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Events 2015

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  Events 2016

'A Cat Isn't a Set of Questions':
Reason and Ethics in J.M. Coetzee's Fiction

Derek Attridge
York University

"My lecture will take up the powerful challenge that J.M. Coetzee’s writing makes to the idea of a rational ethics. In comments made in propria persona he implies that ethical judgements are made prior to the reasons we offer for them. I will examine the ways in which Coetzee’s fiction stages this issue, and ask what are the implications of this approach for our understanding of literature’s contribution to ethical life." - Derek Attridge

See also http://oslit.nl


4 December 2015
11:00 to 13:00

PC Hoofthuis 1.05
Spuisstraat 134

Registration required. Click here.



South African Literatures:
Planetary to Regional Scales

Kwezi Mkhize
in conversation with
Jennifer Wenzel and David Attwell

David Attwell is the Head of the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York in the UK, having lectured at UWC, UKZN and Wits. His most recent book is J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Apart from his work on Coetzee, he has published a collection of the letters of Es'kia Mphahlele (with Chabani Manganyi), and a monograph, Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History. He is the co-editor with Derek Attridge of The Cambridge History of South African Literature.

Jennifer Wenzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. Her book Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond (Chicago and Kwazulu-Natal. 2009) was awarded Honorable Mention for the Perkins Prize by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. Her current book projects are Reading for the Planet: World Literature and Environmental Crisis' andContrapuntal Environmentalists: Nature, North and South. She is also co-editing Fueling Culture: Energy, History. Politics (Fordham 2016) with lmre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger.

Khwezi Mkhize joins the English Department at the University of Cape Town with a PhD in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His research interests include African and Black diasporic literatures, its print cultures and intellectual formations. He wrote his dissertation on Black print culture and imperial citizenship in late nineteenth and early twentieth century South Africa.

29 July 2015
13:00 to 14:30

(finger lunch at 12h45)

116 Arts Block
UCT Upper Campus




Autobiography and the Creative Process:
The Case of J.M.Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

David Attwell
York University

J.M.Coetzee’s third novel Waiting for the Barbarians earned the novelist his international reputation. The novel’s most notable and discussed feature is its setting in an unspecified time and place, on the outskirts of an entirely fictional empire. However, Waiting for the Barbarians began as a novel about Cape Town at the end of a revolutionary war, with Robben Island as an embarkation point for whites fleeing the country. How did Coetzee transform this material into the novel that speaks powerfully to so many times and places? Drawing on his research into previously unseen manuscript material housed at the Ransom Centre of the University of Texas at Austin, Professor David Attwell will trace the genesis and development of a novel that emerged from a South Africa riven apart by the revelations of the Steve Biko inquest.

23 July 2015
18h00 to 19h00

LT3, Kramer Building
UCT Middle Campus

(+27) 021 650 2888

R80 (full fee)
R40 (staff)

(As a partially self-funding entity, we are obliged to charge a small fee for extension lectures. These are fixed at Summer School rates.
Reduced rates can be applied for at the door.)



Jacana Media and Clarke’s Bookshop
invite you to the book launch of

J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing:
Face to Face with Time

by David Attwell

Join the author in conversation with
South African poet and writer Finuala Dowling.

19 May 2015
17h30 for 18h00

Clarke’s Bookshop
199 Long Street
Cape Town City Centre

Relebone Myambo
(+27) 011 628 3200


Het goede verhaal:
een avond over fictie, waarheid en psychotherapie

In samenwerking met Uitgeverij Cossee, het Jan van Luxemburg Programma en de Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen (UvA)

Naar aanleiding van het verschijnen van Het goede verhaal van Nobelprijswinnaar J.M. Coetzee en Arabella Kurtz organiseren Uitgeverij Cossee en de Jan van Luxemburg stichting een thema avond over fictie, waarheid en psychotherapie.

Welke verhalen verzinnen we voor onszelf om ons verleden te herinneren? Kunnen we onze herinneringen aanpassen om een ‘mooier’ verhaal te vertellen, of moeten we Freud volgen en altijd blijven graven naar ‘de diepste waarheid’? Het goede verhaal is een enerverende gedachtewisseling, niet alleen prikkelend voor de lezers van Coetzee en therapeuten, maar ook voor hen die inzicht willen krijgen in de creatieve processen van de mens als auteur van zijn eigen geschiedenis.

Ter  gelegenheid van de verschijning van Het goede verhaal gaan schrijver Daan Heerma van Voss en psychotherapeut Nelleke Nicolai in gesprek met hoogleraar Carrol Clarkson over psychotherapie en de kunst van het vertellen.

23 March 2015
20h00 - 21h30



Call for Papers

J.M. Coetzee and the non-English Literary Traditions

EJES (European Journal of English Studies) Volume 20

Deadline for proposals: 31 OCTOBER 2014

Guest editors: María J. López, (Córdoba, Spain), Kai Wiegandt, (Berlin, Germany)

In J.M. Coetzee's latest novel, The Childhood of Jesus (2013), Miguel de Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote are central, calling attention to gaps in the existing research on Coetzee's intertextuality. Research has mainly focused on English intertexts, although Coetzee enters a dialogue with a myriad of literary and linguistic traditions, especially, though not only, European ones. As Derek Attridge states in his introduction to Coetzee's collection of essays Inner Workings, Coetzee's "evident fascination with the European novelists of the first half of the twentieth-century suggests that, although he has never lived in continental Europe, he is, if looked at from one angle, a deeply European writer." In spite of substantial examinations of the echoes of different non-English writers in Coetzee, these critical analyses are scattered and some influences remain patently unexamined. Hence, this issue intends to cover an important critical gap by offering the first unified view of Coetzee's relation with non-English literary traditions both in his fictional and non-fictional works, focusing on Coetzee’s interaction with European literatures such as Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, German, Polish, Greek or Russian, but also welcoming contributions on Latin American, Asian and other non-English influences.

Topics for papers may include:

- Thematic and formal influences of non-English literary traditions on Coetzee's fiction
- Coetzee's re-thinking of the novel form through non-English novels, for example, via Don Quixote, as opposed to the much-discussed Robinson Crusoe
- Coetzee's dialogue with specific authors, such as Kafka, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Milosz, Musil, Márai, Rousseau, Cervantes, Goethe or García Márquez
- A broadening of the notion that Coetzee is influenced by modernism by including non-English modernisms
- Coetzee's representation of non-English languages in his fiction
- Coetzee's work as a translator, especially from Dutch, and its possible effects on his fiction

Detailed proposals (500-1,000 words) for essays of c. 5,000-6,000 words, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors:

- María J. López <ff2losam@uco.es>
- Kai Wiegandt <kai.wiegandt@fu-berlin.de>

Please note that the deadline for proposals is 31 October 2014, with delivery of completed essays by 31 March 2015.

Volume 20 will appear in 2016.


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