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Luan Staphorst

South Africa, 2020

Luan Staphorst is currently pursuing two MA qualifications – one in philosophy (University of the Western Cape) and one in linguistics (Nelson Mandela University -NMU). He has published and presented papers within these fields, as well as in literature and cultural studies across the world. He is a 2019 Abe Bailey Fellow, and a research assistant in NMU’s Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation.

Beyond his academic pursuits, he has a passion for poetry. Besides publishing widely, he is the founding editor and lead translator of Amazwi – NMU’s first trilingual poetry journal. His poetry has been exhibited as part of the National Arts Festival.

After winning the Derek Gray Memorial Award for the Most Prestigious Project at the 2013 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists (which included presenting his research at Nobel Week 2013) and representing Africa at the Nobel Prize Giving Ceremony), he has been an executive member of the Port Elizabeth Regional EEYS, a position through which he continues to mentor school learners with a passion for research and critical thinking.

On the relationship between research, poetry and broader being-in-this-world, he writes:

“Life/research/poetry is a not a binding of either/or. It is not split in the seam, nor slash-ed by a punctuation mark. It is an ever-continuing unfolding. To live is to re-live, to re-search what we thought we have forgotten. It is to re-member the un-forgettableness of being, to poetise the forge-ing of unforgetting. To live, is to search, as to search is to give thanks to the memory of forgetting. I poetise as to live for the forge-able-being; I re-search never to stop re-membering”.

Explore the Class of 2020