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Is the lockdown authoritarian creep or ‘proportionate response’?https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7326Is the lockdown authoritarian creep or ‘proportionate response’?Steven Robins<p>​Is the lockdown an authoritarian creep or a 'proportionate response' to the COVID-19 pandemic? This is the question Prof Steven Robins from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology tried to answer in an opinion piece published by Daily Maverick on Monday (4 May).<br></p><ul><li>Click <a href="https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-05-04-is-the-lockdown-authoritarian-creep-or-proportionate-response/"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>here</strong></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>to read the article.<br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Denis Goldberg “Life is Wonderful” (A tribute) https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7300Denis Goldberg “Life is Wonderful” (A tribute) Fiona Grayer <p><strong>​​Denis Goldberg “Life is Wonderful"</strong></p><p>(11 April 1933 – 29 April 2020)<br></p><p><em>Tribute by the Department of Music / Konservatorium.</em><br></p><p></p><p>Denis Goldberg, humanist, freedom fighter, anti-apartheid activist, high command <em>uMkhonto we Sizwe</em>, political prisoner, tireless social campaigner and one of the two last surviving Rivonia trialists has died after a protracted battle with lung cancer. He was 87. </p><p>​Born in Cape Town in 1933, Goldberg grew up in a home committed to fighting apartheid. His parents, Annie and Sam Goldberg, were both born in London, the children of Lithuanian Jews who emigrated to England in the latter half of the 19th century. While a student at the University of Cape Town studying civil engineering, Goldberg joined the Modern Youth Society in 1953. He was involved with the Congress of the People and the shaping of the Freedom Charter in 1954/55, and was detained under the State of Emergency for four months in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre. Goldberg joined the ANC's armed wing <em>uMkhonto weSizwe</em> and on 11 July 1963, was arrested at Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, Johannesburg. At the age of 31, he was the youngest man in the dock during the Rivonia Trial. Other defendants included Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu  Govan Mbeki, Elias Motsoaledi, Ahmed Kathrada, James Kantor, Lionel (Rusty) Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, Bob Hepple and Andrew Mlangeni. All the men, except Bernstein and Kantor, were charged and found guilty under the Sabotage Act with conspiracy to overthrow the state and other charges. </p><p>On 12 June 1964 when the judge sentenced Denis and his comrades to four terms of life imprisonment instead of execution, Denis called out to his anxious mother with a smile on his face “It's life, and life is wonderful." Goldberg spent 22 years of his life in prison before he was released on 28 February 1985.</p><p>After his release he went into exile in London where he joined his family. In London he resumed his work for the ANC in its London office from 1985 to 1994. He was a spokesperson for the ANC and also represented it at the Anti-Apartheid Committee of the United Nations. For many years, Goldberg travelled abroad extensively to speak about South Africa and the work needed to transform it.</p><p>In 1988 a large group of USA organisations presented Goldberg with the Albert Luthuli African Peace Award in recognition of his work against apartheid. On the first anniversary of South Africa's first democratic election, Goldberg founded Community H.E.A.R.T. (Health Education And Reconstruction Training), a London-based charity that has raised millions of rands for the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust and to date, it has donated more than three million books for children, among other things. Several other recognitions and awards followed and in 2019, the African National Congress bestowed its highest order, the <em>Isithwalandwe / Seaparankoe</em> award, on Denis Goldberg. President Cyril Ramaphosa, in bestowing this honour on Goldberg and several others said: “Their contribution to the struggle for humane social relations must continue to guide and inspire our actions. The literal translation of <em>Isithwalandwe</em>, “are the ones who wear the plumes of the rare bird", and have shown themselves to be among the bravest warriors of our people in pursuit of social justice."</p><p>In 2016, Stellenbosch University honoured Denis Goldberg at the 13th Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF), where <em>Moments in a Life</em>, a work commissioned by the SICMF, composed by Matthijs van Dijk, and performed with Goldberg reading his own autobiographical text, had an emotionally stirring world premiere in the Endler Hall. The text of Van Dijk's work, was extracted from Goldberg's autobiography, <em>A life for freedom – The mission to end racism in South Africa</em>, with stories of various pivotal moments in Goldberg's life. With regard to his musical treatment of Goldberg's text, Van Dijk said: “Because the stories deal with a period from 1939 to the present day, I opted to use a very eclectic musical style, encompassing ideas that range from the cinematic to very banal 1980s glam rock/hair metal, combined with snippets of club music, representing the artificial 'theatricism' and perversity of the media circus surrounding the Rivonia Trial, as well as 'free jazz' and minimalist ideas in the prison years to convey a feeling of confinement." (The full performance of this work can be viewed on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPqa18xPmZc&fbclid">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPqa18xPmZc&fbclid</a>) </p><p>In an interview with Mark Gevisser before the concert, Goldberg shared his thoughts on the importance of music and how it shaped his life. He mentioned that his own obsessive love for music was not interrupted during his 22 years in prison. “Me and my inmates were allowed to purchase a long playing record every second month and during that time we had a collection of more than 800 – mainly classical, but also jazz and later African music, including penny-whistle recordings. A record player and amplifier was kept in a warden's office and we listened to those recordings on Sunday evenings," Goldberg said. These activities served to strengthen his love of music and his quest for freedom – not necessarily his own, but that of South Africa and its people.</p><p>Denis Goldberg has devoted his time and energy to social projects of all kinds and specifically, over the past few years, to setting up the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust. This Trust is committed to creating the House of Hope, a centre in his home town of Hout Bay, which will facilitate the building of cultural and social bridges through Art and Culture of all types. It is intended to be a home for the many creative projects around Cape Town and the broader peninsula. Painting, drawing, drama, writing and language skills in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa will be the core explorations. IT literacy and computer skills will also be a vital part of the centre. Besides various studios for the projects, the House of Hope will see the creation of a world class performance space with a state of the art recording studio, putting it on par with similar institutions around the world, providing young and aspiring South African artists with a platform for international collaboration. Experience has shown how, even in a severely historically divided society such as that of South Africa, people – especially children and youth – come together through music, singing, and dance of all kinds. To show its support for the initiative, the Western Cape provincial government offered the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust a 99-year lease of the site, in Andrews Road, Hout Bay, which houses the Hout Bay Museum. In September 2018, the Trust signed the lease agreement with the Museum Board of Trustees and on 13 February 2020, Denis Goldberg attended the first intercultural event hosted on the new site where the House of Hope will be built.</p><p>After years of activism, Denis Goldberg said that the connections that can be made through music and art feel more important than ever to him. “People matter," he says, “I feel the whole point of being in politics is about people. For me it's not about power." </p><p>Young people will also gain knowledge and understanding of South Africa and its history through exposure to the Denis Goldberg gallery as well as the museum. The gallery will house both the art collection which Denis has built up over many years and which represents many spheres of South African society as seen through his eyes; and a permanent exhibition depicting Denis Goldberg's life and contribution to a democratic South Africa.</p><p>Denis Goldberg is remembered with warmth, affection and gratitude as a humble and compassionate mensch who gave his life in pursuit of freedom and human rights for the common man and who dedicated himself to the service of humanity. An extraordinary and courageous freedom fighter who lived to see the fulfilment of the mission of his generation of achieving political liberation and putting in place good foundations for a democratically governed South Africa.</p><p>Rest in peace Denis Goldberg (11 April 1933 – 29 April 2020)<br></p><ul><li><em><strong>Article by Fiona Grayer, </strong><strong>Artistic Manager of the Department of Music, Stellenbosch University </strong></em></li><li><em></em><em></em><i><strong>Photo:  Stellenbosch University honoured Denis Goldberg at the 13th Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in 2016. </strong><br></i><br></li></ul><p>​<br><br></p>
Fourth graduation ceremony: 114 PhDs in 8 years for the Graduate School of Arts and Social Scienceshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5545Fourth graduation ceremony: 114 PhDs in 8 years for the Graduate School of Arts and Social SciencesCorporate Communications Division<p>The graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) today (22 March 2018) marked two milestones: The Faculty's Graduate School has awarded more than 100 PhDs, and this in the Faculty's centenary year, which it is commemorating alongside the University as a whole as one of its original four faculties.<br></p><p>At this ceremony, 605 students graduated (a total of 1591 students including those of Dec 2017), while honorary doctorates were also bestowed upon two esteemed thought-leaders Mr Max du Preez and Ms Sandra Prinsloo. <br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PRWN5_PWvwg" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XK9auZU-P_Y" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, said in a welcoming address: “As we commemorate our Centenary this year, we celebrate great achievements and ground-breaking discoveries the past 100 years. We acknowledge everyone who helped to mould this institution. At the same time, the University has acknowledged its contribution to the injustices of the past and committed itself to redress and development."</p><p>“By the end of this week's graduation ceremonies, and following those of December 2017, we will again have awarded a record number of qualifications for a single academic year – 9 032 qualifications in total, including 1 620 master's degrees and 305 PhDs. These are phenomenal numbers! Clearly, Stellenbosch University is making an invaluable contribution as a national asset."</p><p>De Villiers said that the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a wide academic offering. He also pointed to the pioneering work being done by the Faculty's Graduate School for full-time doctoral studies.</p><p>“In our Centenary year, the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences in this Faculty is celebrating the milestone of having produced more than 100 PhD graduates (114 to be exact) since 2010, most of whom now work as researchers and academics at higher education institutions across our continent, thereby helping to stem the so-called 'brain drain' from Africa." <br></p><p>As part of SU's centenary commemoration, 13 honorary doctorates will be awarded during the week. At this ceremony, the two recipients were Max du Preez, “a principled and uncompromising journalist and independent commentator", and Sandra Prinsloo, “a legendary actress, director and cultural activist". They delivered brief speeches.<br></p><p>Du Preez said: "It is a special honour to receive this award, especially because it is my alma mater and the University's centenary. It is rare that brave journalists be honoured."</p><p>He added that he is proud of the investigative journalists, but is a bit concerned about some Afrikaans newspapers that got stuck in s Mandela euphoria while other present issues are not addressed.</p><p>Prinsloo said: "This is the biggest award that I have ever received. Especially coming from an institution that strives for multilingualism and multiculturalism." </p><p>She jokingly added that she can now tell Dr John Kani that she is" “Doctor" Prinsloo.  <br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/WhatsApp%20Image%202018-03-22%20at%2009.25.21.jpeg" alt="WhatsApp Image 2018-03-22 at 09.25.21.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:243px;height:318px;" /></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/WhatsApp%20Image%202018-03-22%20at%2009.50.00.jpeg" alt="WhatsApp Image 2018-03-22 at 09.50.00.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:265px;height:197px;" /><br></p><p>For the Rector's speech, click <a href="/english/Documents/Graduation/SpeechToespr%204Voorsitter%20Mrt%202018%20-%20LSW.pdf"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4"><strong>here. </strong></span></a><br></p><p>For more on the Honorary Doctorates click <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5448"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4"><strong>here. </strong></span></a> <br><br></p><p><br></p>
SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershiphttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7905SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershipCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​<br></p><p style="text-align:left;">Stellenbosch University (SU) has honoured the late Ms Rachel Kachaje, who passed away earlier this year, with an honorary doctorate.  The degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>posthumous honoris causa</em>, was awarded to her for her creative and visionary leadership in elevating the debate on disability to regional and global platforms.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Her husband Gibson accepted the award on behalf of the family at a small physical graduation ceremony for doctoral graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences held at SU's Endler Hall in the <em>Konservatorium</em> on Monday 14 December 2020.</p><p style="text-align:left;">During the ceremony, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers said that Kachaje's “effectiveness in disability advocacy" did not go unnoticed and that the University “salutes her extraordinary work" in advocating for the full inclusion of people with disabilities at local, regional and international level.<br></p><p style="text-align:left;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" alt="HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje was a disability activist for over 25 years, advocating for equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities in Malawi, the African region and internationally. She challenged the prejudiced notions of disability and was known for her ability to inspire young people with disabilities, for her embodiment of the values of compassion, respect, excellence, accountability and equity," said De Villiers.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Kachaje, who became disabled at the age of three due to a polio outbreak, was working for the National Bank of Malawi when she first joined the disability movement in Malawi. She co-founded the Federation of Disability Organisations' (FEDOMA) in the 1990s and represented it in the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD).</p><p style="text-align:left;">In addition, Ms Kachaje was a board member of the Africa Disability Alliance and the EquitAble Project at Trinity College and Stellenbosch University, co-founder of Disabled Women in Development, commissioner of the National AIDS Commission and secretary of the African Disability Forum Board, to name just some of her leadership roles.</p><p style="text-align:left;">She was elected Minister of Disability and Elderly Affairs in Malawi and in 2004 received a Malawi Human Rights Award and a Diversity Leader Award.  She was part of the landmark negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and contributed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) discussions.  </p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje had a proven ability in advancing the agendas of people with disabilities in general and in particular women and girls with disabilities. Her mission was to advocate and promote rights for people with disabilities and to lead a life that would always affect them in a positive manner," said De Villiers.</p><p>To watch the full graduation ceremony, click <a href="https://youtu.be/4y9XqwQFPiE"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">here</strong></a>. ​<br></p><p><em>In the photo above from left, Prof Wim de Villiers​ (SU Rector & Vice-Chancellor), Prof Anthony Leysens ​(Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences), Gibson Kachaje and Justice Edwin Cameron (SU Chancellor)</em><br></p><p><br></p>
John Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7017John Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SUCorporate Communication Division/Sandra Mulder<p style="text-align:justify;">​</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wSjmGgSyR3w" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p>“The power of changing the country is in the hands of the citizens. We are the government. We voted them in and can vote them out." This was one of the inspiring messages in the acceptance speech of the internationally acclaimed actor and playwright John Kani after having received an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>Under great applause from graduates, their parents and other guests, the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>honoris causa</em>, was conferred on the 76-year-old Kani by the Presiding Officer, SU's Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, at this morning's (13 December 2019) ninth and last December 2019 graduation ceremony. SU awarded the honorary degree to Kani to honour and recognise his lifetime dedication to using the performing arts as a tool for upliftment.</p><p>In Kani's gripping and inspiring message of hope to everyone in South Africa, he jokingly said that when he had been informed that the honorary doctorate was to be conferred on him, he thought that he had become “famous in Stellenbosch".  “To be honoured in this incredible way, made me feel so good and that my 76 years of existence and all our efforts were not in vain."</p><p>One of the stories that he told at the ceremony was about the time in 1984 when he and Atholl Fugard had to perform in Stellenbosch. They thought that they could not come to Stellenbosch as it was seen as the “headquarters of the Afrikanerdom".  “I thought what will the comrades think of us and they will think it is a sell-out." But they still came and performed for a week. “I was impressed by the good conversation with professors and lecturers but was most impressed by the young people speaking Afrikaans. I realised that the Afrikaner and I had one problem: We have nowhere else to go. My job will be to tell stories and my stories witness the journeys each individual takes."</p><p>In 1982, Kani was part of a hit list, which he ignored. He was attacked by security police and was taken by his wife to a hospital in Port Elizabeth with 11 stab wounds. “In the hospital, there was a white doctor who hid me in the isolation ward for infectious diseases. The security police found out that I had not died and went back to the hospital to complete the job of killing me. They did not want to enter the ward and I have this young white doctor to thank for my life," he said.</p><p>The last story Kani told the graduates and guests, was about his father always telling him that he needed to pay him back in rands and cents for the money spend on his education when he started working. “I told the same story to my eight children, but my currency was different. I told them that they had to make something of themselves and make a valuable contribution to humanity and society. Then they would have paid me back." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The motivation​ for Kani's honorary doctorate</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The SU Council and Senate decided to honour him with this degree in recognition and admiration for his unwavering and passionate commitment to the performing arts as actor, director and playwright; for his dedication to ensure access to the performing arts for young people from marginalised communities; for using the arts to educate, to create community and as a tool of expression for the oppressed; and in recognition of his commitment to excellence in his 50-year international career in the performing arts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Kani was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, on 30 August 1943. His connection to drama, which started in school, continued after he matriculated. </p><p>As a young black man growing up in apartheid South Africa, his first desire had always been to be part of the struggle. His need to tell the stories of the oppressed and to see the effect they had on people developed his deeply held belief that theatre was a powerful tool for change and would become the catalyst for all of his work, acting, directing and writing. </p><p>In 1965 he joined the Serpent Players where his association and friendship with Winston Ntshona and Atholl Fugard started. In 1972 Kani, Fugard and Ntshona developed the seminal <em>Sizwe Banzi is Dead</em> and in 1973, they created and produced <em>The Island</em>. They took both plays to local and international stages and in 1974 Kani and Ntshona both won the coveted Tony Award for Best Actor in these two plays. </p><p>In 1977, Kani and Barney Simon established The Market Theatre, which focused equally on theatrical work and social upliftment. In 1990 they also founded The Market Theatre Laboratory, giving young people from marginalised circumstances the opportunity to study the performing arts. </p><p>In 1982, Kani and Sandra Prinsloo shook the very foundations of white South African society when they kissed on stage in Strindberg's <em>Miss Julie</em> at the Baxter Theatre. In 1987, he became the first black South African to play Shakespeare's Othello in our country. </p><p>Kani has written and starred in three plays: <em>Nothing but the Truth</em> (2002), <em>Missing</em> (2014) and <em>Kunene and the King</em> (2018). All three deal with deeply difficult South African themes of forgiveness, exile, isolation, identity and loss. </p><p>His most recent international successes include films such as <em>Black Panther</em> (2018), <em>The Lion King </em>(2019) and <em>Murder Mystery</em> (2019). </p><p>Kani holds four honorary degrees and his long list of awards include the Hiroshima Prize for Peace from the Swedish Academy, the Olive Schreiner Prize and the South African Film and Television Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the kykNET Fiesta award for his lifetime contribution to the performing arts, as well as the Naledi World Impact Theatre Award. <br></p><p><br></p>
Meet the Teaching Excellence Award winner: Dr Alexander Andrasonhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8004Meet the Teaching Excellence Award winner: Dr Alexander AndrasonCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​<br></p><p>As one of Stellenbosch University's 2020 Developing Teacher Award winners, Dr Alexander Andrason, says winning the award has reassured him that he is on the right path in pursuing excellent research and excellent teaching.</p><p>“This is one of the most important awards I have received. It reassures me in the conviction that excellent research (high in quality and quantity) is fully compatible with (in fact necessitates) excellent teaching. The opinion commonly repeated to me that in academia one has to choose to be either a good researcher or a good teacher is a fallacy."</p><p>The Icelandic-Polish native is a researcher and lecturer at Stellenbosch University's (SU) Department of Ancient Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He speaks more than twenty living languages and has an extensive knowledge of various ancient and classical languages. </p><p>Andrason teaches Semitic and Afro-Asiatic languages: Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Middle Egyptian. Additionally, he works as a researcher in the Department of African Languages at SU where he oversees projects related to the Bantu, Khoe, and Nilotic linguistic families.</p><p>“I have always been passionate about languages. I come from a multilingual and multicultural background. I know more than forty languages and have lived, studied and worked in eight different countries. I have never thought about myself as a citizen of a country but rather as a truly global citizen. It is thus not surprising that since my childhood, learning languages has become my addiction. As teenager, I wanted to understand the science behind human language and the various languages I knew and therefore chose linguistics as the main field of my study."</p><p>Andrason started teaching at university level in Iceland, while working on his first PhD in Hebrew and Arabic Languages, which he completed in 2010. This created an opportunity for him to work as a visiting lecturer at many universities in Europe and parts of Africa before he started teaching on a contract basis at SU (as a postdoc) and later as a permanent staff member.</p><p>To date, he has also completed a PhD in African Languages at SU in 2016, submitted his final thesis paper on language contact in 2020 for his third PhD, and recently enrolled for a fourth doctoral degree, a PhD in Latin. </p><p>“I believe that my career highlights are still ahead of me. I have plenty of dreams that I would like to realise. However, what I have enjoyed so far the most is working on my three PhDs. Writing a PhD is one of my favourite pastimes," says Andrason.</p><p>Andrason believes that remaining an active student himself has helped him to better relate to his own students. He says that he never wants to be stuck in a comfort zone where he is not able to learn from others and re-evaluate his previous knowledge from a new perspective.</p><p>“I would like to remain an active student until I retire. The idea of being another brick in the wall still permeates institutions of higher education and I have seen it both as a student and as a teacher. Being an active student will always remind me about what it means to be a student, thus helping me to understand my students at any given point of my career."</p><p><strong>More on the SU Teaching Excellence Awards</strong><br></p><p>Launched in 2017, the SU Teaching Excellence Awards acknowledge lecturers in two categories, 'Distinguished Teacher' and 'Developing Teacher', based on their experience and leadership in the scholarship of teaching and learning.</p><p>Applicants have to submit a portfolio that demonstrate their reflection on and evidence of four main components: context, students, knowledge and professional growth. They also have to indicate the lessons they had learnt on their journey to becoming excellent teachers.</p><p>For more information about the Teaching Excellence Awards, contact Dr Karin Cattell-Holden at <a href="mailto:kcattell@sun.ac.za"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">kcattell@sun.ac.za</strong></a>. </p><p>​ <br></p>
PhD candidate wins prestigious SA Historical Society prizehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6553PhD candidate wins prestigious SA Historical Society prizeLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​Bryan Umaru Kauma, a PhD candidate in the History Department at Stellenbosch University, has won the prestigious Southern African Historical Society (SAHS) Postgraduate Essay Prize at the society's biennial conference held at Rhodes University recently. <br></p><p>Kauma received the regional award for his paper entitled “Small grains, small gains: African peasant small grains production and marketing in Zimbabwe during the colonial period, c.1890-1980". The paper focused on the 'rise' and 'fall' of the African peasantry, exploring the complex and shifting history of these peasants as small grain, sorghum, rapoko and millet producers.</p><p>He is currently completing his PhD through the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, which is situated in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Kauma is also a recipient of the Lisa Maskell Fellowship sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and administered by the Graduate School. </p><p>According to Kauma, prior to 1890, African producers dominated grain production and trade. However, with the advent of colonialism, spurred on through legislation such as the Diet Ordinance and Maize Control Act in 1908 and 1930 respectively, peripheral African peasant small grain production was elbowed out and replaced with cash crops like maize.</p><p>“Over time, these initiatives became critical instruments in the underdevelopment of the African peasantry," explained Kauma. </p><p>“However, my paper shows that African peasants were not passive victims, but resisted colonial attempts at creating a white commercial monopoly over grain markets. It demonstrates how African peasants during varying economic, environmental and political periods allowed for the continued survival of peasant communities by sustaining the underbelly of agrarian development."</p><p>Kauma's supervisor, Prof Sandra Swart from the History Department, said that the 27<sup>th</sup>Southern Africa Historical Society conference offered “an exciting range of discussions by both budding and seasoned historians from across the world".</p><p>“His paper advances the conversation around resilience and the agency of small farmers in the face of the vicissitudes of Africa's changing climate – both environmental and political. He was competing with some wonderful fellow postgraduate students from southern Africa and faced pretty stiff competition," said Swart.<br></p><p>“Moreover, Bryan has just been invited to present the same paper at the annual African Economic History Network conference in Barcelona, Spain in October. This fully funded visit will connect Bryan to seasoned scholars from across the world focused on the economic and social history of Africa."<br></p><p>Kauma said that he was excited to have won this prestigious prize. </p><p>“This is not a 'small gain' from these small grains. It is really reassuring and inspiring when one's work receives such great recognition from a top society as SAHS. I am encouraged to continue working harder until these grains are big! It would be however remiss of me in my happiness not to express heartfelt appreciation to our research group History Friday Morning dragons and my supervisor Prof Swart, without whose support and dedication none of this would be possible – and for my scholarship from the Graduate School. We brought it home guys," said an excited Kauma.  <br></p><p><em>Photo: A very proud Prof Sandra Swart with</em><em> </em><em>Bryan Umaru Kauma, a PhD candidate in the History Department at Stellenbosch University, who won the prestigious Southern African Historical Society Postgraduate Essay Prize recently. (Supplied)</em></p>
Translated work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7532Translated work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Thanks to the work of four academics from across the globe, the travelogue of one of South Africa's leading black intellectuals of the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, the late Professor DDT (Davidson Don Tengo) Jabavu of Fort Hare University, has been published in a bilingual edition by Wits University Press. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue, called <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English</em>, captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949, as well as his thoughts on how Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence may be applied in South Africa's struggle for freedom. This little-known isiXhosa text, written in a conversational tone, provides a rare perspective on the mid-twentieth century transnational pacifist scene after Mahatma Gandhi's death. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu's travelogue contributes to scholarship on intellectual exchanges between Africa and India but also shows a South African at home in the world. There have been many texts written by Indian travellers encountering Africa, but the perspective of a black South African on encountering India is much rarer," explains Prof Tina Steiner, Associate Professor in the English Department at Stellenbosch University (SU) and one the co-editors of the book. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu was a seasoned international traveller who starts his narrative mentioning his extensive previous travels and places this particular voyage in the context of a life of travel in the pursuit of support for equality for South Africa's black population," adds Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue traces how geographies of various emancipatory movements – the civil rights movement, African liberation movements and the international peace movement – intersected at the World Pacifist Meeting.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Besides Steiner, who was the lead editor, the editorial team comprised Dr Mhlobo W. Jadezweni from Rhodes University, who is an isiXhosa expert and who updated the orthography of the original from 1951; and Prof Catherine Higgs, a historian and Head of the Department of History and Sociology at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus; and Prof Evan M. Mwangi, a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Northwestern University in the United States and a Professor Extraordinaire of English at SU. Higgs is the author of the biography <em>The Ghost of Equality - The Public Lives of D.D.T. Jabavu of South Africa 1885-1959.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The translation from isiXhosa into English was executed by the late Dr Cecil Wele Manona, an Anthropologist and Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steiner explains that while Jabavu wrote most of his many books in English, he tended to write in isiXhosa towards the end of his life after his retirement from public life. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This was also the case with his travel account to India and East Africa which was originally published in parts in the weekly <em>Imvo Zabantsundu</em><em> </em>(African Opinion), which Jabavu's father, the politician and newspaper editor John Tengo Jabavu had founded in 1884; and then in book format by Lovedale Press in 1951." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The younger Jabavu was a professor in African Languages who taught at Fort Hare University from 1916 to 1944. While he was also politician, a pacifist and a staunch Methodist, he was first and foremost an educator and his politics came from a real concern for the quality of education for black students in South Africa. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“You have to understand that Fort Hare was the key institution of higher learning for black students from all over Africa at the time. So it was not surprising that when Jabavu embarked on his trip to India, many of his ex-Fort Hare students sent telegrams to him and asked him to stop over in Mombasa and Kampala to visit them, which he did on his return from India. The travelogue thus also invites reflections on the significance of a pan-African network of ex-Fort Hare students," says Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In November 1949, Jabavu set off for India via ship from Durban to attend the World Pacifist Meeting as one of 93 delegates from 31 countries across the world. After a week in Santiniketan, the delegates were split into groups and spent the next two weeks visiting various sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi's life and work. At the end of the two weeks, Jabavu and his group reconvened with all the other delegates in Gandhi's village, Sevagram, where the conference continued. However, his writings do not only describe the sights he saw in India and his experiences with his host families, but also reflects on the content of the conference itself.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“He provides us with insight on the proceedings, the discussions and resolutions of the conference and talks about listening to prominent pacifists like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Vera Brittain, Dr Mordecai Johnson, Rev Michael Scott, Dr Pao Swen Tseng to name just a few. Jabavu also met Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whom he mentions he shook hands with in Parliament, as well as other government officials in independent India."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The narrative shows how inspired he was by Gandhi's methods of non-violent resistance, his civil disobedience and ability to politically mobilise the masses. During his return voyage, he also met with important anti-colonial activists in Uganda and Kenya, like Elind Mathu, Harry Thuku and Jomo Kenyatta."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“From his writings, it is clear that Jabavu wanted to share these discussions with his fellow black South Africans. He was a Christian and believed in a Christianity that needed to be socially involved and relevant, and he very much focused on the principles of self-restraint and service to others and the impact that it could have on social transformation."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/DDT%20Jabavu%20book%20cover.jpg" alt="DDT Jabavu book cover.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="text-align:justify;margin:5px;width:400px;height:600px;" /><strong>How the travelogue came about</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The publication of Jabavu's work is the end product of a project, Indian Ocean Epistemologies, which Steiner and Mwangi had been collaborating on since 2017. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through this project, Steiner and Mwangi developed a joint curriculum which was taught at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2018 and at SU in 2020; published a special issue on Indian Ocean Trajectories in <em>The Journal of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies</em>; and decided to publish the translated travelogue of Jabavu as part of their mission to translate a text that “would enrich the primary archive of Indian Ocean Studies from an African perspective". Their project formed part of a larger, overarching project called Global Theory in the South based at Northwestern University and led by Prof Penelope Deutscher. The overarching project was funded by the AW Mellon Foundation and is part of an initiative of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While Jabavu's travelogue <em>E-Indiya nase East Africa</em> had been publicly available for nearly seven decades, it was written in an old isiXhosa orthography and was thus not easy to read for contemporary readers," explains Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, after seeing reference made to the travelogue in Prof Isabel Hofmeyr's groundbreaking article 'The Black Atlantic Meets the Indian Ocean' and hearing her mention Jabavu's travelogue on a few other occasions, Steiner started her search for an English translation. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This search led her to Higgs, who had published the DDT Jabavu biography <em>The Ghost of Equality</em>, which wasbased on research she had done in the late 1980s and 1990s for her PhD. Higgs had commissioned the help of Manona to translate Jabavu's isiXhosa text and shared this with Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I really want to pay tribute to the late Dr Manona who translated Jabavu's travelogue as well as his wife, Mrs Nobantu Manona who gave us permission to use her late husband's translation in this edition." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She explains that the original isiXhosa text by Lovedale that Manona had used for his translation was then edited by Dr Jadezweni, who had to update the old isiXhosa to the contemporary orthography approved by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jadezweni said that he had not encountered such a rich and beautifully written isiXhosa text before. Jabavu wrote in a conversational tone in a stream of consciousness style and made use of many isiXhosa idioms in his text. He was an entertaining writer with wide-ranging interests who wanted to encourage his local audience to see their own struggles reflected in similar struggles for equality across the globe." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The travelogue's transnational orientation, its commitment to pacifism and its insistence that political dialogue is possible, make <em>In India and East Africa/ E-Indiya nase East Africa</em><em> </em>an important document of the rich and diverse black South African intellectual tradition. Moreover, it once again confirms the significance of preserving and making accessible African-language texts to readers across Africa and the world."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Main photo: DDT Jabavu (right) with his father, the politician and news editor John Tengo Jabavu, as a young man and later as lecturer at Fort Hare University.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Story photo: The front cover of the travelogue,</em> <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English, which</em><em> </em><em>captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949</em>.<br></p>
Project makes COVID-19 information accessible to deaf communityhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8079Project makes COVID-19 information accessible to deaf communityDaniel Bugan<p>​<br><br></p><p>A new project that aims to make information about COVID-19 available to the South African Deaf community has recently been launched by the Department of General Linguistics in Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.</p><p>The project was initiated by third-generation Deaf sisters Vanessa Reyneke and Stephanie Lotz, who received numerous pleas for accessible information on COVID-19 from members of the Deaf community. Reyneke is the project coordinator for South African Sign Language Learning and Teaching Support Material at the Department of General Linguistics (SASL).</p><p>Currently, COVID-19 resources and information are mostly available in written text or spoken format. However, spoken language is inaccessible to the majority of Deaf people.</p><p>According to Prof Frenette Southwood of the Department of General Linguistics, their research has shown that there are a limited number of resources about COVID-19 available in SASL compared to the resources available in spoken languages.</p><p>“Without translation of important information into the only language fully accessible to them, members of the Deaf community are becoming increasingly vulnerable," she said.</p><p>The Department has received permission from the Western Cape Government to use their infographics as background in their SASL video recordings and their written information as a point of departure in their sign language scripts. They also used the information made available by the Knowledge Transfer Unit at the University of Cape Town.</p><p>The first phase of the project focuses on the 10 most important subtopics of health and will include tips on keeping coronavirus-safe, advice for diabetics and what to do when you are COVID-19 positive. The second phase will include another 10 subtopics or any updates of those subtopics already covered in Phase 1. Both of these phases are funded by Stellenbosch University. The Department is still seeking funding for phases 3 to 6 of the project, as well as for the child-friendly COVID-19 information package that they also plan to make available.</p><p>“The first information videos have already been released over the last few weeks. The aim is to release one information video per week. We have a list of topics that we are going to cover, but we will also be led by the needs of the Deaf community," said Southwood.</p><p>The information has been presented in two dialects in SASL. That is because members of the older generation, who were schooled using sign-supported English or sign-supported Afrikaans, do not necessarily understand SASL well, and need the information in an adapted version.</p><p>According to Reyneke, who is also the project coordinator for SASL Learning and Teaching Support Material at the Department of General Linguistics, she and her sister would like the project to reach every Deaf individual in the community.</p><p>“The ultimate goal is to see that the Deaf community has access to all information needed for their daily well-being during this pandemic, and in all varieties of SASL if possible," she said. </p><p>Reyneke expressed her appreciation for the support they received from Stellenbosch University to get this project off the ground. <br></p><p>“We hope that other public and private sectors will also be inspired by this initiative and encouraged to ensure that everyone has fair access to their surroundings," she added.<br></p><p>The COVID information videos are uploaded on a purpose-created YouTube channel for the Deaf community to access free of charge and are also available on the websites and other social media platforms of Stellenbosch University. Individuals can subscribe to the relevant YouTube channel to receive alerts when new videos have been uploaded.<br></p><ul><li>To view the videos, visit: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1305717409811846/?ref=share"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong>COVID-19 in SASL | Facebook</strong></span></a><br><br></li></ul><br>
Deciding whose lives really matter in a pandemichttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7359Deciding whose lives really matter in a pandemicLeslie Swartz, Vic McKinney & Emma McKinney <p>South Africans with disabilities should also have equal access to life-sustaining healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the plea of Prof Leslie Swartz (Department of Psychology) and Drs Vic McKinney (University of Cape Town) and Emma McKinney (University of the Western Cape) in a recent article for Mail & Guardian.<br></p><ul><li>​Read the complete article below or click <a href="https://mg.co.za/coronavirus-essentials/2020-05-14-deciding-whose-lives-really-matter-in-a-pandemic/" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a> for the piece as published.</li></ul><p><strong>Deciding whose lives really matter in a pandemic</strong><br></p><p><strong>Vic McKinney, Emma McKinney & Leslie Swartz*</strong><br></p><p>In a recent article for <a href="https://theconversation.com/tough-choices-about-who-gets-icu-access-the-ethical-principles-guiding-south-africa-135227" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">The Conversation</strong></a>, Prof Keymanthri Moodley from the Centre for Medical Ethics & Law at Stellenbosch University notes that healthcare workers will have an unenviable responsibility to make difficult and “soul-wrenching decisions" regarding prioritising who will have access to ventilators as the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.  It is important in South Africa and elsewhere for there to be protocols to assist decision-makers with what will be burdensome decisions.  In a context where need outstrips demand, there is really no single right way to decide on how to ration life-saving care.  </p><p>We are positioned in a very particular way regarding this issue, and we believe that putting a personal face to the debate may be helpful.  A fundamental question that is addressed implicitly in many ethical codes is one that is close to us:  whose lives really matter? We ask what will happen to the 15% of South Africans with disabilities who may be deemed as less eligible than others to access healthcare.  Will they receive equal consideration for life-sustaining healthcare in the context of the pandemic? <br></p><p>We have, as the phrase goes, skin in the game. Vic is a father of two young energetic boys, a part-time lecturer and researcher, and a holder of a PhD. He is also a motorised wheelchair user, a C4 quadriplegic paralysed from the shoulders down. He is privileged, living in his own home, with electricity, running water and access to full-time care assistants who assist him with basic daily functions. His wife, Emma, also holds a PhD and is a lecturer and researcher. She too has a disability – she has a hearing impairment. Leslie is a friend, and a disability scholar and activist. <br></p><p>Here is some of the story of Vic and Emma over the past few weeks.  Before lockdown, we spoke about our fears regarding COVID-19.  What would happen if we caught it? Would we be given treatment? Would Vic be ventilated? Vic is unable to cough properly because his chest muscles are paralysed, and contracting COVID-19 would most likely be devastating. We discussed how we would tell our two young sons, aged eight and five. Vic has started writing letters to them for when they are older and he is no longer with them. Vic is our boys' rock, a very 'hands-on' dad. How would Emma explain that their father's life was seen as being worth less than others deemed 'more healthy' and more able to contribute to society? <br></p><p>Vic was kept alive by a life support-breathing machine for five weeks after becoming paralysed in a road accident 32 years ago and has led a fulfilling healthy life as a quadriplegic since then. It would be a sad irony if his death was a result of the same apparatus not being available.<br></p><p>Emma worries about getting ill and not being able to lip-read the masked healthcare workers. There are lovely images of plastic fronted masks circulating on social media platforms, but realistically this is unlikely to be a reality. <br></p><p>American philosopher and disability scholar Eva Kittay recently <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/dont-forget-people-intellectual-disabilities-040454806.html" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">noted</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </strong>the lack of attention given by the media to those who are classified as being 'vulnerable.' She shares her personal experiences relating to her daughter who has a rare genetic condition and who has severe limited cognitive and motor abilities. Kittay compares COVID-19 and people with disabilities to “sitting on that sand beach watching and waiting for a tsunami." </p><p>Similarly, journalist Emily Beater <a href="https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/coronavirus/2020/04/isolation-covid-19-coronavirus-lockdown-disabled-ill-elderly" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">argues</strong></a><span style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span>that political and cultural attitudes in talking about coronavirus excludes disabled people. Our personal experiences of peoples' insensitivity towards those living with a disability are echoed in Beater's article. We put these down to a lack of education and ignorance and have received many awkward comments and questions over the years. </p><p>When it comes to COVID-19, as people who may be particularly vulnerable, we feel angry when people we know ignore the lockdown rules and use the “We will be fine and it just others that need to worry." We are worried. We are so fearful that we have decided to lockdown with only one care assistant. In order to live, since his accident Vic has need 24 hour care, and we have traditionally employed two care workers on a shift basis.  Now, because of the pandemic, we have the same person in our home 24/7 for weeks.  For all this time he is unable to be with his family. This is because our alternative care assistant cannot guarantee that he is able to self-isolate for 2-weeks due to where he lives. The risk is just too high. <br></p><p>Our story is one of privilege, but many of the issues are not unique.  How will people who are Deaf, whose primary means of communication is sign language, understand what doctors are saying? How will people with visual disabilities and children with autism, for example, cope with not being permitted to be accompanied by family members or friend? Will people such as those with quadriplegia receive assistance to change their position regularly to reduce health threatening pressure sores, a wholly preventable cause of death but easily fatal without care?</p><p>As a family, we try to maintain a positive outlook on life. However. COVID-19 has forced us and many others, to consider our quality-of-life, future and mortality as never before. On the afternoon before the lockdown we paid a photographer to take family photographs in a local park. We smiled a lot and had a relatively good time. However, we experienced an underlying anxiety of what was to come Potentially, these could be our last photographs together.<br></p><p>Moodley's article referred to above concludes with the need to have a standardised national prioritisation plan in place in order to effectively respond to the pandemic. We agree fully.  At a time of crisis we need to do the best we can to use resources in as fair a way as possible.  As most South Africans are aware, health resources in our country have historically been withheld from people on the basis of race gender, and age.  Members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to face difficulties accessing appropriate healthcare.  <br></p><p>It is hard to know, especially in times of crisis, how rationing decisions are made, with many of necessity being made on the spur of the moment, and drawing on unstated assumptions.  This is inevitable, and not a judgement on those forced to make such decisions in a time of crisis.  At the heart of rationing decisions is an implicit question about who counts fully as a person, whose life has value and meaning, whose life means something to the lives of others.  <br></p><p>We do not have the answer to all the difficult questions, but our appeal is simple.  Don't assume that a life lived with a disability, however difficult that life may appear from the outside, is without meaning, worth and value.  We ask everyone take our words seriously for our own sakes, but also for the sakes of millions of other disabled people with disabilities in South Africa. Please don't count us out yet.<br></p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: Drs Vic McKinney, Emma McKinney, and their two sons: <strong>Photographer</strong>: Shirley Emms</li></ul><p><strong>*Drs Vic McKinney and Emma McKinney are affiliated with the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape respectively. Prof Leslie Swartz is a</strong> <strong>Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University.</strong></p><p> </p><p><br></p>