• Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    Inaugural Presentation of Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series: "Sites of Trauma, Sites of Conscience"

    Attentive Audience - "An opportunity for dialogue with public, including young thinkers with intruguing ideas and insight on issues related to historical trauma and memory"

  • Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    Department of Peace Studies Research; Uppsala University
    Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela presenting a lecture with Emeritus Professor Irvin Staub, Peace and Conflict Studies Research Department, Uppsala University.
  • Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series: "Narrating Rape during the South African War" by Emeritus Prof Ant
    Profs Lucius Botes, Helene Strauss, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Antjie Krog and Dr Buhle Zuma at Prof Krog's Lecture.
  • Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    Postgraduate students 2015
    Doctoral and Master's students during a postgraduate students' research workshop with Prof Engela Pretorius as guest of honour.
  • Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    Empathic responses to video clips from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

    Melike Fourie, Post-doctoral Fellow leading brain imaging in our multidisciplinary research on empathy. 

  • Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies
    "Forgiveness, Law and Justice, Third Annual Reconciliation Lecture 2014"

    "What is Forgiveness? What is it? Why consider it? Should it be encouraged? By law, by leaders?” - Professor Martha Minow

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Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies: Symposium on Gender and Violence Against Women

The Gender Initiative of the DbSS programme is co-ordinated by Samantha van Schalkwyk, a PhD student conducting research on gender-based violence. The Gender Initiative (GI) was established to promote scholarly debate on gender and violence against women. GI conducts its activities through symposia and projects in the broader UFS community.

Highlights of GI Activities

International Symposium on Research on Gender and Violence against Women.

GI organised the first event of the Gender Initiative (GI) in collaboration with the Gender Studies Programme at the UFS in October 2012. This one-day event convened a group of scholars, practitioners, and gender activists to discuss perspectives to the concept of gender and to examine various approaches to research on violence against women. An important outcome of the symposium is a book volume that will be co-edited by Samantha van Schalkwyk, the Co-ordinator of GI, and Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. The planned publication of the book, with provisional title “A Reflexive Inquiry into Research about Violence against Women: Toward a New Paradigm of Knowledge Production across Multiple Divides,” is at the end of 2014. Thobeka September, a master's student in Gender Studies, has been appointed as the administrator of the Book Project. Watch this space for developments.

Articles: Click here to view

Book Volume co-edited by Samantha van Schalkwyk and Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.



Expected Date of Publication:


"A Reflexive Inquiry into Gender and Gender-Based Violence: Dialogues between Scholars, Activists, and Community-Based Workers"

Sun Media

December 2014

"(Im)possibly Queer International Feminisms"
2nd Annual International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference
University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Rape and The State

Principal Researcher: Sabine Hirschauer (Postdoctoral fellow)

Sabine Hirschauer’s Rape and the State project proposes a repositioning: the application of a political lens toward sexual violence – in war and peace. Her case studies include South Africa, the rape epidemic in the US military, and the political silence surrounding systematic sexual violence against German women after the fall of Berlin in 1945. The project views rape crises in war and peace as a continuum and as the result of a political interplay of producing/reproducing and employing a political narrative and gendered ‘othering,’ constructed by actors/agencies within the state.

Sabine Hirschauer holds a PhD in International Studies (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA).

Research Outputs:

Articles: Click here to view


The Securitization of Rape: Women Sexual Violence and Global Conflict
to be published by Palgrave-MacMillan in late 2014


Sabine Hirschauer will present a paper entitled “What’s Culture Got to Do with It? South Africa’s Rape Crisis and the  Politics of Identity of Belonging” at the Gender and Crisis in Global Politics, Davidson Conference Center, University of Southern California.

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