NEWS

POST DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP POSITION AT UNIVERSITY OF FORT HARE 


A Post- Doctoral fellowship position has become vacant in the Department of Communication, at the University of Fort Hare, Alice Campus.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • Doctoral Degree in Communication; not older than 5 years;
  • Internal /External permanent staff members do not qualify for this programme, irrespective of where the doctorate was obtained
  • Applicants must be South African Citizens or holders of SA Permanent Residence
  • This is a full-time 1 year contract fellowship @ R250 000 per annum non-taxable with a possibility to renew. Areas of specialisation:

This Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (PDRF) will be hosted under the Developmental Communication Research Group within the Communication Department at the University of Fort Hare, Alice Campus. The Project aims at conducting cutting-edge research focusing on development communication related issues, especially issues around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Performance Areas / Expectations:

  • The successful Postdoctoral Fellow is required to produce at least three peer-reviewed research articles in DHET accredited journals during the tenure of the fellowship.
  • It is believed that the expertise of the PDRF will surely contribute to the research productivity of this research group, postgraduate students as well as the Department. To apply for the above fellowship: Candidates who meet the criteria are invited to forward an application with a motivational letter, updated CV, and certified copies of their academic/professional certificates to: Prof. O.O. Osunkunle ( oosunkunle@ufh.ac.za ) Due date for application: July 9, 2020

Don’t Panic

The Premise • Why is Don’t Panic Important?

It is a rough time especially for our little ones. We have created a free Motion Book to explain this situation to our children. People lose their jobs, stay in quarantine, kids can’t go to school or even play outside with their friends. Download the Madefire Motion Book App and read the animated comic on your mobile device for free. The book is currently available in 15 languages with more scheduled.

• Reading with no Voice Youtube (English): https://youtu.be/ Tbcc_lmpiXI

Reading with no Voice Youtube (English): https://youtu.be/Tbcc_lmpiXI

Reading with no Voice Youtube (Afrikaans): https://youtu.be/qq4mmfreHJ0

Reading with Voice Youtube (English) : https://youtu.be/x9IpUN2EmuE

Reading with Voice Youtube (French) : https://youtu.be/akhhXQEpggM

• Reading with no Voice Youtube (Afrikaans): https://youtu.be/ qq4mmfreHJ0

• Reading with Voice Youtube (English) : https://youtu.be/ x9IpUN2EmuE

• Reading with Voice Youtube (French) : https://youtu.be/ akhhXQEpggM

The Cauldron Web: www.enterthecauldron.com/dontpanic (PDF &Flash enabled web browser)

Media Coverage
RSG RADIO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXMp1MGv0ss
SAFM Radio interview for Don’t Panic. April 27 2020 – https://youtu.be/MH2gJ03kQKk Web Articles:

  • https://yiba.co.za/ukzn-student-co-creates-coronavirus-digital-comic-dont-panic/
  • https://sahs.ukzn.ac.za/news/2020/04/ccms-part-of-coronavirus-digital-comic-dont-panic/
  • http://pressoffice.mg.co.za/UniversityofKwaZulu-Natal/PressRelease.php?StoryID=290400
  • https://risingsunoverport.co.za/85135/ukzn-student-co-creates-coronavirus-digital-comic-dont-panic/
  • https://www.ecr.co.za/coronavirus-be-informed/free-books-to-help-children-understand-covid-19/ Webinair : HELPING CHILDREN TO COPE WITH THEIR FEARS ABOUT COVID-19 chaired by Professor Deevia Bhana DATE : Wednesday, 08 July 2020 TIME : 16h00 – 17h00 (GMT+2) Topic ‘Helping children learn through visual storytelling enabled by new technologies.’
    Register: https://ukzn.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_H-iFYv8eR1CUMXUAT-YGGg?t=1593010315958 “Why stories ? Because the soul’s way of communicating is to teach.” (Campbell, 1968)

Dear SACOMM Community

Earlier this year we sent out an email announcing that we would delay the Call for Papers for our yearly conference due to the COVID-19 virus and restrictions surrounding it. We strive to make decisions that prioritise your safety and wellbeing. We also have to contend with realities around what is possible for the ExCo, Local Organising Committee and members in what is left of the year.

With due regard for its importance, ExCo has decided to postpone this year’s conference. We will strive to have the conference in Limpopo next year (all factors permitting). This does not mean that the activities of SACOMM will cease.

Virtual Activities: We will send out a questionnaire soon, in which you will be able to indicate what interest group(s) you want to be engaged in this year. Interest group convenors will schedule virtual sessions/activities with their constituents, as possible.

The AGM: Our Annual General Meeting will continue virtually. More information on this will follow in due course, but it will most likely take on the form of a Microsoft Teams Live Event, which you will be able to join via a link. The date for the AGM is set for Tuesday evening 29 September (17:30 to 19:30), to take into consideration the many activities that members have to attend to during the day.

Membership: Allowing for the impact that COVID-19 has had on institutions’ and individuals’ spending power, ExCo has decided to roll over all 2019 membership fees for another year. This means that if you were a member in good standing in 2019 (i.e. you attended the 2019 conference, or paid your membership fees directly to our Administrator), you automatically stay a member for 2020. Membership is renewable ahead of our 2021 Conference. If you were not a member in 2019, but wish to become one now, you will be able to do so for a reduced fee of R100 for the year.

We thank you for your continued support. SACOMM stays committed to fulfilling its duties in a manner that prioritises its members and its values. We will see each other soon virtually and in person at #SACOMM2021.

Call for Chapters: Social media driven journalism in the global south: The past, present and the future

There has been considerable research looking at the potential of new media technologies, traditional journalism and citizen reporting. The extent to which these new media technologies and ‘citizen journalism’ have morphed or reconfigured traditional journalism practice remains debatable. Recently, there has been questions around the limits of social media in journalism practice as the ethical lines continue to become blurred. It is this conundrum of the role of social media in the reconfiguration of the political economy of the media and news production practices that requires more investigation. On one hand, social media allows citizen journalists or amateur journalists to articulate themselves in their own language challenging the hegemony the mainstream media enjoyed for a long time. However, the flip side is that most content posted on social media does not go through ethical checks which has consequences for mainstream media that rely on social media for content. Social media has also turned the logic of the political-economy of the media production on its head as citizens can now produce, package and distribute news and information with shoestring budgets and in authoritarian regimes with no license of practice. This new political-economy means the power that special interest groups used to enjoy is increasingly slipping from their hands as citizens take back the power to appropriate social media journalism to counter hegemonic narratives. Citizens can also perform journalistic roles of investigating and whistle-blowing but with lack or limited regulation, this becomes a murky area of traditional journalism practice. In this proposed edited collection, we call for chapters with interest in case studies of news media employing and integrating social media into their news production practices. The volume attempts to link social media use to journalistic practices and news production processes in the digital age of the Global South. Critically, the submissions should look at seminal cases of start-up news media whose content is informed by social media content and trends. Issues of blurred ethics in the era of social media journalism is of importance as unlicensed and to an extent untrained journalist publish information with no regard to the code of ethics. Contributions are not limited to the suggested areas below:

· Use of social media content in traditional journalism sectors
· The meaning of interferences of technology and audiences to professional journalism
· Ethics in the use of social media content
· Survival strategies and alternative media in the global south
· Political economy of social media
· Digital journalism start-ups
· Meanings of citizens’ contributions to mainstream journalism
· Meanings of citizens’ debating of mainstream journalism production processes/products
· Meanings of citizens’ critiques of mainstream journalism
· Power dynamics in social media driven mainstream journalism
· Counterhegemonic and hegemonic enterprises in news production, consumption in social media driven journalism.

Please email chapter proposals of up to 500 words in length, as well as brief author biographical information, to the volume editors at shepherd.mpofu@ul.ac.za and MatsileleT@cput.ac.za.

These should be sent through by the 15th of July 2020. Decisions on proposals will be made and communicated to authors early August, 2020. The series editors of Palgrave Studies in Journalism and Global South have indicated interest to publish this volume.

CALL FOR CHAPTERS

Constructions of the Real: Intersections of Practice and Theory in Documentary-Based Filmmaking

As more filmmakers have entered into academic institutions, and other film practitioners have sought to engage with philosophy, the relationship between filmmaking and theory has become entwined in dynamic ways. The confluence of theory and practice has impacted on the relationship between forms, platforms and content. Further, it has interrogated how the process of filmmaking can create new knowledge, and can apply theory to the filmmaking process to open up new ways of practising. 

Constructions of the Real seeks to bring together documentary-based practitioner-researchers writing about their processes of making. Drawn from a range of global perspectives, each chapter aims to reflect a deep engagement with the creative-theoretical processes of film and media making located in a phenomenological world. Through a range of diverse and situated practices, the book engages with current debates about the role of creative scholarship, making a claim for documentary and non-fiction filmmaking as a necessary practice for framing, critiquing and interpreting the world. 

Agnès Varda coined the term cinécriture to describe film as emerging from a subtle and complex process involving reconnaissance, inspirations, writing, shooting and editing (2014). We embrace this emphasis on the creative entanglements of relationships and things encountered by the  filmmaker. Through prioritising process, we see non-fiction filmmaking as a creative act, messy and full of contradictions. We welcome authors who can speak to these issues from their own practice. 

Alongside this, we are interested in non-fiction filmmaking that disrupts the “reassuring mutual reinforcement of sound and image” (Marks, 2000) of traditional documentary by suggesting new forms, structures and intentions.  

We are initially seeking a 300 word abstract for eventual chapters of 5000-6000 words. Please include a short author bio (100 words) and brief bibliography (in addition to the abstract length) with your abstract.

Deadline for abstracts is: August 11, 2020.

Draft chapters will be due in the first half of 2021.

You can send abstracts, and any questions you have, to constructionsofthereal@gmail.com

We actively encourage practitioner-scholars from the Global South as well as Indigenous and First Nation practitioners.

Some provocations for the book chapters include:

The Expanded Essay Film

What are the new directions that the essay film is heading in, and how are practitioner/academics working with the affordances of new technologies and platforms?

The Other-than-Human 

What strategies can be employed to shift perspectives from the anthropocentric?

Contested Spaces  

How can filmmaking practices reveal and critique histories and sovereignty of place? 

Disruptions and Transgressions

How can strategies of disruptions and transgressions challenge the gendered or colonial gaze?

Making Memory 

How can non-fiction filmmaking create memory for the practitioner, speak into silences, and make a past in order to restore the present?

Filming the Self

Can filming the self achieve ‘reconciliation’, how might this be achieved and at what cost?

Archive as Practice

How can moving-image archives be recycled to reframe social relationships  across time and space?

Amateur-Professional

What can working with amateur home movies offer as a method to explore professional practice?

Publisher for the Book

We intend to publish with Intellect Books, in particular as part of the book series Artwork Scholarship: International Perspectives in Education, edited by Anita Sinner, Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education at Concordia University, Canada, and Rita Irwin, Professor of Art Education in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia, Canada. 

You can find more about the series here: https://www.intellectbooks.com/artwork-scholarship-international-perspectives-in-education 

Book Editors

Kim Munro is a documentary maker and lecturer at RMIT University. She has published broadly in books and journals on the intersections between documentary theory and practice. Catherine Gough-Brady is an award-winning documentary producer and director who has published widely on the emergent use of video as a method of academic discourse. Christine Rogers is a filmmaker and scholar and her non-fiction writing has been published in journals, newspapers and anthologies. She co-edited the book Mediations: Working Papers on Media and Practice, RMIT University, with Professor Lisa French and Dr. Jenny Weight. Liz Burke is a documentary producer, whose work has been distributed through broadcast television and film festivals. Her area of academic research is the intersection between interactive documentary and the essay film. She lectures at Swinburne University of Technology. Liz Baulch is a film producer whose narrative and experimental films have screened widely on the international film festival circuit. Her current creative practice and area of research is the recontextualisation of the Australian family in amateur home movies. She lectures at Deakin University.

Catherine Gough-Brady

https://catherinegough-brady.com/

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2954-5069

email: catherine.gough-brady@snodger.com.au

Ph: +61 0438114064

STATEMENT ON PROF GLENDA GRAY AND HER RIGHT TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND EXPRESSION OF DIFFERENCE

The underwriting Executive Committee members of the South African Communications Association (Sacomm) records in this statement support for academic freedom and freedom of expression as a constitutional right in the wake of the controversy surrounding a government proposal to investigate Professor Glenda Gray for expressing a different view.

President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC), Gray expressed reservations about the effectivity of the current lockdown. Gray was appointed by the Minister of Health to advise on matters relating to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In May 2020, Gray participated in media interviews and together with other eminent scientists expressed criticism on the implementation of some aspects of the lockdown regulations announced by government. The Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkize responded to each of Gray’s criticisms in a step by step, point by point, refutation.

It is correct and within his right to defend the government’s decisions and stances, as it is within all scientists rights to differ in approaches, methods, and of course ideological stances. It is what is taking place globally. This transparency of debate is important for our democracy; indeed it is what makes our democracy a vibrant space.

However, Acting Director General of the Department of Health, Dr Anban Pillay went much further. He has asked for an investigation into the conduct of its president, Gray, because she held different views – stating that the SAMRC – is a government entity.

Actually the SAMRC is meant to be an independent statutory body. According to Assaf: “Dr Pillay’s actions represent a violation of the right to academic freedom that includes the right to freedom of academic research (s.16 (d) of the Constitution).”

Assaf: “we believe that freedom of scientific enquiry is fundamental to the health of our constitutional democracy. Academics and researchers need the space to undertake independent research in an environment that is free from fear, intimidation and political interference. To threaten researchers and to muzzle their voice would have a chilling effect on creativity, innovation and experimentation.

“We believe that the spirit of science was beautifully captured in President Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on 24 May 2020 when he said that “We appreciate the diverse and sometimes challenging views of the scientists and health professionals in our country, which stimulate public debate and enrich our response.”

It is this spirit that should inform the public response to science and scientists as they do their vital work.

We support this view of the president as well as that of Assaf. We point out that any idea to “investigate” anyone for having different views smacks of Stalinism, authoritarianism, and is in distinct contradiction with our constitutional democracy. Such threats must be withdrawn with urgency.

Sacomm Executive Committee:

President – Prof Elnerine (WJ) Greeff

Deputy President – Prof Tanja Bosch

Interest group Convenors / Co-convenors:
Communications Advocacy and Activism – Prof Glenda Daniels
Corporate Communication – Prof Mehita Iqani
Communication Studies – Dr Sandra Pitcher
Emerging Scholars Network: Ms Sylvia Skhosana and Mr Collen Chambwera

CFP: CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR AN EDITED VOLUME


INDIGENOUS AFRICAN POPULAR MUSIC: THE ART AND ITS APPLICATIONS

Abiodun Salawu andIsrael Fadipe

Indigenous popular music is an essential feature of any African society, which is being used for every endeavour an African engages in: celebration of life and death, daily activities, economics, politics, religions. Thus, music is a way of life. All over Africa, there are also various genres of indigenous music which have been used to document African histories, democratic experience, social crusade, mobilisation for food security, health, environmental health, gender empowerment, literacy and other developmental issues that have had great impact on the lives of Africans. Africans’ reality revolves around their pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial experiences as these are part of what constitute African identity in the globalised world. Unlike the conventional media (book, newspaper, magazine, radio and television) which evidently have been used to document African histories, indigenous African media, especially indigenous African popular music and its artistes have not attracted sufficient attention to determine how they have documented much of African experiences and events. At this juncture in Africa’s history, it is pertinent to examine the role being played by indigenous African popular music and African popular music artistes. It is important to know the role our African popular music artistes have played and are playing in documenting or intervening in these African experiences. What are their contributions to the reportage, awareness and mitigation of these realities that have been experienced by African societies in the past and present? How have the indigenous African popular music artistes portrayed the world, Africa, governments, people and themselves in relation to these realities? What are the dominant themes or narratives or issues about, for instance, African democratic experience, gender empowerment, food security, environmental health in African indigenous popular music? How do the Africans perceive the narratives about these realities in the indigenous African popular music? How have the indigenous African popular music narratives influenced Africans’ knowledge, attitude and practice of the developmental issues in their respective societies? How does the indigenous African popular music represent African cosmology? What is indigenous African popular music? Who are the indigenous African popular music artistes? In what ways do the indigenous African popular musicians serve as philosophers and prophets to their societies?

This book will try to fill the apparent gaps in the field of  indigenous African popular music and social change. This is the reason why original works by authors interested in this project will be encouraged to focus on any genre of indigenous African popular music and artistes. Among the subjects for consideration as chapters are the following indicative topics:

The Nature, Philosophies and Genres of African Indigenous Popular Music

Indigenous African Popular Music and Health Communication

Indigenous African Popular Music, Democracy and Politics

Indigenous African Popular Music and Social Crusade

Indigenous African Popular Music and Security Issues (Food Security etc.)

Indigenous African Popular Music and Environmental Health

Indigenous African Popular Music and Gender Empowerment

Indigenous African Popular Music and African Children

Indigenous African Popular Music and African Youths

Indigenous African Popular Music and other development issues

Indigenous African Popular Music, Religions and Religious Activities

Indigenous African Popular Music and African Philosophy of Unborn, Life and Death

Indigenous African Popular Music and African Indigenous Cultures

Indigenous African Popular Music and African Science

Indigenous African Popular Music and the World

The Future of the Indigenous African Popular Music

Indigenous African Popular Music Economics

Indigenous African Popular Music Artistes

Indigenous Popular Music Artistes as Philosophers

Indigenous African Popular Music as Prophets

Indigenous African Popular Music Artistes as Social Critics/Crusaders

Indigenous African Popular Music Audience

Indigenous African Popular Music in the Broadcast Media

Indigenous African Popular Music on YouTube etc.

Influence of the indigenous African music on the African modern music

The list is by no means exhaustive

Oxford University Press has expressed interest in publishing the book.

Interested persons should please submit abstracts of 300 – 500 words to israelfadipe77@gmail.com by June 20, 2020. Decisions on abstracts received will be communicated by June 27, 2020. Full papers of accepted abstracts will be expected by September 30, 2020.

Professor Abiodun Salawu
Director of Research Entity: Indigenous Language Media in Africa
Faculty of Humanities

North-West University
Mafikeng Campus
Private Bag X2046
Mmabatho 2735
South Africa

Telephone: +27 18 389 2238

E-mail: abiodun.salawu@nwu.ac.za
            salawuabiodun@gmail.com
           salawuabiodun@yahoo.com

CFP: Fliek! Film and/in Afrikaans literature

There are two main reasons why numerous movie releases are still adaptations of literary works. The use of novels or plays as resources for films was initially a method by which the film industry sought to increase the status of the new medium by drawing the attention of fans of “high culture”. Another important reason is economic in nature: Best-selling novels or dramas are often the best advertisement for a movie.

Where the relationship between film-literature and adaptation / translation comes into play, film critics and academics are still not in agreement about this particular relationship. According to some, the filmmaker is a translator: he / she is busy with an intersemiotic translation; thus a translation from one sign system or mode to another. Others, such as Bluestone (2003), believe that adaptation delivers a completely different product, with different aesthetic conventions, because film is inherently quite different from literature. It is therefore futile to argue that film A is better or weaker than novel A. Each object is autonomous, with its own unique and specific characteristics. The filmmaker only processes a paraphrase of the word text and uses only its raw material. The filmmaker is therefore not a translator, but a new author or creator.

The notion of film and / in Afrikaans literature raises further questions: Are all Afrikaans texts equally suitable for adaptation? Why do some “inferior” novels become commercially viable films? How do fundamental differences between filmic and words texts – especially in how reality is represented – manifest in Afrikaans engaged literature (betrokke literatuur)? What affective experiences (or lack thereof) do Afrikaans film elicit in viewerships that differences in race or socio-economic aspects?

In attempting to answer these, volume 32 (3) of stilet.digital considers the varied ways in which:

  1. film adaptations or visual film translations of Afrikaans literature manifest in academic discourse,
  2. Afrikaans literature is used in films as intertexts,
  3. more general analyses on the relationship between film and literature,
  4. other adaptations / translations, such as TV adaptation and digital sphere adaptations, and
  5. figures, such as Jans Rautenbach and Katinka Heyns directed the Afrikaans film industry.

One-page proposals can be sent to issue editors, Adéle Nel (adele.nel@nwu.ac.za) and Rikus Ströh (rickus.stroh@nwu.ac.za), by the end of June. Final contributions (between 6,000 and 8,000 words in Afrikaans, English or Dutch) are expected by 01 November 2020, with publication in mid-2021.

Younger and emerging academics are encouraged to submit film reviews, film revisits, and interviews on the following:

 films based on a novel/novelle (for example Triomf or ‘n Pawpaw vir my darling),
 tv- or radio adaptations of novels (such as Deon Meyer’s Trackers),
 secondary sources and non-fiction work on the Afrikaans film industry (Daar doer in die fliek; Jans Rautenbach. Dromer,

baanbreker en auteur).
General enquiries can be directed to editor@stilet.digital

Communicating with Communication Studies: An Analysis of the Discipline

Keyan G Tomaselli and Arnold Shepperson

Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies

University of Natal, Durban

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the study conducted between 1999 and 2001 was to review the state of communication studies with special emphasis on research performance and education at higher education institutions in South Africa.  The study was commissioned by the National Research Foundation (NRF) (Tomaselli and Shepperson 2001).

Please download the full study here.

SACOMM2020 conference update and forecast

Dear SACOMM Members and Associates

Flowing forth from the national state of disaster issued around the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the SACOMM Executive Committee and the 2020 Local Organising Committee at the University of Limpopo would like to update you on our conference which is set to take place later this year. The outbreak remains a very fluid situation, and please be assured that we are monitoring the effects and implications very closely. We are hopeful that our conference will be able to go ahead as planned, albeit perhaps a little later in the year than usual.

Since we seek to make decisions that prioritise your health and safety, we will not be issuing our Call for Papers at this time, but will work towards doing so as soon as the situation allows. We appreciate that this remains a stressful and trying situation, and ask for your understanding as we seek to make well-informed decisions in a timely manner.

Please feel free to contact the Association directly if you have any questions. On our website you will find our contact details and regularly updated information around the conference.