Transition to democracy

  • September 19, 2012
Transition to democracy

Danelle van Zyl-Hermann has won a prestigious history prize in South Africa linked to her PhD on the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been awarded first prize for the best student contribution at the Historical Association of South Africa’s biennial conference.

Danelle van Zyl-Hermann [2010] was awarded the prize for a paper she presented at the conference in Pretoria about a part of the PhD research she is conducting at Cambridge.

The Historical Association of South Africa (HASA), founded in 1956, is the oldest academic historical society in South Africa.

The 2012 Biennual Conference was hosted by the University of Pretoria under the theme “Doing History” and attracted participants from across Southern Africa, Europe, the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. It focused in particular on the new generation of young historians.

The Association says the best student paper was chosen according to the following criteria: an original argument, based on original research, which is systematically presented. The papers were judged by a committee consisting of Prof Johan Bergh (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Dr Barbara Henkes (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and Dr Lindie Koorts (University of Pretoria, South Africa).

Danelle’s PhD focuses on the transition period from apartheid to democracy. She is interested in studying Afrikaner identity, particularly working class Afrikaners. Her research work to date has centred around the history of emotions. She believes the history of the emotions is underexplored in South Africa and has spoken at universities there to introduce the subject to students. “People prefer economic histories, for instance, but it is crucial to understand how ordinary people felt,” she says.

Latest News

Towards better public service delivery in Pakistan

Rafi Kakar [2024] is keen to contribute to better public service delivery and development outcomes in Pakistan by employing a research approach that blends theory with the realities of public policymaking. He believes that the devolution of social sectors to the provinces in 2010 has created both challenges and opportunities for governance reforms and improvements […]

Using virtual reality in the service of stroke recovery

Brielle Stark [2012] is pioneering new ways of approaching the language problems faced by stroke patients. She was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research in Australia, starting in Spring 2025. She will be moving to Australia to work with her long-time colleague Dr Lucy Bryant at the University of Technology Sydney on […]

The ethical implications of AI

Three Gates Cambridge Scholars address the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence and the need for ethics to keep up with the pace of change in AI in the fourth episode of the Gates Cambridge podcast, So, now what? out today [30th May]. The episode, featuring Andreas Vlachos, Kerry McInerney and Richard Diehl Martinez was hosted […]

Rethinking feminist approaches to gender-based violence

Ilaria Michelis [2019] was completely surprised when, earlier this year, she was awarded this year’s Journal of Gender Studies Janet Blackman Prize. The Prize celebrates scholarship on international feminist movements and trade unions/women in work.  It was awarded for an article she published the year before in the Journal of Gender Studies based on an issue […]