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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

US author launches book at UFS on African volk
2016-10-17

Description: Dr Jamie Miller Tags: Dr Jamie Miller

Dr Jamie Miller, Postdoctoral Fellow at the
University of Pittsburgh and author of
An African Volk: The Apartheid Regime
and Its Search for Survival.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

“I realised the importance of not just accessing the policies and political approaches of the leaders of the apartheid regime, but understanding the ideas and world views that informed them. Part of the solution to this was to learn Afrikaans.”

This is according to Dr Jamie Miller, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, on how he went about getting inside the mind of South Africa’s apartheid regime in order to complete his book, An African Volk: The Apartheid Regime and Its Search for Survival.

The book was launched on 11 October 2016 by the Archive for Contemporary Affairs at the University of the Free State on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Volk refers to the Afrikaner nationalist movement
The book is an ambitious new international history of 1970s apartheid South Africa. It is based on newly declassified documents and oral histories, the majority in Afrikaans, which focus on the regime’s attempts to turn the new political climate to its advantage.

The term volk refers to the Afrikaner nationalist movement, also known as Afrikanerdom. The story of Afrikaner nationalism was the medium through which the regime gained power.

Four main messages from the book

Dr Miller says there are four main messages for his readers. Firstly, the apartheid regime looked to contest and hijack new ideas and norms that formed the postcolonial world, and secondly, that we need to start thinking more seriously about the Cold War in terms of domestic politics, not just geopolitics.

Thirdly, South Africa should be integrated into histories of the global South, and lastly, we should conceptualise the apartheid regime by looking at it not just as an imperial holdover, but also by looking at what was happening in the world in the time period in question.

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