AFDA staff at SACOMM 2019

News, 09 September 2019

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Staff from AFDA Johannesburg, Cleola Aeyrs, Shameelah Khan, Dr. Jenni Underhill and François Smit have just returned from the SACOMM 2019 Conference, which was held in Cape Town at the UCT.

SACOMM is a professional body that represents academics from around southern Africa working in communications and related fields.

Dr. Underhill presented her paper titled “Argument and the art of relevance” in the curriculum Development and Education Stream of the conference, alongside scholars from UNISA, WITS and UJ where new pedagogical approaches were discussed. Apart from engaging with lecturers from other universities about teaching and education, it was also possible to discuss the successes and challenges of some pedagogical approaches with scholars from all other universities in South Africa. Her session was well attended and a lively debate ensued.

François Smit presented a panel discussion to give feedback to SACOMM Delegates from the International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT). Several productions from INPUT were screened at SACOMM and the debate that followed was lively and interesting. Positioning the South African television landscape, it’s productions and it’s content within the global context was an interesting exercise for all participants.

During the conference, François was also re-elected on the Executive Committee of SACOMM. In this position, with Nantie Steyn from the Johannesburg Campus, François will be planning events, colloquia and workshops to grow the Screen Studies stream. 

AFDA positions itself as an integral part of the South African Academic landscape as well as a thought-leader for not only the practical productions in the Entertainment Industry but also the theoretical and educational context within the academic context.

SACOMM is organised annually at a different university. The 2020 Conference will be hosted by the University of Limpopo. Call for Abstracts and Submissions for that conference will be published on the SACOMM website by April 2020.  

For more information about SACOMM – please refer to the website:

To be involved with the Screen Studies Stream – please contact Nantie Steyn ( and François Smit (



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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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