Stephen Symons is a PhD student at the Centre for African Studies (UCT), under the supervision of Dr Siona O’ Connell and Professor Nick Shepherd. His PhD research focuses on how former South African Defence Force (SADF) conscripts (1980-1990) navigate memories of induction into the SADF and whiteness in post post-apartheid society. His research avoids the well-trodden territory of the South African Border War and focuses on the militarisation of white males and initial phases of national service in the SADF. In January 2016 he was invited to participate in the first Conscription Symposium at the Beyers Naudé Centre (Stellenbosch University), a new academic initiative hoping to draw attention to apartheid-era conscription.
Stephen holds an MA in Creative Writing, with distinction (2014) from the University of Cape Town and is a practising graphic designer and poet. His poetry, essays and short-fiction have been published in journals, magazines and various anthologies, locally and internationally. His unpublished collection, Spioenkop was listed as a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (US) in 2015.