Home > Summer School > Summer School 2022 > LANGUAGE AND PSYCHOLOGY >  Afrikaans language and literature


Professor Hein Willemse, Professor of Literature and Literary Theory, Department of Afrikaans, University of Pretoria; Professor Michael le Cordeur, Stellenbosch University; Associate Professor Quentin Williams, University of the Western Cape; Professor Steward van Wyk, University of the Western Cape, and Ms Stevlyn Vermeulen, Kwela Publishers

The Afrikaans language has a varied history. South Africans of every hue and background have contributed to its formation and development. In public debates on the history of the language or its literature, little of this variety is reflected. In this course a brief overview of the Afrikaans language and literature beyond the known hegemonic history will be explored. Initially the background of a variety of proto-Afrikaans speakers will be discussed with reference to the sociocultural aspects of language formation in the early- to mid-nineteenth century, more particularly the emergence of the Afrikaans Islamic scribal tradition and Moravian textual practices. In the second lecture, proponents of the introduction of contemporary Afrikaans language variety in the classroom will discuss the need and rationalisation for their proposals. In the third lecture the histories of marginality, resistance and reclamation in Afrikaans literature will be discussed with reference to Black Afrikaans writers past and present.


Lecture titles

1.  The hidden histories of Afrikaans Professor Hein Willemse

2.  The varieties of Afrikaans: panel discussion 1 Professors Hein Willemse, Michael le Cordeur and Quentin Williams

3.  Marginality, resistance and reclamation in Afrikaans literature: panel discussion 2

Professors Hein Willemse, Steward van Wyk, and Ms Stevlyn Vermeulen


Recommended reading

Willemse, H. 2015. “The hidden histories of Afrikaans.” Whiteness, Afrikaans, Afrikaners. Edited by Joel Netshitenzhe. Johannesburg: Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), 115–130. (Lecture 1).

Willemse, H. 2019. (video) “Die versteekte geskiedenisse van Afrikaans – The hidden histories of Afrikaans.” (Lecture 1).

Hendricks, F. 2016. “The nature and context of Kaaps: a contemporary, past and future perspective,” Multilingual Margins 2016, 3(2): 6–39. (Panel discussion 1).

Le Cordeur, M. 2011. “Die variëteite van Afrikaans as draers van identiteit – ’n sosiokulturele perspektief,” Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 51(4): 1–20. (Panel discussion 1).

Williams, Q. 2021. “Kaaps is the future of Afrikaans,” Litnet. 30 March.

Van Wyk, S. “Narrating the past: Reflections on recent Black Afrikaans writing,” Tydskrif vir letterkunde, 55(1): 70–80. (Panel discussion 2).

Willemse, H. 2019. “Black Afrikaans writers: continuities and discontinuities into the early 21st century –
a commentary.” Stilet, 31(1&2): 260–276. (Panel discussion 2).





DATE: Monday 10–Wednesday 12 January
TIME: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES: R225 (online)/R330 (in person)