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Social work more than just a job for Dr Abigail Ornellashttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5542Social work more than just a job for Dr Abigail OrnellasSonika Lamprecht/Corporate Communication Division<p style="text-align:justify;">For many people choosing a career is a difficult decision, but for others, life experiences point them in a direction and it becomes a calling. Dr Abigail Ornellas, who received her PhD in Social Work this week, is one of the latter.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ornellas and her twin brother were adopted when she was almost five years old, after spending four years in foster care. “The family who adopted us is incredible and has given us an amazing life and opportunities we probably would never have had. This has always given me a sense of wanting to make my life count for something. I was the first in the family to go to university and get a degree. They have been incredibly supportive and are very proud of me.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“My experience in foster care has made me intrinsically aware of the importance of social work and the impact it can have on a life. Some of the experiences I went through as a child have also helped me in social work practice, to understand the importance of opportunity. This is all people really need to truly step into who they are. It has kept me humble."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, it wasn't until closer to the end of her social work bachelor's degree that she began to realise how much more the profession was capable of and responsible for, and its complex history.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her fourth year of social work studies, she worked at a local state hospital and spent a lot of time working in the mental health ward. “My biological mother had dealt with mental illness, and so this was an area of interest for me. But I hadn't realised how social work could play an important role in this field. I became increasingly aware of the struggles in mental health as many public mental health facilities were being shut down due to deinstitutionalisation."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This sparked an interest in the concept of deinstitutionalisation and she decided to focus her Masters on exploring this phenomenon in South Africa. “This was my first real entry into the world of social policy. What I would later realise was that deinstitutionalisation was linked to a much bigger concept – neoliberalism, which emphasises individualism, inequality as a driver for economic growth, protection of the privileged and elite, the commodification of care, the privatisation of services, and the idea that welfare creates dependency. These are all in direct contradiction to the social work values of collectivism, social justice, social cohesion and human dignity."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Following her Masters, she worked as a research fellow on an international staff exchange scheme for two years where teams from 11 different countries actively mapped the impact of neoliberalism on social care and welfare. “This experience had the greatest impact on my career goals in social work and academic research. It gave me that bigger picture. Living in different countries working with social workers who have incredible stories and varied backgrounds opened my eyes to the vastness of our profession. I truly fell in love with it. I began to understand that social work has a responsibility to resist global socioeconomic changes that did not serve people."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Something one of her professors said stuck with her. When talking about the concept of giving a person a fish as opposed to teaching them how to fish, he added, “but it doesn't help teaching someone to fish, if there is a fence around the pond".<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“That day I decided I would commit myself to finding ways of removing the fence – and that is macro and structural, and in my opinion, at the heart of the social work profession. We need to confront the system in which social injustice occurs at the individual level, to tackle things from the outward in."  <br></p><p><br></p>
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>
TRU to establish a democracy research nodehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4957TRU to establish a democracy research nodeLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">Over the past few years the state of democracy in South Africa has been increasingly threatened by large scale corruption, mismanagement of state funds<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>and improper governance practices under President Jacob Zuma's leadership. This is evident from media reports and public commentary by a range of political analysts. Globally, democracy is also not faring well with rising populism undermining liberal values.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">Tracking democracy since the heady days of its global spread in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Bloc in the 1990s,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Transformation Research Unit (TRU): Democracy Globally<span class="Apple-converted-space"> at </span>Stellenbosch University (SU) has taken the lead with a number of other research organisations across the world to interrogate the reasons behind this apparent unravelling of democracy.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>The<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>TRU, which is based in the Political Science Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>focuses on examining South African democracy comparatively in the regional southern African and global contexts from a political, economic and social perspective.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">"The<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>proposed data centre is not meant to become yet another data archive. What we envisage instead is the creation of an "Intelligent Node" to help us locate data needed for analyses and teaching in the general area of democracy research by searching the repositories of already existing<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>international archive networks.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>This<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>will allow us to contribute to the creation of new knowledge in the field of democracy studies, with a specific contextualisation for South Africa, and at the same time we will help integrate South African social research into global networks via the Research Data Alliance (RDA),"<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>says Prof Ursula van Beek, the Head of TRU.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">The RDA was launched in 2013 by the European Commission, the United States National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Government's Department of Innovation. The RDA<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>aims to build bridges to enable the global research community to openly share data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">Since its inception, TRU has taken a mixed-method approach in its research by combining in-depth qualitative country studies with quantitative analyses. Its heavy reliance on empirical data over the years led TRU's local and international partners to the idea of establishing a data centre.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">"During a recent TRU workshop the participants also discussed the growing need for postgraduate students to improve their research methodology skills in quantitative research, which is regarded as a 'rare skills' area in South Africa," explains Van Beek.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">To this end, a concurrent training programme has been proposed to expand the pool of young African scholars.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">"Postgraduate<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>students will therefore also be instructed by international experts on the data selection process to support their research hypotheses, and they will learn where to look for this data and how to do the analyses by utilising our Intelligent Node."  </p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">TRU<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>also recently completed one of two comparative projects, which was focused on democracy in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">"I am happy to report that the findings of the all-African team will be published in a dedicated edition of the international journal of politics, the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span><em>Taiwan Journal of Democracy,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></em>on 1 July 2017."<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br>"T</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">he second project that TRU is working on is nearing completion and focuses on democracy in South Africa from a global perspective. The research has established a decline in the legitimacy of democracies over the last 20 years in countries like Turkey, where the recent referendum has effectively killed democracy; Poland, where a populist government has come to power; and South Africa, where poor quality of governance has given rise to radicalism and polarisation that are threatening democracy."</span><br></p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;line-height:1.6;color:#444444;font-family:"segoe ui",segoe,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-align:justify;">"The discouraging findings," says van Beek, "convinced us that further research into the state of democracy in South Africa was imperative and that the investigation ought to be supported by solid empirical evidence. We want to focus on social cohesion, which we consider to be the bedrock of democracy.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span> We believe that the problem of social cohesion can no longer be meaningfully investigated in isolation from regional and global trends as the globalisation of capital and the mass flows of refugees and immigrants bring additional pressures on efforts directed at attaining social cohesion at the nation-state level. At the same time, one particular research methodology is not likely to add much new knowledge and practical advice on the subject. For these reasons we<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>  decided to create the Intelligent Node and thus integrate into global networks."<br><em style="line-height:1.6;"><br>PHOTO: A group of national and international academics recently participated in a workshop by the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></em><em style="line-height:1.6;">Transformation Research Unit (TRU): Democracy Globally at Stellenbosch University. From the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></em><em style="line-height:1.6;">left in the first row are Dr Catherine Musuva (AU: Electoral Commission), Dr Cindy Steenekamp (SU), Prof Ursula van Beek (SU), Dr Nicola de Jager (SU), PhD candidate, Annemie Parkin (SU), and Ms Jordan Fredericks (Honours student, SU). In the second row are Prof Dieter Fuchs (Stuttgart University, Germany), Prof Dirk Berg-Schlosser (Philipps University in Marburg, Germany), Dr Webster Zambara (Institute for Justice and Reconciliation), Prof Hans-Dieter Klingemann (Research Centre, Berlin), and Prof Ursula Hoffmann-Lange (Bamberg University, Germany). In the third row are Dr Krige Sieberts (SU), Prof Laurence Whitehead (Oxford University), Prof David Sebudubudu (University of Botswana), and Ms Helen Kores (MA student, SU). <br></em></p>
PhD candidate's first poetry collection publishedhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4102PhD candidate's first poetry collection publishedLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">The first poetry manuscript to be penned by Ms Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, a doctoral candidate of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, has been published by Botsotso. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Busuku-Mathese, who is originally from Durban North in Durban, is currently completing her first year of PhD studies in the English Department via a three-year, full-time scholarship offered by the Graduate School. She is being supervised by Prof Sally-Ann Murray, an academic and poet whose work she says she has greatly admired. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Loud and Yellow Laughter, </em>says Busuku-Mathese, is a personal reflection on childhood. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"There exists a tension between truth-telling and truth-testing in the poetry."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The poems in the collection are woven together with archival materials such as letters, photographs, scraps of conversations recorded verbatim and found notes. Busuku-Mathese also uses dramatic techniques such as character lists and stage directions, highlighting the texts' re-enactment of pre-existing events between the main characters: The Mother, The Father and The Girl Child. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As the adopted daughter of a man from Yorkshire, Britain and the biological daughter of a woman from Mt. Fletcher, Eastern Cape, her childhood was anything but normal if measured against traditional standards. Her poetry collection is also a creative memorial to her adoptive father, she says, who passed when she was only 13 years old. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The poetry collection looks at family and intergenerational discussions about parenting and childhood in South Africa, as well as topics of adoption and (un)belonging, and generational slippages that arise within families," she explains. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"It is linked to my own background and very personal."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">By delving into her mother's and father's pasts and growth of their relationship – a parenting relationship between two friends – Busuku-Mathese explores her own identity as a South African through her writings by mixing auto/biography, elegy and documentary collage to explore the intersections between history and fiction. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"My parents were two friends who decided to co-parent a child. It definitely did not reflect the relationships I saw between the parents of my own friends, who were involved in romantic relationships and parented their children in those relationships. That being said, I am writing about fragments of several lives over four generational lines, it's a multi-voiced meditation on loss and hope – a renegotiation and sometimes even a reversioning of history. There is a slipperiness to the collection, a kind of zigzaging between the person and the persona, a conflation between history, memory, myth and documentary, all woven together in the poems, which is important to remain aware of," she says. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The manuscript for her collection, she explains, developed from the poetry work included in her MA thesis in Creative Writing, which was supervised by acclaimed South African poet Prof Kobus Moolman at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Before being published, her work was also circulated in local poetry journals like <em>New Coin</em>, <em>New Contrast</em>, <em>Prufrock</em>, <em>Ons Klyntji </em>and <em>Aerodrome</em>. In 2015, it was shortlisted for the prestigious Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and Busuku-Mathese was selected as runner-up for the Award. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, Botsotso decided to publish her poetry – a major feat considering that unsolicited submissions from unknown poets and writers are often ignored. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I won't lie and say it was easy. What I experienced is that there is a strong resistance to new poets and often the response that you will encounter from most poetry publishers is that unsolicited manuscripts are not welcome. It's a frequent response and it can be frustrating when the few poetry publishers we have in this country will not look at new material from new poets, so when Botsotso said yes to my unsolicited publication, it was very exciting. While it is even more difficult to get poetry work published, I do believe that the more unsolicited work is accepted for review, the more publishers will start discovering interesting poetry that may have been overlooked because of exclusionary thinking."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her work, she hopes, will contribute to discussions around various forms of identity in South Africa and help introduce alternative narratives and voices in that space, making them more visible.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Issues of identity are real and personal, I think it is an important discussion to have in this country in particular considering how diverse our country is and how varied our experiences are of what it means to be South African. That is a conversation that I believe we are still grappling with and watching unfold as South Africans as we are pulled in different directions. My poetry explores what it means to be brought up in a home that is not stereotypical and to be young and struggling with the liminal space between two parents who represent radically different worlds." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The collection however does not treat the alternative to traditional family structures as abnormal or as a spectacle.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"That was always my intention, to present an alternative to the traditional and a view of a different form of parenting and not to make it seem different. The collection affirms that normal is not always traditional and that there are different distinctions of that. At the end of the day, it is my hope that my collection contributes to conversations about our various forms of South Africanness."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">If you are interested in purchasing a copy of <em>Loud and Yellow Laughter</em> at R80, you can contact Botsotso at <a href="mailto:botsotso@artslink.co.za">botsotso@artslink.co.za</a> or Busuku-Mathese at <a href="mailto:sindi.busuku@gmail.com">sindi.busuku@gmail.com</a>. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Ms Sindi-Busuku-Mathese with her first poetry collection, </em>Loud and Yellow Laughter, <em>which was recently published by Botsotso. (Anton Jordaan, SSFD)</em></p>
Doctoral candidate in English Department wins 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5657Doctoral candidate in English Department wins 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Mrs Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese has won the 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize for her debut poetry collection, <em>Loud and Yellow Laughter.</em><em> </em>The prize is given in alternate years to the best debut poetry collection in English or Afrikaans. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Winning the Ingrid Jonker Prize is an honour. It is a significant literary acknowledgement and a wonderful celebration of the collection. There are so many great poets who have won the Ingrid Jonker Prize in previous years, poets that I strongly admire – it's wonderful to be part of that poetic family tree. I'm very grateful to the amazing Prof Kobus Moolman who was my supervisor for <em>Loud and Yellow Laughter</em>. I'm also thankful for the incredible support shown to me by Prof Sally-Ann Murray and the English Department," said Busuku-Mathese, who is a completing a PhD in the English Department on a three-year full-time scholarship offered by the Graduate School.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Loud and Yellow Laughter</em>, which was published by Botsotso in 2016, is Busuku-Mathese's first volume of poetry.  Prior to  its publication, various individual poems from the collection appeared  in local and international poetry journals such as <em>New Coin</em>, <em>New Contrast, Prufrock, Ons Klyntji, Aerodrome, Illuminations</em><em> </em>and the <em>Unearthed Anthology.</em><em> </em>She also won second place in the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and her collection was shortlisted for the 2016 University of Johannesburg Prize in the debut category.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The collection is a personal reflection on childhood," said Busuku-Mathese at the time of the book's launch. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​According to her, the poems in the collection are woven together with archival materials such as letters, photographs, scraps of conversations recorded verbatim and found notes. She also uses dramatic techniques such as character lists and stage directions, highlighting the text's re-enactment of pre-existing events between the main characters: The Mother, The Father and The Girl Child. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As the adopted daughter of a man from Yorkshire, Britain and the biological daughter of a woman from Mount Fletcher, Eastern Cape, Busuku-Mathese says her childhood was anything but conventional if measured against traditional standards. Her poetry collection is also a creative memorial to her adoptive father, she says, who passed away when she was only 13 years old. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The poetry collection looks at family and intergenerational discussions about parenting and childhood in South Africa, as well as topics of adoption and (un)belonging, and generational slippages that arise within families," she explains. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"It is linked to my own background and very personal."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">By delving into her mother's and father's pasts and the growth of their relationship – a parenting agreement  between two friends – Busuku-Mathese explores her own identity as a South African through her writings by mixing auto/biography, elegy and documentary collage to explore the intersections between history and fiction.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She hopes that the collection will contribute to discussions around various forms of identity in South Africa and help introduce alternative narratives and voices in that space, making them more visible.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Issues of identity are both social  and personal, I think it is an important discussion to have in this country in particular considering how diverse our country is and how varied our experiences are of what it means to be South African. That is a conversation that I believe we are still grappling with and watching unfold as South Africans as we are pulled in different directions. My poetry explores what it means to be brought up in a home that is not stereotypical and to be young and struggling with the liminal space between two parents who represent radically different worlds." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The collection however does not treat the alternative to traditional family structures as abnormal or as a spectacle.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"That was always my intention, to present an alternative to the traditional;  a view of a different form of parenting even while I do  not  want to make it seem strange. The collection affirms that normal is not always traditional and that there are different distinctions of that. At the end of the day, it is my hope that my collection contributes to conversations about our complex  forms of South Africanness."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Sindiswa has exceptional creative gifts and a wonderful appetite for ideas. I believe that inherent talent, hard work and ongoing mentoring will see her go from strength-to-strength as a writer. She's already off to an outstanding start, and we're inspired by her achievements," says Prof. Sally-Ann Murray, Chair of the English Department. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Loud and Yellow Laughter</em><em> </em>can be purchased for R80 from Botsotso. Contact them  at <a href="mailto:botsotso@artslink.co.za"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">botsotso@artslink.co.za</span></a>or e-mail Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese directly at <a href="mailto:sindi.busuku@gmail.com"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">sindi.busuku@gmail.com</span></a>to get your copy.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Mrs Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese recently received the 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize for her poetry collection,</em><em> </em>Loud and Yellow Laughter. <em>(Anton Jordaan, SSFD)</em></p>
International exhibition traces eugenics movement to Nazi regime’s “science of race”http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5636International exhibition traces eugenics movement to Nazi regime’s “science of race”Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">An international traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and which explores the Nazi regime's “science of race" and its implications for medical ethics and social responsibility today is currently being hosted at the Stellenbosch University Museum until 28 May 2018.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The <em>Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race </em>exhibition is presented by the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation in South Africa (www.holocaust.org.za). After Stellenbosch it will travel to  Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Namibia where it will be exhibited at the  Holocaust Centres in South Africa, as well as other universities and museums. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through reproductions of photographs and documents, historical films, and survivor testimony, the exhibition traces how the persecution of groups deemed biologically inferior led to the near annihilation of European Jews. It also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection and the legacy of racism.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of the exhibition a number of public lectures, film screenings, book launches and panel discussions have been presented by a range of South African academics including those from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences  and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In a country like South Africa, where issues around medical ethics continue to this day, and where there is an ongoing need to remind the country of the dignity of the individual, the exhibition has particular relevance. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Wednesday, 25 April, Prof Steven Robins from the Sociology and Social Anthropology Department, and Dr Handri Walters, a researcher for the South African section of the exhibition, presented a talk on <em>Spectres of Racial Science: Understanding eugenics as a 'travelling science'</em>. It explored how eugenics became a global science in the early 20<sup>th</sup>century and how German eugenics, which had roots in German South West Africa (now Namibia), travelled to many parts of the world, including SU. Robins is also the author of <em>Letters of Stone, from Nazi Germany to South Africa</em><em> </em>a deeply personal and painful reflection of the true horror and extent of the Nazis' racial policies against Jews, which made the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction shortlist in 2017. <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4138">Read the full story here</a>.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The exhibition examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to legitimise persecution and ultimately, genocide. The history of the Holocaust provides an invaluable context through which to view and reflect on contemporary issues </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Deadly Medicine shows how the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler aimed to change the genetic makeup of the population through measures known as “racial hygiene" or “eugenics". It also highlights the role that scientists in the biomedical fields, especially anthropologists, psychiatrists, and geneticists, who were all medically trained experts played in legitimising these policies by helping to put them into practice," according to the pamphlet shared on the exhibition. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Medical experimentation however started as far back as Eugen Fischer's and other scientists' study of African prisoners of war in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of individuals.  These studies influenced German legislation on race, including the Nuremberg laws, from the early 20<sup>th</sup>century onwards. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When Nazi racial hygiene was implemented, the categories of persons and groups regarded as biologically threatening to the health of the nation were greatly expanded to include Jews, Roma (Gypsies), the mentally and physically disabled and other minorities."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Under cover of World War II, and using the war as a pretext, Nazi racial hygiene was radicalised and there was a shift from controlling reproduction and marriage to simply eliminating persons regarded as biological threats."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of the exhibition a two-seminar series was planned on <em>Taking stock: Disability & Human Rights in contemporary South Africa.</em><em> </em>The first<em>was Deadly Practices: Esidimeni and beyond which took place on April 16.</em><em> </em>The second<em> </em><em>Beyond the right to life: Disability, Personhood & Participation</em><em> </em>will be chaired by Prof Leslie Swartz from the Psychology Department on Monday, 7 May. Swartz is a distinguished professor who has trained as a clinical psychologist and is a leading expert on disability rights issues, particularly in low-income contexts. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Tuesday, 15 May, the film <em>Skin,</em><em> </em>will be introduced by Ms Bonita Bennett, Director of the District Six Museum.This film depicts Sandra Laing's life. Laing was classified as 'coloured' because of her skin colour and hair texture,  although having 'white' parents. The screening will be followed by a Q and A session. </p><p>The Stellenbosch University Museum is situated at 52 Ryneveld Street in Stellenbosch and can be contacted at at 021 808 3695.</p><p><em>Photo</em><em>:</em><em> </em><em>Head shots showing various racial types: Most Western anthropologists classified people into “races" based on physical traits such as head size and eye, hair and skin colour. This classification was developed by Eugen Fischer and published in the 1921 and 1923 editions of Foundations of Human Genetics and Racial Hygiene. (Supplied by </em><em>US Holocaust Memorial Museum)</em></p>
Graduate School reaches major milestone in University's centenary year http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5559Graduate School reaches major milestone in University's centenary year Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">The Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences has broken through the 100 degrees ceiling with the awarding of another 14 degrees at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' graduation on Thursday, 22 March. This takes the overall number of degrees awarded over the last eight years to 114. The milestone also coincides with Stellenbosch University's own 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary year.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The Faculty is very excited to be celebrating this incredible milestone in the centenary year. What started as a HOPE Project initiative in 2010 has led to this academic milestone in the 2017 academic year and not only have we hit the 100 mark, but we have catapulted to 114 degrees delivered. What was once an ambitious HOPE Project has today become the Faculty's flagship project," said Prof Anthony Leysens, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The Graduate School is considered to be the biggest success story for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as we have developed and implemented a comprehensive and concerted set of measures to address the critical current and future shortages of trained academics in the arts, humanities and social sciences in South Africa and the continent at large," added Dr Cindy Steenekamp, Chair of the Graduate School Board.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2012 the first 19 doctoral degrees were awarded by the School followed by 21 awarded in 2013, 20 in 2014, 13 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and 21 in 2017.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">These graduates are also completing their doctoral studies within record time.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“We enrol an average intake of 22 students per year and are delivering an average of 19 graduates per year, which means that a vast majority (75%) of our graduates have completed their degrees in the required three years or less. In this way the School has managed to half the number of years that PhD students within the faculty complete their PhD degrees. Most students take 5 years to complete their doctoral studies, while students who are registered via the School complete their degrees in 2.5 years on average" explained Steenekamp.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Graduate School's successes over the last seven years is rather significant, especially considering that South Africa's National Development Plan calls for 5 000 new doctoral graduates to be produced by 2030. The country is still far from reaching that goal with only 2 530 PhD degrees awarded in the 2015 academic year. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Although doctoral enrolments in the Faculty have been steadily increasing, the establishment of the Graduate School in 2010 marked a major shift in doctoral education. The average increase in enrolments grew from 25% to 65% with the advent of the Graduate School's doctoral scholarship programme. The Graduate School has enrolled over 180 candidates in eight cohorts between 2010 and 2017, which represents about a quarter of the doctoral enrolments within the Faculty. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Graduate School was established as Stellenbosch University's contribution to the Partnership for Africa's Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) in 2010. PANGeA is a “collaborative network of leading African universities developing research capacity and confidence in bringing African expertise to Africa's challenges". The network aims to strengthen higher education in Africa by creating opportunities for fully-funded doctoral study in the arts, humanities and social sciences; collaborative research projects and exchange among partner institutions; the development of research capacity on site; and in the longer term, the establishment of joint doctoral degree programmes specifically in the arts, humanities and social sciences.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The universities involved in the PANGeA network include the University of Botswana, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Ghana, Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Malawi, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Stellenbosch University, and the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. PANGeA is therefore enriched through developing an active footprint on which to draw intellectual diversity in terms of linguistic, cultural and national backgrounds.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Of the 114 doctoral degrees awarded, of which the last 14 graduated on Thursday, 85% are BCI (diversity) candidates; 62% are male and 38% are female; and 48% are staff members within the PANGeA network that have since resumed their academic positions at their home institutions. These graduates also come from a range of countries in Africa, including  Angola (2 candidates), Botswana (2), the Democratic Republic of Congo (1), Gabon (2), Ghana (6), Kenya (11), Lesotho (1), Malawi (12), Nigeria (2), Tanzania (13), Uganda (15), Zimbabwe (20) and South Africa (27).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“A high percentage of our graduates and alumni are either retained within or enter the higher education sector in Africa. We pride ourselves in strengthening the capacity of Africa to generate new knowledge through stemming the brain drain from Africa and reversing the decline of science and scholarship in African higher education. Through the Graduate School and our involvement in PANGeA we are promoting Africa's next generation of leaders, academics and professionals" says Steenekamp. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Some of the research topics that graduates have concentrated on over the years include <em>Ethnography and the archive: Power and politics in five South African music archives</em>; <em>Appraisal and evaluation in Zimbabwean parliamentary discourse and its representation in newspaper articles</em>; <em>Ghoema van die Kaap: The life and music of Taliep Petersen (1950-2006)</em>; <em>Language and the politics of identity in South Africa: The case of Zimbabwean (Shona and Ndebele speaking) migrants in Johannesburg</em>; <em>The nature and scope of management tasks performed by volunteers on management committees of non-profit organisations</em>; and <em>Are "untouched citizens" creating their deliberative democracy online? A critical analysis of women's activist media in Zimbabwe</em>.<br><em><br>Photo: Here are some of the 114 doctoral graduates to graduate from the Graduate School over the last eight years. (Anton Jordaan, SSFD)</em></p>
International collaborations reap fruits for SU and its partnershttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5585International collaborations reap fruits for SU and its partnersJanka Pieper and Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Northwestern University's relationship with Stellenbosch University is a flagship example of strategic collaborations and partnership building</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">It may be cliché, but it's true: The world is a small place.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On a sunny afternoon in 2004, thousands of miles away from Northwestern's campus, Dévora Grynspan entered the office of the Political Science Chair at <span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="/">Stellenbosch University</a></span> (SU) in South Africa. It was then that Grynspan saw a familiar face, Prof Amanda Gouws, a former PhD student from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where Grynspan had taught Latin American politics from 1986 to 1998.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her role as director of Northwestern's former Office of International Program Development, Grynspan had traveled to Stellenbosch to set up a customised Study Abroad programme for Northwestern undergraduate students. And so, she did—with the help of the graduate student she had taught 20 years prior in Illinois.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> “Amanda was the main person at Stellenbosch University who helped create our unique program from the beginning, and she is still heavily involved," says <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/international-relations/about/vp-international-relations.html">Grynspan, who is now Vice President for International Relations</a>. “The programme wouldn't be what it is today without all her hard work and input."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Gouws wears many hats. Along with her role as , now a Professor of Political Science and the SARChI Chair in Gender Politics at SU, she is a widely known activist and published academic in women's rights and representation. Gouws and a colleague also wrote the first sexual harassment policy for SU in 1994 and established a Women's Forum examining the conditions of employment for women. She was also the first woman on the appointments committee. In addition, she has served as a commissioner for the South African Commission for Gender Equality from 2012 to 2014 and in 2016, received the SARChI Chair, an academic position that, until recently, had been given to very few women. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through Gouws' relationship with Northwestern, her work's impact has reached far beyond the borders of South Africa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While I anticipated I would become a stronger advocate for non-dominant races and ethnicities—and you bet I did—I didn't anticipate becoming so much more passionate about women's rights and feminism during my time in South Africa," says Kathleen Clark, who studied abroad in South Africa this past spring and met with Gouws while in Evanston.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“For that, I owe a lot of thanks to Professor Gouws. She is an example of both career and personal excellence, all while fighting tirelessly for other women and yet retaining her infectious sense of humor."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the years, the exceptionally successful study abroad programme has sent close to 230 students from Northwestern to Stellenbosch for a unique experience in global health—to learn about everything from the public health system and its most pressing challenges to South Africa's unique historical and political context.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since that meeting 13 years ago, Grynspan and Gouws, together with Programme Director Jacob Du Plessis and other dedicated faculty and administrators at Northwestern and SU, have built a unique, multi-faceted partnership, spanning several study abroad programmes, various research collaborations among faculty and students, and new curriculum development initiatives.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first group of 16 Northwestern undergraduate students went on to study Public Health in the South African programme in 2005. As Grynspan and Gouws collaborated through the years, the curriculum shifted and improved. By 2008, a track on diversity and democracy in South Africa was added, and by 2012, both tracks were combined to form one programme.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The aim was to make the students more familiar with the South African context," says Gouws. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“At the time we started, South Africa was still struggling to bring the very high levels of AIDS infection down. Putting a strong emphasis on the health epidemic was important, as we were trying to understand it in its sociopolitical context in an African country," she adds. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“So we decided that we would teach students about South African politics, as well."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Now called <a href="http://www.ipd.northwestern.edu/study-abroad/explore/africa/public-health-development.html">Public Health and Development in South Africa</a>, the quarter-long programme offers students in-classroom instruction with pre-eminent guest lecturers and practitioners, along with site visits to local health clinics, community organisations, museums, and important historical sites.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The highlight of the program is an excursion to South Africa's oasis of natural wildlife, Kruger National Park. For four days, Northwestern students immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the park. They then travel to Hamakuya, a rural village in northern South Africa, where students stay with local villagers, learn from traditional communities, and participate in a water insecurity study. The trip, led by noted scientist and Northwestern alumnus David Bunn, culminates in a candlelit dinner on the banks of the Olifants River.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“By being in a space where one is challenged by silence and where one's sense of time is so different compared to life in Evanston, many students can observe how a simplified life could be so meaningful to those living in remote rural villages—irrespective of initial impressions of poverty and inequality," says Du Plessis, a Lecturer in Sociology at SU who has served as Programme Director for over a decade.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“A shift in thinking occurs through embodied experiences and engaging others within their own space and on their terms. What might seem strange becomes often familiar, while the familiar might feel strange or even wrong for some students who return home at the end of the programme," he says.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For many Northwestern students who have studied at SU since the programme's inception in 2005, it was more than just a study trip abroad. Northwestern alumna Kalindi Shah, who participated in the programme in 2012, has had time to reflect on her transformative time abroad. “With passionate, world-class faculty leading us, we dove headfirst into the rich, diverse experiences Stellenbosch had to offer—whether it was learning about Julius Malema during a lecture or developing a sexual health curriculum for an NGO," she remembers. “Altogether, it was a beautifully life-changing experience."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Building on the success of the undergraduate Public Health programme, Grynspan has since collaborated with Northwestern faculty and administrators across several disciplines to establish additional opportunities in South Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>MEDICAL, ENGINEERING AND EXCHANGE STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES ADDED</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2008, the Feinberg School of Medicine developed a <a href="http://globalhealth.northwestern.edu/education/affiliations/Stellenbosch_SA.html">medical student exchange with Stellenbosch University Medical School at Tygerberg Hospital</a>, Stellenbosch's affiliated teaching hospital. By June 2018, 99 fourth-year medical students will have completed four-to-six-week-long rotations in South Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, the two universities added an <a href="http://www.ipd.northwestern.edu/study-abroad/explore/africa/stellenbosch.html">undergraduate exchange program</a>me to provide students from both institutions the opportunity for a more immersive academic and cultural experience. So far, two SU students have spent one quarter each at Northwestern, and one Northwestern student has participated in the exchange in South Africa. To make the exchange programme accessible to all SU students, Northwestern covers the cost of room and board and health insurance.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This year, another undergraduate study abroad programme was added to the partnership: <a href="http://www.ipd.northwestern.edu/study-abroad/explore/africa/global-healthcare-technologies.html">Global Healthcare Technologies</a>. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The program allows engineering students to gain a hands-on, immersive experience by working directly with South Africans to design technologies to improve health outcomes," <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/abroad/our-staff.html">says Karey Fuhs from the Office of Undergraduate Learning Abroad</a>, who has overseen the programme since 2010 and assisted in transitioning the programme from the University of Cape Town. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Stellenbosch University is a great partner for this programme, given their strong engineering faculty, community and industry connections, international programs infrastructure, and our already existing strong relationship," she says.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This winter quarter, a total of 16 engineering students participated in this programme, developed jointly by Northwestern Biomedical Engineering Professors Matthew Glucksberg and David Kelso, and colleagues from South Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>NEW CONNECTIONS WITH STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">International partnerships provide a multitude of possibilities not just for students, but also for faculty and scholars. One such example is the three-and-a half-year, $1 million <a href="http://www.criticaltheory.northwestern.edu/mellon-project/">Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Northwestern</a> in 2016 to support new inter-university teaching cooperations in conjunction with a $1.5  million grant awarded by the Mellon Foundation to the University of California, Berkeley, to establish—in cooperation with  colleagues from a number of universities—the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP) .</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The purpose of the consortium is to internationalise critical theory," says <a href="http://www.english.northwestern.edu/people/faculty/evan-mwangi.html">Evan Mwangi, Associate Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African Studies at Northwestern</a>. “It is mainly to change how we do critical theory in the West, because critical theory is usually seen as Western philosophical thought, and we're trying to change that to include perspectives from the global south—Africa and Latin America."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With the first year of the ICCTP already underway, Northwestern is currently running several projects as part of the <a href="http://www.criticaltheory.northwestern.edu/mellon-project/critical-theory-in-the-global-south/">Critical Theory in the Global South Project</a>, involving Stellenbosch and several institutions around the world. One of these projects is the <a href="http://www.criticaltheory.northwestern.edu/mellon-project/critical-theory-in-the-global-south/indian-ocean-epistemologies.html">Indian Ocean Epistemologies</a>, led by Mwangi and his colleague Dr Tina Steiner, Professor of English at SU. The two are in charge of developing a course on Indian Ocean epistemologies, translating Xhosa travelogues to India into English, and publishing scholarly articles in a special issue of the <em>Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies</em> journal.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For Mwangi, Stellenbosch's geographic location and expertise in the field makes the university an excellent partner. By being able to spend time in South Africa this past March, Mwangi was able to immerse himself into the South African culture to better understand the Indian Ocean concept in all its facets. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“African culture is very oral," he says. “Many ideas and narratives about the Indian Ocean are communicated verbally through storytelling or folklore, without ever getting published. You have to go and have conversations with the African people and learn from them." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Bringing South African fellows and professors to Northwestern as part of the project also allows Northwestern students and researchers to get insights into different perspectives and a deeper understanding of the topic at their home campus. This past year, doctoral student Serah Namulisa Kasembeli from SU spent six months at Northwestern as part of the project, using Northwestern's rich Africana library collection to conduct research on African critical theory. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This type of reciprocal global relationship building is a continuous central effort of Northwestern University. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Increasing this type of exchange on all levels and across disciplines to internationalise the campus, the curriculum, and students and faculty is crucial for a global university of our caliber," says Grynspan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“As with most partnerships, we want to encourage faculty to go to South Africa to meet their counterparts and engage in collaborations," she says. “And we want to bring faculty and scholars here, as well."</p><p><em>Photo:</em><em>  </em><em>Stellenbosch University Prof Amanda Gouws (in the bakkie on the right) and scientist Prof David Bunn (in the bakkie on the left) took Northwestern University students on a </em><em>4-day excursion in the Kruger National Park in 2015. Bunn, who has worked in the Kruger National Park for many years of his career, gave lectures on the ecology, wild life and the history of the park in order to expose students to the natural surroundings of the animals living in the park. </em></p>
100 Artefacts to tell SU’s storyhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5631100 Artefacts to tell SU’s storyCorporate Communications Division<p></p><p> The Stellenbosch University Museum will soon host an exhibition, 100 Artefacts, in commemoration of the <a href="/100"><strong>Centenary year</strong></a> of Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>This exhibition aims to creatively narrate the stories of the University of the past 100 years.</p><p>Prof Matilda Burden, Senior Curator: Museum research, says the items on display will each have its own unique story to tell and is directly linked to the University.</p><p>“Although we are still looking for items, we have already received various interesting artefacts. The artefact might not tell one continuous story of the University, but each has a story that contributes to how we know the University today."</p><p>Some of the items already donated, includes a Feldmeyer iron used back in the day when the University had a Departement of Home Economics. The department was later known as Department of Consumer studies, but was phased out completely.<br></p><p>There is also a film camera, most probably dating from the 30's or even earlier, used by the renown 'Oom Pietie Le Roux' to record activities of the Stellenbosch Boereorkes. Le Roux started the orchestra in 1933 with members he recruited among SU students.</p><p>Prof Burden calls on the SU community to contact her should they have any items of interest to lend to the University for this exhibition.</p><p>It is not only items from bygone days that will be part of the exhibition, but also items from our recent past. Burden is especially looking for items from residences or items used at protest actions at the past few years.</p><p>“There might be someone who still has a t-shirt of Open Stellenbosch or a poster that was used at the #FeesMustFall protest. These items can all make a contribution to the story we want to tell.</p><p>The exhibition will be on show for about two years at the University Museum and all items will be given back to the owners.</p><ul><li>For more information, please contact Prof Burden at <a href="mailto:mb4@sun.ac.za">mb4@sun.ac.za</a></li><li>Visit <a href="/100">www.sun.ac.za/100</a> for more about SU's Centenary Year<br><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Quo Vadis democracy? http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5145Quo Vadis democracy? Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>In 1994, South Africans welcomed democracy with open arms. But today this embrace doesn't seem to be as tight as we would like it to be. <br></p><p>“It appears that we aren't quite so sure what to make of our democracy," says Dr Cindy Steenekamp, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University.</p><p>In a recent study, Steenekamp, for the first time, mapped the characteristics of a democracy community in South Africa by looking at people's commitment to democratic values, and their support for the country's democratic regime and political authorities. Her research question related specifically to the persistence of democracy and how this has been impacted by the political attitudes and behaviour of South Africans since 1994.</p><p>The findings of Steenekamp's study was published in the <em>Taiwan Journal of Democracy</em>.</p><p>She analysed data from the last four waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) conducted in South Africa between 1995 and 2013 to measure the level of political culture in the country, the support for the democratic regime and the political process, as well as the level of institutional trust in political parties, government, and parliament. The WVS is a valuable worldwide network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life over time. During each of the four periods, face-to-face interviews were held with representative samples of adult South Africans in urban and rural areas in their preferred language. </p><p>Steenekamp says the analysis of this data revealed that while there is support for democratic rule and the current political system, support for authoritarianism has increased and confidence in government institutions has decreased.</p><p>“On the one hand, support for democratic rule is fairly high, despite a sharp decline between 2006 and 2013, and higher than support for authoritarian rule. Support for the current political system is steadily increasing." </p><p>“At the same time, however, support for authoritarianism has more than doubled since 1995 and is nearing the 50 percent threshold and confidence in governmental institutions is decreasing and, in 2013, dropped below 50 percent for the first time since transition."</p><p>“The fact that the gap between support for democratic rule and authoritarian rule has narrowed from 71.3 percent in 1995 to 25.2 percent in 2013, does not bode well for the persistence of a democratic community in South Africa."</p><p>Steenekamp<strong> </strong>adds that confidence in various governmental institutions, such as political parties, parliament, and the government, decreased by more than 20 percent between 1995 and 2013.</p><p>She also notes that data showed a decline in South Africans' positive attitude toward law-abidingness, despite the fact that they generally condemn unconventional forms of political behaviour such as protest action and the use of force to gain political goods.</p><p>Steenekamp says there could be different reasons for these contradictory results.</p><p>“One could argue that commitment to democracy has not become fully entrenched in our value system as a result of the socio-economic reality that plagues the country. Although the black middle class has grown since 1994, the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality remain."</p><p>“Despite the provision of basic infrastructure and social welfare, the majority of South</p><p>Africans are yet to substantially improve their living standards."</p><p>“Also the changing nature of party politics, especially within the ANC, and rampant political corruption are likely responsible for South Africans' loss of confidence in the state and political leaders. The increase in unconventional political behaviour (i.e., protest action, in response to poor service delivery) is a direct result of citizen dissatisfaction with the state."</p><p>According to Steenekamp, the levels of discontent and civil disobedience could become the dominant political resource used by the people to mobilize public opinion and influence policy makers. </p><p>“Protest action has a negative effect on the persistence of a democratic community and culture once it becomes violent." </p><p>She adds that we should not forget that, unlike an authoritarian regime, a democratic government like ours needs the support of its citizens to maintain its legitimacy.</p><p>Steenekamp highlights the importance of a political culture that is conducive to democracy and says “democratic institutions alone will not keep our democracy stable and effective."</p><p><strong><em>Reference</em></strong><em>: </em>Steenekamp, C (2013). Democratic Political Community in South Africa Elusive or Not? <em>Taiwan Journal of Democracy</em>. Volume 13, No. 1, July 2017.</p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Cindy Steenekamp </p><p>Department of Political Science</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 2115</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:cindylee@sun.ac.za">cindylee@sun.ac.za</a> </p><p><strong>              </strong><strong>OR</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen<br></p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a><br></p><p><br></p>