Dr Lauren van der Rede awarded BECHS-Africa Fellowship

Dr Lauren van der Rede, currently a lecturer in the Department of English at Stellenbosch University, has been awarded the BECHS-Africa Fellowship and will be in residence as an Early Career Humanities Scholar at the University of Ghana in the latter half of 2023. Her research thinks the intersection of annihilatory violence, such as genocide, literary and cultural studies, and psychoanalysis from and through Africa in relation to the question of memory. She received her PhD in English Literature from the University of the Western Cape, where she was also a Next Generation Researcher based at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR). Beyond developing her own scholarship, as part of her time at the University of Ghana, she will also offer a workshop focused around her research.

Professors Louise Green and Tina Steiner among top three nominations for Academy of Science South Africa Humanities book award.

Louise Green’s Fragments from the History of Loss: The Nature Industry and the Postcolony (Penn State, 2020) was described by the Review Panel as, “exceptionally well-written, powerful, provocative and an excellent scholarship across a range of disciplines”, while Tina Steiner’s Convival Worlds. Writing Relation from Africa (Routledge, 2021) was recognised as “an excellent text that is well-written and beautifully theorized”.

Congrats to both! The awards ceremony will take place in March 2023.

CONVIVIAL WORLDS, writing relation from Africa – Clarke's Bookshop

Talking Across Cultures Invitation

As part of a South-South collaborative project between Dr BMN College (Autonomous) in Mumbai, the postgraduate Department of English, SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai, and the English Department at Stellenbosch University, we invite you to two public lectures taking place at STIAS on Thursday, the 6th April between 10 and 11am.
Prof Mala Pandurang (Dr BMN College): Global South Connectivities: Exploring Pedagogical Possibilities, and Dr Dhrupadi Chattopadhyay (SNDT Women’s University): Feminist assemblages in the Global South: Notes from contemporary Literary Practices.

Teaching and Learning

Dr Nadia Sanger and Dr Megan Jones received a FINLO award to run a hybrid learning initiative with the English Department’s Honours students and MA students under the supervision of Dr Dhrupadi Chattopadhyay, SNDT University, Mumbai. The project is titled, “South-South Feminisms: A Feminist Approach to Cross-Cultural Learning”.

Recent Publications

Congratulations to Dr Uhuru Phalafala on the publication of two new volumes:

Keorapetse Kgositsile: Collected Poems, 1969-2018 (co-edited with Phillippa Yaa De Villiers), University of Nebraska Press, 2023.

Mine Mine Mine, University of Nebraska Press, 2023.

Dr Eckard Smuts


Environmental Literature, Ecocriticism, (Southern) African Literature, Postcolonial & World Literatures, Critical Temporalities


Environmental Humanities, (Southern) African Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Critical Temporalities



“Elemental Humanity in Bessie Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather.” English Studies in Africa 66.1 (2023). 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/00138398.2023.2128490 

“From Apartheid to the Planetary Present: Breaching Time in Nadine Gordimer’s Something Out There.” Social Dynamics 48.2 (2022). 207-223. https://doi.org/10.1080/02533952.2022.2085856 

“The ‘baboon boy’ of the Eastern Cape and the making of the human in South Africa.” Social Dynamics 44.1 (2018). 146-157. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533952.2018.1430477 

“J.M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron and the Poetics of Resistance.” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 52.1 (2017). 70-83. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0021989415589832 

“‘The Country of his Heart’: J.M. Coetzee, Wordsworth and the Karoo Farm.” English in Africa 42.2 (2015). 7-24. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/eia/article/view/122983 

“J.M. Coetzee and the Politics of Selfhood.” English in Africa 39.1 (2012). 21-36. https://journals.co.za/content/iseaeng/39/1/EJC125856 

“Reading Through the Gates: Structure, Desire and Subjectivity in J.M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello.” English in Africa 36.2 (2009). 63-77. https://journals.co.za/content/iseaeng/36/2/EJC47986 


“Life & Times of Michael K” in The Bloomsbury Handbook to J.M. Coetzee, Lucy Graham and Andrew van der Vlies (eds.) (forthcoming 2023)


“Let The Worms Have It”, short story, Johannesburg Review of Books, Vol. 6, Issue 6 (December 20, 2022). https://johannesburgreviewofbooks.com/2022/12/20/fiction-issue-read-let-the-worms-have-it-a-new-short-story-by-eckard-smuts/

“HomeTM”, short story, Johannesburg Review of Books, Vol. 6, Issue 2 (May 2, 2022). https://johannesburgreviewofbooks.com/2022/05/02/new-short-fiction-home-by-eckard-smuts/ 


Congratulations to Dr Uhuru Phalafala, who earned a Y1 NRF rating in November 2022, within five years of graduating with her PhD. As previously reported, Dr Phalafala was also recognized by the Future Professors program.

The Department of English also extends its warmest congratulations to former PhD student, Dr Jacky Kosgei on her tenure track appointment at the University of Tübingen, Germany, from January 2023. She has been hired on a professorial track in English in the field of “Culture of Knowledge/Global Epistemologies”.

Dr Rose Lim successfully defended her PhD viva in December 2022, with much praise from the examination panel for her thesis.

Finally, Department of English Research Associate, Dr Wesley Macheso, received an honourable mention for his article on transgender memoirs by South Africans in this year’s Queer African Studies Association competition for best article by an emergent scholar.

The Department warmly congratulates Dr Phalafala, Dr Kosgei, Dr Lim, and Dr Macheso for their fine and significant achievements to draw a busy and productive 2022 to a close.

Article Writing Workshop for Senior Graduate Students and Staff, Friday, 4 November 2022

Drawing on the expertise of visiting Professor Extraordinaire, Prof Meg Samuelson (University of Adelaide) and visiting researcher Assistant Professor Dr Martin Moraw (American University Cairo), the English Department recently invited graduate students and staff to a workshop on how to write for journal publication. This workshop took place on Friday 4 November at Devon Valley Hotel and Conference Centre.

Professor Samuelson looked at questions like ‘Why is it important to publish my research?’, ‘How do I identify a good publication outlet that fits my research?’, ‘How do I avoid predatory journals?’ and ‘How do I create an article out of a thesis chapter?’

Dr Moraw used one of his publications as a case study for the session on how to structure an argument and Professor Steiner, co-editor of the Taylor and Francis Journal Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies explained the review process and how to deal with the reviewers’ feedback in revising articles for publication.

Summer School: Communication and Environmental Justice: Sociocultural Linguistic Approaches, University of Oslo, Norway (12-16 September 2022)

Selma Shiyoka, PhD

From 12 September to 16 September 2022, I attended a MultiLing Summer School at the University of Oslo, Norway. The theme for the summer school was “Communication and Environmental Justice: Sociocultural Linguistic Approaches” and its main objective was to consider how applied linguists can contribute to social justice concerns in a time of growing environmental challenges and climate change. Over the course of an idea-packed week, participants and invited lecturers shared and discussed their research to examine the connections between language, environment and social justice. My presentation was based on the introductory chapter of my doctoral dissertation, “Precarity and Resilience: An Ecofeminist Reading of the African Child in Fiction by Contemporary Women Writers”.

In preparation for the summer school, the invited lecturers sent us an extensive reading list and required our participation in different activities. For the first session, we were asked to bring and discuss an image, a piece of music, an object, anything that symbolizes and reflects our personal relationship to politics and its interrelationship with language/semiotics. The aim of this activity was to show how scholars can become political activists and how language can be used to communicate anger, resilience and hope. Throughout the week, lecturers presented their research in relation to the reading list. One of the main themes in these presentations was the abuse of animals by human animals. For instance, dairy cows are exploited and separated from their calf after birth; the milk produced is strictly for human consumption whilst the calf is formula fed. We visited a dairy farm where I saw how the cows live in a very small environment without much room for movement and are reared to serve humans. We were tasked to observe how cows interact among themselves and how they communicate with / respond to humans. During the summer school, I learnt that language plays a critical role in the way that anger and hope are understood in times of crisis, which I found essential as a scholar-activist. Although anger is perceived to be destructive, it can be used as a tool against oppressive systems and other injustices facing nature, human animals and nonhuman animals today. Hope is an affective agency which fuels forms of refusal and carries the potential to change the status quo.

I would like to thank Professor Christine Anthonissen in the Department of General Linguistics and Prof Tina Steiner in the Department of English at Stellenbosch University for supporting my application to attend the summer school. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to the MultiLing team and the INTPART project facilitators for sponsoring my travel from Namibia and stay in Oslo, enabling me to participate in this invaluable learning experience. I also want to thank my supervisor, Dr Jeanne Ellis, for her encouragement, support and guidance.