Print, Text and Book Cultures in South Africa Cover

Print, Text and Book Cultures in South Africa

488 pages

September, 2012

ISBN: 9781868145669



Also available in


Andrew van der Vlies is Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, and Research Associate in the Department of English Literature at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. His areas of expertise include South African literatures and literary cultures, Anglophone postcolonial writing, and print and book histories. He is a literary critic, historian and cultural sociologist, and author of South African Textual Cultures (2010). He reviews regularly for various publications such as the Times Literary Supplement and Art South Africa.

Leon de Kock is Senior Research Associate in the Department of English at the University of Johannesburg. He is a poet, translator, essayist, and occasional writer of fiction. His writing includes the novel, Bad Sex (2011); three volumes of poetry: Bloodsong (1997), Gone to the Edges (2006), Bodyhood (2010); several works of literary translation, and academic books.

Archie L. Dick is a Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria.

Natasha Distiller is Research Associate in the Institute for the Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Patrick Denman Flanery is professor of Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London.

An explanation of the unique role of the book and book collecting in South Africa due to the apartheid
This book explores the power of print and the politics of the book in South Africa from a range of disciplinary perspectives- historical, bibliographic, literary-critical, sociological, and cultural studies. The essays collected here, by leading international scholars, address a range of topics as varied as: the role of print cultures in contests over the nature of the colonial public sphere in the nineteenth century; orthography; iimbongi, orature and the canon; book- collecting and libraries; print and transnationalism; Indian Ocean cosmopolitanisms; books in war; how the fates of South African texts, locally and globally, have been affected by their material instantiations; photocomics and other ephemera; censorship, during and after apartheid; books about art and books as art; local academic publishing; and the challenge of 'book history' for literary and cultural criticism in contemporary South Africa.