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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Stanford University hosts book launch for UFS Prestige Scholar
2015-12-14

Dr Christian Williams, a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme, had his book launched by Stanford University. The book called National Liberation in Postcolonial Southern Africa: A Historical Ethnography of SWAPO’s Exile Camps will be available in South Africa early in 2016.
Photo: Sonia Small

A launch for the much-anticipated book by Dr Christian Williams from the University of the Free State (UFS) was sponsored by the Humanities Center and the Center for African Studies of Stanford University in the USA, among others.

The launch of the book, National Liberation in Postcolonial Southern Africa: A Historical Ethnography of SWAPO’s Exile Camps, coincided with the 40th anniversary of Angola’s independence.

The book was published by Cambridge University Press in September 2015, and the launch at Stanford was on 16 November 2015.

This groundbreaking study, which will be available in South Africa early next year, has already been lauded for its invaluable contribution and the depth of its scholarship. The author is a senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology of the UFS, and member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP). He is a former Fulbright scholar, and holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan in History and Anthropology.

National Liberation in Postcolonial Southern Africa follows members of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) through three decades of exile in Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola.

It highlights how different Namibians experienced exile, as well as the tensions that developed within SWAPO as Namibians encountered one another while officials asserted their power and protected their interests.

It also follows the return of Namibians who lived in exile to post-colonial Namibia, examining the extent to which divisions and hierarchies that emerged in the camps still continue to shape Namibians today.

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