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25 May 2020

The Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS) and the UFS will host an Africa Day Webinar on the topic, Reflections on Africa amidst Covid-19, to be delivered by Prof. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, renowned decolonial scholar. The title of his lecture is Revisiting the African idea of Africa during the moment of Covid-19 pandemic.

The crisis delivered by Coronavirus and Covid-19 invites Africans to rethink and even unthink the long-standing dependency on Europe and North America for help. What has dawned on Africa is the equally long-standing aspiration of self-reliance. What is emerging is a new African idea of Africa which takes responsibility for its own challenges. This new African idea of Africa challenges the Mudimbean idea of Africa embodied in the colonial library.

Thus this presentation reassesses how Africa has relied on its own historical experience, its own knowledge, and own people to confront Covid-19. What is of interest here is the proverbial wisdom of necessity being the source of invention. The presentation brings to the fore the decolonial turn as it gestures beyond crisis into post-Covid-19 world order. It ends with a call for decolonial love founded on new ethics of living together and new economies of care.

Bio of Prof Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatshen


Date: Tuesday, 26 May, 2020
Time: 14:00
Duration: 90 min max (45 min talk, 45 min Q&A)

The webinar can be accessed via one of the following links:


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News Archive

Humour a powerful tool to address serious issues
2017-12-06


 Description: Michelle Malan  Tags: Michelle Malan  

Michelle Malan received a Dean’s medal from the Faculty of Humanities at the mid-year
graduation ceremonies for her Master’s degree.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

People, in most contexts, are more open to engage in serious issues such as politics and economics if it is presented in a humorous way. This makes humour a very powerful tool to address burning issues in our society.

These are some of the findings in the research of Michelle Malan, a part time lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

How comedians and cartoonists use humour
The basic premise of her research, titled The Intersemiotic Translation of Humour, was to see how comedians and cartoonists take news stories and translate it into humour. She received the Dean’s medal for the best Master’s degree in the Faculty of the Humanities at the mid-year graduation ceremonies in June 2017.

“More specifically, I explored how the medium constrains potential meaning-making in cases of intersemiotic translation in which humour is constructed,” she says.

Cartoon vs a comic television show
According to her the medium in which a message is given, in this case comedy, definitely influences how one is able to form meaning from it. “For instance, a cartoon (visual medium) would have a different meaning-making potential than a comic television show.”

She also notes that one must understand the workings of humour, which includes the mediums in which it is presented, so that the intended humour does not do more harm than good. 

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