Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch



International collaborations reap fruits for SU and its partners 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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">Critical Theory in the Global South Project</a>, involving Stellenbosch and several institutions around the world. One of these projects is the <a href="">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>
Transformation Committee’s walkabout helps participants experience the world through others’ eyes Committee’s walkabout helps participants experience the world through others’ eyesLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">​A walkabout by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' Transformation Committee is just one way that this committee plans to foster transformation in their environment by understanding how others experience the world. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to the Chair of the committee, Dr Ubanesia Adams-Jack, the idea of a walkabout was raised by a colleague with a disability who wanted to illustrate how hard it still was to access various spaces on campus. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Following the suggestion, Adams-Jack approached Facilities Management, who sent a number of key staff members to accompany the committee members, including the Dean of the faculty, Prof Anthony Leysens, and the Chair of the Ancient Studies Department, Prof AnnemaréKotze.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I was actually shocked to discover that most of our disabled students and colleagues are not able to access the bathroom on the ground floor of the BA building due to the way the card access and the entrance to the bathroom itself was set up. It actually hinders the easy movement of persons in a wheelchair for example," said Adams-Jack. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The committee also learnt that many of the safety doors in the faculty did not open properly to allow easy access for those in wheelchairs and that shallow gutters that facilitated the flow of rainwater to prevent it from accumulating in one space, were also a challenge to cross for those who are wheelchair bound. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Transformation is about people, places and spaces and looking at the accessibility of spaces, in particular for those with disabilities, is part of transforming our university space." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The group also discovered that the tiled surfaces on the second floor of the faculty building was quite slippery and made it hard to move for those with physical disabilities. Thanks to Facilities Management, the surface was sprayed with an adhesive that prevents slippage making it more user friendly for those in wheelchairs too. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It was also obvious that many physically disabled individuals have to cover longer distances to get to the same places that able bodied persons needed to get to," she added. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This is because many shortcuts on campus were not accessible to the physically disabled. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It was important for us to participate in this walkabout because it made us more aware of how other people experience the world and transformation is after all about understanding how others experience the world. My vision for the transformation committee is to build amicable relationships between students, staff and their students, and between different staff. At the end of the day, when are at peace with each other, it changes how we interact and treat each other too. I think the most powerful thing about transformation, is the ability to truly see each other."  </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: The following persons participated in the walkabout of the Transformation Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' recently. In the front from the left are Mr Dan Prata, Mr Malan Oosthuizen and Mr Trevor Hoeben, all from Facilities Management; and Mr</em><em> </em><em>Bongani Mapumulo (in the wheelchair), a Stellenbosch University student and Chair of Dis-Maties. At the back from the left are</em><em> </em><em>Mr Phumlani Mathebula and Mr Louis Fincham, both from Facilities Management;</em><em> </em><em>Prof Annemaré Kotze</em><em>, Chair of the Ancient Studies Department; Ms</em><em> </em><em>Lizelle Ferus of the Office for Students with Disabilities, Dr Ubanesia Adams-Jack, the Chair of the faculty's Transformation Committee, and the</em><em> </em><em>Dean of the faculty, Prof Anthony Leysens.​</em></p>
SU researchers contribute to international book on science communication researchers contribute to international book on science communication Corporate Communication & Marketing/ Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking<p>Two Stellenbosch University (SU) academics Drs Bankole Falade and Marina Joubert from the <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology</strong></a> (CREST) are co-authors on two chapters in a new book on science communication released on Monday 14 September (to be launched online on Tuesday 15 September). Falade and Joubert are also part of the <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>SA Research Chair in Science Communication</strong></span></a> hosted at SU.</p><p>Entitled <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">'Communicating Science. A global perspective'</strong></a>, the book describes how public science communication has developed around the world. Comprising 40 chapters by 108 authors, it covers several diverse regions (39 countries) and cultures: advanced nations of Europe, Asia and the Americas, as well as emerging economies like Russia, Jamaica, Estonia, Iran and Pakistan. </p><p>The Nigerian chapter was written by Falade, Herbert Batta (University of Uyo) and Diran Onifade, well known for his work in television, while Joubert and Shadrack Mkansi (South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement) co-authored the chapter on South Africa.<br></p><p>The Nigerian chapter highlights the role of science communication in overcoming the many developmental challenges facing Nigeria in agriculture, health, industry and environment. “Nigeria is a developing economy faced with high levels of religious beliefs that may be antithetical to the spread of scientific ideas," says Falade, adding that “we need the support of governments, religious leaders, science associations and academics, institutes and civil society groups if science is to be a critical force for good." Together with Batta and Onifade, he calls for debates on reducing the cost of treatment for malaria, HIV/AIDs and other diseases. This means facing up to established practices in the pharmaceutical industry and laws that protect them. <br></p><p>The chapter on South Africa outlines not only how science communication has been shaped by the country's turbulent past, but also how the science communication landscape has transformed since democracy. It recognises some pioneers of science communication in South Africa and reflects on how research institutions make science more accessible to society. In the current context, the importance of indigenous knowledge systems is recognised, alongside the need to combat pseudoscience. <br></p><p>“Science communication in South Africa has come a long way and is increasingly recognised as a core part of the responsibility of scientists and research organisations, as well as an important research field", says Joubert. “However, we have to face and overcome many more challenges in nurturing a culture of science and scientific dialogue amongst South Africans, with many of these challenges related to making science communication more inclusive and diverse."<br></p><p><strong>“</strong><em><strong>Communicating Science. A Global Perspective</strong></em><strong>"</strong> is available for free download at ANU Press from September 14, 2020: <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></strong></a> (hard copies will be printed on demand). The online book launch takes place on Tuesday 15 September, via Zoom, at 1-2 pm London UK time (or midday UTC/GMT). Register at: <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></strong></a>. The launch features five authors telling the story of their countries or regions: the USA, Pakistan, Australia, East Africa and Russia.</p><ul><li>Liaise with Drs Bankole Falade (<a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></strong></a>) and  Marina Joubert (<a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></strong></a>) for more information.</li></ul><p> </p><p> <br></p><p><br></p>
#WomenofSU – Focus on Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela – Focus on Prof Pumla Gobodo-MadikizelaCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Award-winning author and eminent scholar, Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Research Chair in Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University (SU), has conducted ground-breaking research on trauma, memory, reconciliation and forgiveness and established herself as a leading expert on these topics. Not surprisingly, Gobodo-Madikizela has also been rated by the National Research Foundation as a researcher who enjoys considerable international recognition by her peers.<br></p><p>As part of Women's Month celebrations at SU, the Corporate Communication Division spoke to Gobodo-Madikizela about her research.<br></p><p><strong>​You have written quite a lot on trauma, memory and forgiveness. Can you tell us more about your area of research?</strong><br></p><p>After completing my Ph.D., my research was focused on questions around themes of remorse, empathy and forgiveness. This work has led me to exploring the role of dialogue when victims, perpetrators and beneficiaries of gross human rights abuses have to live together in one country, and sometimes as neighbours. Recently I have expanded this work to explore the concept of empathy more deeply by engaging a perspective that takes as its starting point the embodied African phenomenon of inimba <span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"> </span><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">̶</span><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">  </span>a Xhosa word that loosely translated means “umbilical cord" <span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"> </span><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">̶</span><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">  </span>and integrating it with the relational and psychoanalytic concept of intersubjectivity. The goal is to find a richer, deeper and more complex understanding of empathy that takes into account an African knowledge archive. <br></p><p><strong>Why or how did you become interested in this specific area of research?</strong></p><p>My interest in this work developed when I served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee. My first direct encounter with the trauma of violence was through work with human rights lawyers who were defending young anti-apartheid activists who had committed “necklace murders." I witnessed victims' expression of forgiveness for acts that were considered unforgiveable in established works such as that of German-born American political philosopher Hannah Arendt. In all the studies I read during my stay at Harvard University, there was no discussion of forgiveness, and very little – if anything – on remorse. When the TRC process was proving the experts wrong that the “banality of evil", to use Arendt's words, can be forgiven, I changed the focus of my PhD to do research on the theme of forgiveness. My goal was not so much to “promote" forgiveness as such, but rather to contribute to what seemed to me to be a new canon of knowledge regarding what's possible in the aftermath of the historical trauma of mass violence. <br></p><p><strong>What do you enjoy most about being a researcher?</strong></p><p>I enjoy it to constantly ask the question of relevance about well-established works and to explore new avenues of inquiry. <br></p><p><strong>What does success mean to you?</strong></p><p>I very rarely—if ever—think of myself in terms of “success." I feel challenged every day to do more, to do better. But there have been moments in my career when I have felt a deep sense of appreciation for the recognition that my work has received. Three moments of recognition stand out: Being awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Award in 2007 and receiving the Christopher Award in New York in 2003 for my book <em>A Human Being Died that Night: A Story of Forgiveness</em>. It was wonderful to be honoured at home for this book the following year with the Alan Paton Award. Receiving the Social Change Award from Rhodes University in 2010 was another heart-warming recognition. Of course, one feels some sense of joy, but I always feel these are gifts, I cannot take it for granted, because a lot of works still has to be done, in terms of mentoring young researchers, and continuing being an engaged citizen and scholar in our troubled country.  </p><p><strong>Can you name three people in history whom you admire?</strong></p><p>The three who stand out for me are <strong>Noor Inayat Khan</strong>, <strong>Rosa Parks</strong> and <strong>Beyers Naudé</strong>. I read about<strong> Noor Inayat Khan</strong> for the first time in the private and enclosed section of our school library (at Inanda Seminary, a private school for African girls during the apartheid years) where books banned by the South African government were kept. She was a pacifist sent to Nazi-occupied France as a British spy working with the French Resistance during World War II. She was later captured and sent to the death camp Dachau just before the end of the war. Reportedly, her last words when she was executed were “Liberté!" </p><p>I admire <strong>Rosa Parks</strong> for her courage in the American civil rights movement and<strong> Beyers Naudé</strong> for his indomitable spirit, and disrupting the apartheid bubble. When I wrote my first book, his story was a great inspiration for my reflections on how individual and collective conscience can be silenced – and how it may be awakened.  </p><p><strong>Do you have any message for the next generation of women researchers?</strong></p><p>Do not be afraid to venture into uncharted territory. The long-term value of your research engagement is its capacity to explore new avenues of inquiry. Strive to engage in research that is socially relevant. Work hard, read, engage in debates with your colleagues and keep your grades high.<br></p><p><br></p>
PhD candidate's first poetry collection published 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=""></a> or Busuku-Mathese at <a href=""></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>
VAP Talk: Decolonising Art Institutions Talk: Decolonising Art InstitutionsFrancois Tredoux<p>​<strong>"Decolonising Art Institutions"</strong></p><p>by Nkule Mabaso</p><p><strong>Bio</strong></p><p>Nkule Mabaso (b.1988) currently works as curator of the Michaelis Galleries at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. She graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Cape Town and received a Masters in Curating at the Zurich University of the Arts. She is the founder of the Newcastle Creative Network in Kwazulu Natal (since 2011).</p><p><strong>Abstract: </strong>Decolonising Art Institutions</p><p>The Michaelis Galleries is working on a programme of films, photographs, media based works and discussions around the issues of decolonization, and the scopic regime.</p><p>"'Africa' has been consistently (re)produced and enacted across a wide range of cultural sites. Just as Frantz Fanon once described the racialisation of subjectivity in late colonial Algeria as being 'fixed by a dye', the performance of 'Africa' through various technologies of observation, reproduction and display has been remarkably consistent and enduring.</p><p>In this sense it is important to consider how this 'Africa' has been enacted, circulated and consumed historically through performance (Ebron 2000) and how these historical encounters create the place of Africa in the world. The 'Africa' that the world imagines (often through dystopic images) is always a thing of illusion, magic and contradiction but the performance of this construct and the meanings attached to it has particular temporalities."</p><p style="text-align:right;">(Campbell and Power 2008)</p><p>How have we taken ownership of the ideological space that "Africa" occupies in the popular imagination in the face of the complexities of and representing a new decolonised reality? How have we / are we realising our contemporary moments and the self-definition of the continent? Youthful and contemporary artistic standpoints confront the perpetuation of colonialism, neocolonialism, and so on – on film and photography, but also digital media and the internet.</p><p>Through this programme we consider a range of visual practices that have contributed to the enactment of "Africa" through the technologies associated with cinema, photography and digital media and computer games. The exhibition will be accompanied by discussions.<br></p><p><br></p>
TRU to establish a democracy research node 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>
Robins memoir one of five on Sunday Times Alan Paton Award shortlist memoir one of five on Sunday Times Alan Paton Award shortlistLynne Rippenaar-Moses<span><p style="text-align:justify;">Social anthropologist and Stellenbosch University academic Prof Steven Robins' memoir, <em>Letters of Stone</em>, has been nominated as one of five books to make the Sunday Times shortlist for the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for 2017. The award is presented in association with Porcupine Ridge. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through <em>Letters of Stone, </em>Robins, who lecturers in the Sociology and Social Anthropology Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, chronicles his family's desperate attempt to escape Nazi Germany and the concentration camps which led to the deaths of millions of Jews. Sparked by a single photograph of his grandmother, Cecilie, and his aunts, Edith and Hildegard, displayed in his family home, he provides a deeply personal and painful reflection of the true horror and extent of the Nazis' racial policies against Jews. Read the full story about Robins' memoir <a href="">here</a>. <br><br>"I am really pleased and honoured to be shortlisted. Writing such a personal book was very important for me and for my wider family. Being recognised by the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for the book is a wonderful bonus," said Robins. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The winner of the award will be announced on Saturday, 24 June, and will receive a R100 000 prize.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to a statement by Pippa Green, Chairwoman of the judging panel, the initial long list, which consisted of 26 books, included "a number of memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, which tell the stories of intimate family relationships against a backdrop of the huge historical forces that have swept the last century". The other members of the judging panel include Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, an<strong> </strong>adviser to the principal and vice-chancellor at the University of Pretoria and an extraordinary professor at the University of South Africa; and Judge Johann Kriegler, a former Constitutional Court judge.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This year marks the 28th year that the Alan Paton Award will be bestowed on a book that presents "the illumination of truthfulness, especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power", and that demonstrates "compassion, elegance of writing, and intellectual and moral integrity" read the statement released by the Sunday Times.</p><p>"The shortlist reflects a diverse range of subjects and historical eras: from human origins to the Marikana of just three years ago, from CapeTown today to wartime Berlin," said the Sunday Times. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The four other books that made the short list are <em>Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard: Life Among the Stowaways</em> by Sean Christie, <em>Darwin's Hunch: Science, Race, and the Search for Human Origins</em> by Christa Kuljian, <em>Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of The Marikana Massacre</em> by Greg Marinovich, and <em>My Own Liberator</em> by Dikgang Moseneke.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"These books raise critical questions about our past, present and future," says Green. "The big question being asked is, who are we?"<em><br><br>Photo: Prof Steven Robins with his memoir, </em>Letters of Stone, <em>that has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. (Lauren E.H. Muller)</em></p></span>
SU academics visits Malawi to host writing workshop academics visits Malawi to host writing workshopCorporate Marketing/Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>​There is a commonly-cited adage in academia, "publish or perish". Although an exaggeration, the phrase encapsulates a reality of contemporary research: publishing one's research – particularly in journals – is a cornerstone of a successful career. Further, as money, time, and effort go into conducting research, it is the responsibility of the academic to ensure that as many people as possible find out about what this work reveals.</p><p>Being published, however, is easier said than done: writers' block, submission deadlines, and challenging peer-reviews are but a few of the hurdles which lead papers-in-the-making to falter and fade away. In countries only recently beginning to contribute to the international academy, the ill-effects of these barriers are amplified. To ensure that global Southern views and news can enter the global academic space, there is an urgent need to cultivate understanding around publishing on the continent. </p><p>This October, Professor Leslie Swartz of the Psychology Department, and Masters student Xanthe Hunt, visited Zomba, Malawi, to address just such a need.  The visit was funded partly by the Doctoral Capacity Development Programme at the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) at Stellenbosch University International, and was conducted under the auspices of the partnership agreement between Stellenbosch University and University of Malawi</p><p>A two-and-a-half day writing workshop was convened by Swartz, in collaboration with Professor Blessings Chinsinga of the Centre for Social Research at University of Malawi, and Professor Alister Munthali, and was attended by 14 academics from various departments at the University of Malawi. The group consisted of early career researchers, as well as seasoned academics, and had representatives from numerous fields, including political science, theology, library and information sciences, and anthropology.  Prof Chiwoza Bandawe, outgoing editor of the Malawi Medical Journal, and former Head of the Department of Mental Health at University of Malawi was also in attendance on the final day.</p><p>The first day saw Swartz, who is on the editorial board of a number of prominent academic publications and is the editor in chief of the African Journal of Disability, introduce the group to the principles and purpose of academic publishing. This was followed by an interactive afternoon session, during which Swartz and Hunt worked with the attendees on their own.</p><p>Swartz, who has been conducting such trainings in South Africa and other African countries for some years highlighted the importance of working with attendees on their own manuscripts during such trainings.  </p><p>"The best learning in this context comes from engagement with the actual experience of writing and especially in dealing with reviewer comments, which are often phrased in dismissive and unflattering terms.  Sharing struggles around writing, using actual examples, helps to minimize anxiety and avoidance of the process," explained Swartz.  </p><p>Swartz also noted that emphasizing interaction – and asking attendees to determine their own priorities for writing workshops – ensures that the sessions are relevant, and make the most of the time available. </p><p>In line with this, the second day involved a presentation by Hunt on the mechanics of writing a manuscript, which was followed by a feedback session from the group. They requested that the remaining time be allocated to a "crash course" on thematic analysis (TA). TA is widely employed in the social sciences as a qualitative research methodology, and involves analysing textual data (words from research subjects, in the form of interview transcripts, for instance). The course then concluded on the third day with a research methods session by Hunt, who is currently employing TA within her thesis. </p><p>Research methods are the building blocks from which good research is built; good writing puts polish on the finished product, and helps to ensure its dissemination. </p><p>"In the future, it will be important for workshops such as this one to incorporate day-long sessions on every step of the research process, <em>as well as</em> the presentation process," said Hunt, adding that short workshops are important in order to stimulate discussion around priority areas for future workshops. </p><p>The Malawian contingent have expressed their interest in a second, more detailed workshop, and Swartz says that he is optimistic about the prospect of piloting such an expanded agenda in Malawi.</p><p>"The quality of the research being conducted here is high," he concluded, "and I look forward to a continued collaboration with this engaged and engaging group."</p>
Mapping science communication research over more than three decades science communication research over more than three decadesJournal of Science Communication & Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Over the past year, two researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) have generated a "world map of science communication research", based on the broadest bibliographical analysis of global science communication research outputs to date, shedding new light on current trends in the field. They have also provided very valuable recommendations for increasing diversity and representation of developing countries, which – unfortunately – are still considerably under-represented.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Their work has been <a href="">published</a> in the Journal of Science Communication (JCOM), an open access journal on science communication published by Sissa Medialab in Italy.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This milestone contribution to the field comes from two researchers linked to the South African Research Chair in Science Communication, hosted at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST). The study was carried out by Dr Lars Guenther, a postdoctoral fellow and Marina Joubert, a science communication researcher.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Our aim was to determine patterns and trends concerning the authors, institutions and countries that are actively contributing to scholarship in this emerging field of research, in order to highlight areas in need of attention", say Guenther and Joubert.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Research in the field of science communication started emerging about 50 years ago and has since then matured as a field of academic enquiry. According to the researchers, early findings about research-active authors and countries reveal that scholarly activity in the field has traditionally been dominated by male authors from English-speaking countries in the West. Their study encompasses a systematic, bibliographic analysis of a full sample of research papers that were published in the three most prominent journals in the field from 1979 to 2016. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Our findings reveal that early inequities remain prevalent, but also that there are indications that recent increases in research outputs and trends in authorship patterns — for example the growth in female authorship — are beginning to correct some of these imbalances," the researchers say. <br><br>"Furthermore, the current study verifies earlier indications that science communication research is becoming increasingly institutionalised and internationalised, as demonstrated by an upward trend in papers reflecting cross-institutional collaboration and the diversity of countries where authors are based."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet, even with these positive findings, the researchers concur, diversity in the field is still lacking with a striking majority of research contributions made to the three main journals in the field – <em>Science Communication, Public Understanding of Science</em> and <em>JCOM</em> – originating from the USA, UK and Australia, and continents like Asia, Africa and South America still considerably under-represented.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Although publications in general have increased over time in all three journals, suggesting that "science communication is maturing as a field of scholarly activity", it is interesting to notice that out of a total of 2 680 unique authors who contributed to published research in the study, the vast majority of them (82.3%) published only once in the main journals of the field. Furthermore, "the fact that only 28 researchers published six or more articles (over the entire period since 1979 and in all three journals combined) is perhaps an indication that there are still relatively few research leaders in the field". Most of the articles (74%) were written by only one or two authors, and it is rare to find research teams presenting joint research papers (only 5% of all research outputs were authored by five or more authors).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">An extremely useful suggestion raised by the authors to address the issue of some countries overshadowing the contributions of others is that, "(…) instead of calling for research papers from developing country authors, a more effective way of stimulating diversity in research authorship would be to encourage collaborative research that would include researchers in developing countries from the outset of multi-country research projects". <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The South African Research Chair in Science Communication is supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Dr Lars Guenther and Ms Marina Joubert have managed to map science communication research over more than three decades</em></p>