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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

Symbolism and naming in spotlight at NSSA conference
2016-10-06

Description: NSSA LN Read More Tags: NSSA LN Read More

From the left, front: Prof Nhlanhla Mathonsi,
President of the NSSA, and Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa,
Registrar at DUT.
Left, back (from the UFS): Prof Peter Raper,
Research Fellow at the ULFE and executive
member of the scientific council and paper
selection committee, Prof Theodorus du Plessis,
Director of the Unit for Language Facilitation
and Empowerment, and JC van der Merwe,
acting Director of the Institute for
Reconciliation and Social Justice.
Photo: Supplied

The 19th Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA) International Conference saw delegates from around the world make their way to the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus to study names as well as naming systems.

The conference took place from 20 to 22 September and was organised by the Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment (ULFE) at the UFS, alongside the NSSA. Delegates from South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Germany, and Taiwan attended.

The NSSA is a society dedicated to the study of names, naming, and naming systems. Members of the society come from a variety of disciplines, but all share an interest in names and their meaning.

Symbolism and naming in public sphere

The topic of this year’s conference was Symbolism and Instrumentality in Naming with categories of research which included anthroponyms, geographical names, names in history, literary onomastics, brand names, and politics of naming in a public sphere.

Issue of gender in naming systems

Keynote speakers included Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Registrar at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and Prof Peter Raper, Professor Extraordinaire at the UFS, Research Fellow at the ULFE, and executive member of the scientific council and paper selection committee.

In her address entitled, Naming is to gender as gender is to naming: Emerging Onomastics Scholarship, Prof Meyiwa noted that analysing names using gender enquiry is a potentially useful tool for identifying various communities’ values, belief systems, and perceptions as it relates to sexes.

“The talk called for the development of what I refer to as ‘feminist onomastics theory and research practice,’ which should primarily seek to bring about change and/or reimagine onomastics research."

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