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Professor Antjie Krog to deliver public lecture at UFS Bloemfontein Campus
2015-06-19

Professor Antjie Krog – illustrious author, poet, and academic – will deliver a public lecture at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus. The topic of her discussion will be ‘They Couldn’t Achieve their Goal with Me: Narrating Rape during the South African War’.

Prof Krog’s lecture will be the third instalment of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past. The lecture series is hosted by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS, as part of a five-year research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Details of the event:

Date: Tuesday 23 June 2015
Time: 12:00
Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, UFS Bloemfontein Campus
Members of the public are welcome to attend
RSVP to Jo-Anne Naidoo: NaidooJA@ufs.ac.za

Acts of rape during South African War

To set the context of her lecture, Prof Krog explains that, about two months before the South African War officially ended on 31 May 1902, affidavits were taken from women about transgressions experienced at the hands of British soldiers. These acts included plunder, killing of stock, abduction, sexual assault, and rape. Her lecture is the first scholarly focus in terms of narrative and agency on the affidavits of 24 incidents of sexual assaults and rape since the 25-year embargo on these documents was lifted in 1982. The shelving of these affidavits is indicative of how even transcultural multiple processes failed to create an honest discourse in post-colonial South Africa about sexual violence.

Paving the way to healing historical wounds

The series focuses on the portrayal of trauma and memory in multiple ways – such as the narrative arts represented by Prof Krog. These forms of expression may ultimately pave the way to healing historical wounds.

“This topic is very timely, given a recent NRF grant we’ve been awarded for research on transgenerational trauma related to the South African war,” Prof Gobodo-Madikizela says in anticipation of the lecture.

Previous instalments of Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series

The first instalment of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past was delivered by former Constitutional Court Judge, Albie Sachs, in which he discussed ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’. Internationally acclaimed composer and sound artist, Philip Miller, delivered the second lecture, ‘Disrupting the Silence: The Past and Transnational Memory’.


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