Die meriete van ’n terminologie-woordeboek is tweeledig: Eerstens moet die boek helder verklarings en verduidelikings verskaf in verstaanbare, duidelike taal oor dissipline-spesifieke terme en tweedens moet die keuse van terme in voeling wees met die huidige stand (of toestand) van die betrokke dissipline.
African philosophy at its outset grappled with a question that is a clear and reliable indicator of its existence. That question is the question of the existence of African philosophy.
This question and the debate it generated, I believe, are proof of the existence of African philosophy. Every philosophical system, no matter what claims it makes for itself, must derive its authenticity from self-examination.
It does not matter, ultimately, whether this meta-philosophical exercise is conclusively resolved.
Equal Education organised a Solidarity Visit to schools in the Eastern Cape with Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and they were joined by writers Elinor Sisulu, Sindiwe Magona, Njabulo Ndebele, Zakes Mda, Graeme Bloch and Pierre de Vos, as well as other concerned South Africans.
The group witnessed the shocking conditions at some of the province’s poorest schools, including a class of 135 learners at one school and the “overflowing and leaking” toilets at another, which Sisulu described as “a serious health hazard and a real emergency situation”.
Sydelle Willow Smith’s photographs documenting the trip have been published on The Guardian’s website:
Today marked the first day of the Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit. A group of eminent South Africans, led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, visited two desperate Eastern Cape schools. They encountered gross overcrowding, deplorable ablution facilities and furniture and textbook shortages. The Solidarity Visit is being held to draw attention to the school infrastructure crisis in the Eastern Cape and the need for Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.
The Daily Maverick’s Mandy de Waal spoke to Equal Education’s Brad Brockman, who said that “Zakes Mda asked why 50 years after he himself had attended school in the rural Eastern Cape, there were still children going to school under these conditions”.
Yesterday, 25 April 2013, a group of eminent South Africans, led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, visited 4 schools in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit is being held to draw attention to the school infrastructure crisis in the Eastern Cape and to call on Minister Motshekga to publish quality Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.
De Vos wrote about the trip for the Daily Maverick, saying that, “If we want to begin to address educational inequality, our politicians must stop playing politics with education and must be honest and brave enough to stick their necks out and to demand accountability from officials and, yes, also from those teachers who are not doing their jobs”.
As citizens of a free country, South Africans should rightly demand much from fellow citizens, from powerful private institutions, from big business and from government. It appears deceptively modest, but citizens have a right to demand (and deserve to demand) the supreme and most difficult thing: to have their inherent human dignity respected by all and protected and promoted by those chosen to do so. Judging by what I saw on a recent visit to rural schools in the Eastern Cape, this seemingly modest demand is not always being met.
Although oceanography as a science is still trotting along in its toddler shoes next to big brothers like paleontology and archeology, there are individuals who have come to know the ocean on a deeply intimate level via the arts and literature, writes historian and author of The Human Shore John R Gillis in the latest edition of Humanities.
Gillis writes that famous marine biologist Rachel Carson was inspired by art and literature with the ocean as theme. Carson herself wrote the award-winning The Sea Around Us in 1951.
According to Gillis, cultural interest in the ocean started in the late 18th and early 19th centuries – producing “a vast trove of writing, painting, and music”. In what Steve Mentz, Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, calls the “blue humanities” these products of the human imagination and inspiration can be collectively studied as a shift of focus from land to sea.
Gills points out that many sciences, like archaeology, history and anthropology, now direct their attention to the sea itself as subject. It’s also only now that the seascape as art genre is being subjected to serious academic study and scrutiny, with renewed interest in the works of JMW Turner and Winslow Homer.
Also in modern literature the ocean has played an imperative part. Gills mentions that the modern novel was “born at sea” with Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and goes on to describe the role the ocean plays in English literature classics such as Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck.
The study of the blue humanities, Gills writes, is “a belated recognition of the close relationship between modern western culture and the sea” and he dediactes the rest of the article to the exploring of this bond between the artist and the ocean.
Although fully half of the world’s people now live within a hundred miles of an ocean, few today have a working knowledge of the sea. As a science, oceanography is still in its infancy. “More is known about the dark side of the moon than is known about the depths of the oceans,” writes the sea explorer David Helvarg. Yet large numbers of people know the sea in other ways, through the arts and literature. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, fiction has been imagining undersea worlds that explorers were unable to reach. Rachel Carson, who did as much as anyone to open up the marine sciences, was inspired by the arts and literature. She wrote in 1951 that humans were destined to return to the sea from which they had emerged eons earlier, but this time they would do so “mentally and imaginatively.” This cultural turn to the sea began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and by now there is a vast trove of writing, painting, and music that awaits examination under the rubric of what English professor Steve Mentz would like us to call the “blue humanities.”
In this edited volume, Hilary Sapire and Chris Saunders compile 12 essays on aspects of the liberation struggles in southern Africa from the years 1959 to 1994. In her laudatory foreword, Shula Marks suggests that this collection presents “a far more contested and complex picture of a region in turmoil,” distinct from the “blaze of optimism and euphoria” that characterised earlier liberation histories (viii). Saunders and Sapire stake the same claim in their introduction, stating that the works in their collection will “stand at odds with dominant nationalist narratives and an often romanticised and triumphalist earlier literature” and be more impartial than the number of struggle biographies and autobiographies recently published (2).
Alert! The New York African Sudies Association (NYASA) has announced the winner of their Book Award “to pay homage to the scholarly endeavors and creative activities of our active members” for 2013. Cheryl Sterling, lecturer in African and African Diaspora Studies in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University receives the Book Award this year for African Roots, Brazilian Rites and Books LIVE member Sanya Osha, a senior researcher at UNISA’s School for Graduate Studies, was given honourable mention for Postethnophilosophy.
NYASA is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing the discipline of Africana Studies. Besides the Book Award, it annually presents three standing awards: the Distinguished Africanist Award, the Distinguished Teacher Award and the NYASA Service Award. The Distinguished Africanist Award, first awarded to Chinua Achebe in 1991, this year goes to Locksley Edmondson, professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University.
The year 1994 was a landmark for South African Muslims. It marked their enfranchisement in the democratic transition, and it saw the ﬁrst woman deliver a Friday khutba (sermon) at the progressive Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town. For the occasion of Amina Wadud’s sermon, women moved from the balcony to an equal, though separated, space in the main part of the mosque. This enfranchisement of women in a public ritual space was contentious. While there was support from within the internationally important progressive Muslims movement, many Muslim men and women rallied against her public role.
Chimurenga’s Pan-African quarterly gazette, The Chronic, is now out. Contributors include Binyanvanga Wainaina, Niq Mhlongo, Mahmood Mamdani and Andile Mngxitama. Have a look at their list of stockists to see where you can pick up this 48 page paper, which comes with a 40 page books review magazine.
A 48-page newspaper and 40-page stand-alone books review magazine featuring writing, art and photography inflected by the workings of innovation, creativity and resistance.
Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Binyanvanga Wainaina, Dominique Malaquais, Mahmood Mamdani, Andile Mngxitama, Gwen Ansell, Patrice Nganang, Achal Prabhala, Rustum Kostain, Karen Press, Niq Mhlongo, Paula Akugizibwe, Tolu Ogunlesi, Sean Jacobs, Harmony Holiday, Howard French, Billy Kahora are a few of its many contributors from around the world.
At a recent academic writing retreat, a prolific researcher advised a group of budding writers that it helps for an article to have a “sexy”, attractive title. The appeal of Dr Xolela Mangcu’s book Becoming Worthy Ancestors: Archive, Public Deliberation and Identity in South Africa (Wits University Press) goes beyond its catchy title.
Woordeboek-meester en hoofredakteur van die Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal, beter bekend as die HAT, Prof. Francois Odendal, is verlede week op die ouderdom van 86 in Kaapstad oorlede.
Odendal se kollega en mederedakteur van die vierde en vyfde uitgawes van die HAT, Prof. Rufus Gouws, het hom nog verlede Woensdag besoek en om ’n nuwe uitgawe van dié waardevolle woordeboek te bespreek. Odendaal se wens was dat daar geen diens of begrafnis moet wees nie. Hy word oorleef deur sy vrou, dogter en twee kleinseuns.
Een van Suid-Afrika se voorste taalkenners en voormalige hoofredakteur van die Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (HAT) is oorlede.
Prof. Francois Odendal (86) is eergistermiddag in die Avondrust-oord in Rondebosch oorlede.