) states. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Our journal is located in the broader area studies of East-Asia from an African viewpoint and topics covered include both the domestic developments and the international relations of these states, with a focus on their engagement with Africa. Articles that we publish fall within the social sciences and related disciplines such as politics, economics, environmental studies and law. We also encourage the publication of cross-disciplinary studies," he adds.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">CCS colleague Dr Sven Grimm is the Editor-in-Chief and is supported by a board of leading local and international academics in the selection of articles. <br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br>The journal was established in 2006 as the China Monitor. In 2012 the journal underwent a name change to be re-launched as the AEAA.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The AEAA journal provides a platform for scholars to discuss and share new research on East Asia-Africa relations. It also gives us a forum to define and expand on research in this fairly young field. Since China's involvement in Africa has happened so quickly, it has had a major impact on areas such as the environment, economics and trade relations."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="line-height:1.6;">"Africa is very underdeveloped when it comes to expertise on Asia. The fact that it is an African-based journal examining the East Asian-Africa relationship is significant, as it helps build capacity on Asia expertise from within the continent," says Anthony.</span></p><p> <span style="line-height:1.6;">While Europe and North America have well-established infrastructure for dealing with Asia, in Africa the opposite is true.</span></p><p>"It is important for South Africa to build a competency on Asia expertise. China is now South Africa, as well as Africa's, largest trading partner and that growth has been very quick. The speed has left us ill-equipped and without sufficient graduates specialising in this field and with a knowledge and understanding of China-Africa relations. The former Western influences are still heavy in Africa in terms of trade relations. We therefore need to develop organic, home grown expertise on China so that we have knowledgeable people in, for example, government, media and the business world who understand China-Africa relations and have experienced living and working in Asia and know how to engage with China," explain Esterhuyse.</p><p>To this end, the CCS is also focusing on providing teaching programmes through a postgraduate diploma on China-Africa studies and short courses on how government can maximise opportunities with China.</p><p>The editorial team hope to apply for International Scientific Indexing (ISI) accreditation in two years' time. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Dr Ross Anthony (left) and Mr Harrie Esterhuyse from the Centre for Chinese Studies are both on the editorial team of the first African journal on East Asian-Africa relations to be accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training. (Hennie Rudman, SSFD)</em></p>
Stellenbosch University becomes hub for artificial intelligence (AI) developmenthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3331Stellenbosch University becomes hub for artificial intelligence (AI) developmentLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">​​Mention the words artificial intelligence (AI) and the first thing that may come to mind for most people, may be the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster, <em>I.Robot</em>, featuring Will Smith acting alongside a human-like robot. While this may be one aspect of AI, the science is already being applied in our daily lives, with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter using AI for quite some time to predict our next move before we have even thought about it. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">All this is done through computer systems that process large amounts of data at record speeds. This is why, for example, Facebook is able to draw information into your newsfeed on your favourite rugby sports team moments after you have concluded a search on the 2015 Rugby World Cup through Google.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Google, Facebook and Twitter all use a form of AI known as machine learning. The systems are able to learn what you are doing and match what you are doing with what people similar to you are doing and then very accurately identify what you may do next," explains Prof Bruce Watson, Chairperson of the Information Science Department at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since July this year, the Department has been home to a Chair in Artificial Intelligence which is co-directed (with Watson) by Prof Arina Britz, a CSIR Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) representative, who will be based at SU, one of CAIR's nodes. SU is one of the partner institutions of CAIR, a national collaborative research network that originated in 2011 as a joint initiative between the CSIR and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Watson, the research chair will allow the Department to double its research capacity and allow for the allocation of bursaries to undergraduate and postgraduate students in this field. <br><br>"It would make it possible to bring more artificial intelligence research into our courses and would also create a student pipeline for the CSIR in the sense that students may one day work with or for the CSIR," said Watson at the announcement of the chair in July. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">But what exactly is AI and how does it work?</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Artifical intelligence refers to computer systems that are able to learn and improve themselves over time by adapting to new situations. They are systems that are therefore not limited by what a designer or programmer put in at the very beginning." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​It can be utilised in defense, service delivery, and information and communications technology for example. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"As these systems accumulate data, process it and learn more, they can, for example, be applied to existing systems to improve the planning and implementation of service delivery systems, medical care and advice, and monitor risks for us by learning what risks look like and predicting where they are more likely to occur. At present, we do not have these kinds of systems in place in South Africa, but our aim through the research we will conduct here is to develop systems that can, for example, learn where you should allocate resources such as medical resources or doctors, and even identify in which schools students are falling behind and why. At present, those are the things that human specialists do. Our aim is to capture what humans can do and extend beyond that knowledge through a system that can learn new things and go way beyond what a human being is capable of." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Watson admits that any talk of replacing humans with machines can be scary and that there is a danger of "automating away jobs as a consequence of this". It is the reason, he says, the Department also investigates the ethical implications of AI development, and are asking difficult questions about whether one should even want these kinds of improvements in the first place. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Of course we also need limits on AI. I completely agree with this as there are some risks that it could be used for the development of weapon systems which can be utilised by the military or on the battlefield. We have already witnessed how AI can influence election outcomes through Facebook. When I vote for a certain party and mention who that party is online, an AI system can place that information on the pages of people that I am linked to and that can influence people's voting choices."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With the research chair based at SU and Britz stationed there too, Watson believes that the Department will be able to retain and develop more students interested in the field on the African continent instead of losing them to overseas institutions. It also paves the way for multidisciplinary research opportunities between academics. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">At present, SU academics from the Information Science Department like, Watson, Dr Richard Barnett, Mr Dewald Blaauw, Christiaan Maasdorp and Carianne Cowley, as well as Prof Bernd Fischer from the Computer Science Division of the Department of Mathematical Science and Mr Seelan Naidoo from the Centre for Knowledge Dynamics and Decision-Making are working on projects that could benefit greatly from AI. For example, research is being conducted on knowledge dynamics, management and representation and how it connects to AI; on visualisation and presentation of big data; computer security (typically called cyber security); privacy and anonymity; big data and machine learning in the wine industry. <br><br>"At the end of the day, AI systems can become the key enabler for us to utilise large amounts of data referred to as big data effectively. Big data is just that, but once you have a system that can go through all that data and find and use that data well, you have living data which can lead us to making discoveries much faster and  bring more sense to various kinds of fields of research. It can capture some of the knowledge we have in our heads and more and find things that we often overlook because of our limited capacity to process large amount of data," says Watson.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Research Alliance for Disaster and Risk Reduction (RADAR) at SU, he adds, which focuses on urban risks and hydrometeorological threats and fire, is a good example of where large amounts of data have been gathered and stored, but once understood effectively by an AI system, can be used to saved lives. "Of course you can have a human look at all the data and analyse it, but if you have a system that can use all the information available and is able to learn and make predictions in terms off where risks will happen next, then you can identify where a fire will break out for instance and react faster to prevent human loss." </p><p style="line-height:20px;color:#333333;font-family:'noto sans', helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;background-color:#ffffff;"><strong>Photo</strong>: Present at the launch of the AI research chair were from the back from left: Prof Erich Rohwer, Executive Head of the Department of Physics, Dr Hermann Uys, Prof Johan Hattingh, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Prof Bruce Watson. Front from the left are: Prof Eugene Cloete, Dr Rachel<strong> </strong>Chikwamba, and Prof Louise Warnich.</p><p style="line-height:20px;color:#333333;font-family:'noto sans', helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;background-color:#ffffff;"><strong>Photographer</strong>: Justin Alberts</p>
Challenges facing SA’s women not being addressedhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5062Challenges facing SA’s women not being addressedCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>On Wednesday (9 August), we celebrate National Women's Day. In opinion pieces in the media, staff at Stellenbosch University write that some of the most important challenges women in South Africa continue to face are not being addressed. Click on the links below to read the respective articles.</p><ul><li>​Prof Juliana Claassens (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/JClaassens_CapeArgus_Aug2017.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Cape Argus</strong></a>)<br></li><li>Prof Amanda Gouws (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/AGouws_DieBurger_Aug2017.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Die Burger</strong></a>)<br></li><li>Prof Louise du Toit (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/LduToit_CapeTimes_Aug2017.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Cape Times</strong></a>)<br></li></ul><p><br><br></p>
Prospective students can broaden their horizons at Maties Open Day http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=1398Prospective students can broaden their horizons at Maties Open Day Kommunikasie en Skakeling/ Communication and Liaison<p>​​<span style="line-height:1.6;">​​The annual Stellenbosch University Open Day is around the corner. Prospective students and their parents or teachers are invited to visit Stellenbosch University on Friday 11 April from 09:00 to 16:00 to come and find out everything they need to know about being a student in Matieland.</span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Watch <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp4Rm4D6k34"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:none;">video</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:none;">.</strong></span></p><p>The Open Day is free of charge and learners can visit over a hundred information stalls to find out more about the different fields of study the University offers. Also on offer are information sessions throughout the day at various venues, campus tours and entertainment. Prospective students can also win a good number of prizes.  </p><p>The Open Day is also the ideal opportunity for prospective students to enquire about what the access tests entail and to ensure that they know what the admission requirements for 2015 are. </p><p>Prospective students are encouraged to start at the welcoming tent in front of the Conservatoire on the corner of Victoria and Neethling streets where they will receive information packs.</p><p><strong>Information stalls</strong></p><p>Open Day visitors will be able to visit more than 100 information stalls. These include the ten academic faculties, the respective departments, the various SU support services, e.g Bursaries and Loans, Student Fees, Maties Sport and Academic Support, as well as Maties student bodies, e.g. the Student Representative Council, residences and societies.</p><p>Accommodation is crucial for all prospective students. For this reason there will be stalls for enquiries about University residences, as well as private accommodation options. All the residences will be open for viewing. </p><p>Some of the other stalls include facilities available for students with disabilities, the library, Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD), the Language Centre and the First Year Academy.</p><p>Several other educational institutions will also be present, e.g. Boland College and the Isa Carstens Academy.</p><p><strong>Information sessions</strong></p><p>Apart from the information stalls, all the faculties and the Centre for Student Recruitment will also be presenting information sessions during the course of the day.</p><p><strong>Campus tours and entertainment</strong></p><p>Experience the campus first hand by going on a guided campus tour led by student leaders. What better way to obtain information than from current Maties? To top this all MFM, the local radio station, will broadcast from the Neelsie. Cool prizes will be up for grabs.</p><p><strong>Where?</strong></p><p>The Open Day is hosted on and around the Rooiplein on the Stellenbosch Campus. Admission is free and parking will be available close to the Neelsie Student Centre.</p><p><strong>Get more information here.</strong></p><p>Visit <a href="http://www.maties.com/">www.maties.com</a> for:</p><ul><li>The Open Day programme </li><li>Information sessions schedule</li><li>Parking map</li><li>Guidelines to use the Open Day to your full advantage</li></ul><p>Or contact the Centre for Student Recruitment​ at 021 808 4709 of 021 808 2631.</p><p><strong>MORE INFORMATION</strong></p><p><strong>How to get the most out of the Open Day</strong></p><p>With more than 100 information stalls at the Open Day, it will be a daunting task to reach everyone, says Mrs Magdel Pretorius of the Centre for Student Recruitment and organiser of the SU Maties Open Day.</p><p>"A good tip is to use the available floor plan to reach the stalls relevant to you," she says.</p><p>"The stalls are also placed in such a way that interest fields are grouped together. In this way learners can identify certain fields of interest beforehand. These include fields in the Physical Sciences and Technology; Biological and Medical Sciences; Business and Economic Sciences; the Humanities and the Creative Arts."</p><p>And, she adds, it will also be of great value if learners ask the right questions. Examples are:</p><ul><li>What are the admission requirements for the programmes?</li><li>What interests should I have to enjoy this programme?</li><li>Which skills will I learn within the programme?</li><li>What are the job opportunities for someone with this qualification?</li></ul><p>According to Pretorius learners could also consider forming groups with fellow learners who have similar interests and obtain important information by also listening to others' questions.</p><p>"We also suggest that learners aim to have conversations with the Faculty officers at the stalls, as opposed to only collecting books and pamphlets. Learners' questions are best answered in informal conversations such as these. Learners could also request follow-up appointments and ask representatives of a specific Faculty or Department to visit the school after the Open Day."</p><p>Learners should also consider career counselling (this includes psychometric assessment and personal consultation) should there still be uncertainty about their possible career choices. This can help learners to become more aware of less-known programmes, rather than only focusing on the options of which they have already heard.</p>
SU Chamber Choir completes hugely successful Hong Kong tourhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5102 SU Chamber Choir completes hugely successful Hong Kong tourFiona Grayer<p><span style="text-align:justify;">The</span><span style="text-align:justify;"> </span><span style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University Chamber Choir (SUCC) has just returned from a hugely successful tour to Hong Kong. The choir was invited as Artist Choir in Residence</span><span style="text-align:justify;"> </span><span style="text-align:justify;">to </span><span style="text-align:justify;">the 2017 World Youth & Children's Choir Festival</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-align:justify;text-decoration-line:line-through;"> </span><span style="text-align:justify;">which took place from 17-22 July 2017</span><span style="text-align:justify;">. An invitation of this nature can be considered both a great and rare honour.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The World Youth and Children's Choir Festival is one of the most important choral festivals in the world, and attracts 200 participating choirs from across the globe. SUCC's concerts were listened to by around 5000 participants and performances were live-streamed worldwide. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Founded and conducted by Martin Berger, this young ensemble has developed into one of South Africa's leading chamber choirs: internationally respected and locally relevant. With the diversity of its repertoire, SUCC represents the variety of choral music styles to be found in the country.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The choir performed at the Opening Ceremony of the festival on 18 July, a full evening concert on 19 July and also at the 20<sup>th</sup> Anniversary Celebration Concert of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  All performances were received with overwhelming enthusiasm from the audience.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">SUCC was honoured by the presence and support of the South African Consul-General to Hong Kong, Mr Madoda Ntshinga, at both the Opening Ceremony and the full evening concert. He commended the choir on “…raising the South African flag even much higher as true ambassadors of our country." <br></p>
Women refuse to be silent about rape culture http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3896Women refuse to be silent about rape culture Amanda Gouws<p>Women are tired of being blamed for rape and are no longer willing to be silent, writes Prof Amanda Gouws of the Department of Political Science in her regular column in <em>Die Burger </em>on Tuesday (3 May 2016).</p><ul><li><p>Read the complete article below or click <a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/AmandaGouws_DieBurger_3Mei2016.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></a> for the piece as published.​<br></p></li></ul><p><strong>Amanda Gouws</strong></p><p>Stellenbosch University experienced its second "topless" protest last Thursday when female students strongly expressed their opposition to a rape culture on campus. The ​protest was also in solidarity with the "RUReferencelist" – the list of 11 names of so-called rapists at Rhodes University, where women students also staged a "topless" protest.</p><p>This type of protest supports the protests against rape culture at American universities and the "Femen" phenomenon that began in the Ukraine. Femen is a group of feminists who protest against the treatment of women, wearing only their panties and with slogans written on their bodies. They have taken their protests to many European countries. The question is whether their protests convey the right message or whether men rather see them as sex objects, thus defeating the object of their protests.</p><p>A rape culture refers to circumstances that support the normalisation of rape. On university campuses, this is about attitudes, beliefs, and practices at residences where women are treated with disrespect or humiliated or their human dignity violated. These types of circumstances normalise rape because gender violence is not taken seriously and women are often blamed for rape. They also make it more difficult or women to report rape.</p><p>A rape culture buys in to rape myths such as the following: why was she on the street so late?, why was she wearing a short dress?, why was she drinking?, she was asking for it, etc. The Zuma rape trial was a striking example of buying into rape myths: at the court, people (many of them women) sang "burn the bitch" and burned a photograph of the victim and threw stones at her. She was the one on trial – not Zuma. The prosecutor called her a "serial rape accuser" who didn't know the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex. The view was that rape did NOT happen, rather than that it did.</p><p>Secondary victimization is often at the order of the day in court, which is why many women do not report rape. Carol Smart, in her 1989 book <em>The Power of Law</em>, writes about how in the case of rape the law dismisses the experiences of women, denounces them as liars and humiliates them, while the perpetrators often literally get away with rape.</p><p>"Date rape" on campuses is common, but few cases are reported because women students often blame themselves for getting into the situation where "no" is interpreted as "yes". They do not trust the campus procedures to vindicate them. These are the underlying conditions of rape culture and women are no longer willing to be silent, because the perpetrators are sitting in class with them.</p><p>From a legal perspective, disclosing the names of so-called rapists, is however, highly problematic because a person is innocent until found guilty in court, which can take years. In the meantime, women who make allegations can be prosecuted for libel or defamation. The Rector of Rhodes incurred the wrath of students when he said that men whose names appeared on the list would not be handed over so that they could be "named and shamed".</p><p>Rape destroys women's lives. False accusations shatter lives too. Women are tired of being blamed. They are saying: "don't teach women to prevent rape – teach men not to rape". Rape culture will remain a problem until many men learn that they are not entitled to sex at the end of a date. </p>