Hendrik Petrus Van Coller

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2012/2013
discipline Literature
Distinguished Professor and Head of Department of Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French of the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein

Research project

Writing a New Dutch Literary History for Afrikaans Speaking Students

 

Afrikaans and Dutch are taught in combination in the South African context, and although students read Dutch books, they do not have a sufficient command of Dutch to read difficult theoretical books like available literary histories in Dutch. These histories are too expensive and do not take into account the specific interests, frame of references, etc. of the South African (Afrikaans speaking) students. The ideal is a comprehensive theoretically sound and encompassing literary history, which also focuses on migrant writers and post colonial literature in Dutch. The only available Dutch literary history in Afrikaans is outdated, focuses exclusively on canonized authors and texts, and excludes almost the whole of modern Flemish literature and a great part of modern Dutch literature. It can therefore not be updated. The envisaged project, for which an eminent academic publisher has already been found, will fill an important hiatus. All the lecturers in Dutch literature in the Northern part of South Africa (the so called Noordelike Kennisnetwerk) met to discuss this project and unanimously decided that the best model will be a two part literary history, comprising of a first part perspective on the Dutch literary history since the middle ages and a second part with profiles of authors who wrote in Dutch - especially those who are important also for the Reading of Dutch in a South African context. Whilst the first book is therefore a concentration on processes of canonization and marginalization, the second book will focus more on canonised authors and a South African prospective and will be written as a whole by South African academics. 

Part one will most probably be based on the literary history of R. Gruttemeier and M. Leuker. This book can however not be used without tailor-made adaptation for South African use and the incorporation of certain sections of the new 8 part Dutch literary history sponsored by the Dutch Language Union. Extensive reading pertaining to theoretical approaches and to Dutch literary histories has been done and the project leader has consulted widely with Dutch scholars and has now started with the writing process itself. 

Biography

 

Hedrik Petrus Van Coller is Distinguished Professor and Head of Department of Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French of the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He holds a Drs. Litt. in Science of Literature and Dutch Literature from the Rijksuniversiteit of Utrecht, and a doctorate (D. Litt. et Phil.) on Etienne Leroux from the Rand Afrikaans University. His terrains of specialization are Afrikaans and Dutch prose, methodology, Dutch linguistics, Afrikaans and Dutch poetry, historical literature, translation and creative writing.

Selected publications

 

‘Interne en eksterne outeursintensies in die roman Agaat van Marlene van Niekerk’, in L. Beer, R. Lemmer and A.W. Oliphant (eds), Woorde bly: Kritiese Opstelle (Words remain: Critical essays), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 2010, pp.158-179. 

 

‘Afrikaans translations of William Shakespeares Sonnets’, with B.A. Senekal, in M. Pfister and J. Gutsch (eds), William Shakespeares Sonnets, TG Schweiz, Dozwil, 2009. 

 

‘Recently published South African literary histories’, The International Journal of the Book, vol.5, no.3, Melbourne, 2008.

 

‘A contextual interpretation of J.M. Coetzees novel Disgrace’, in L. Sikorska (ed.), A universe of (hi)stories, Peter Lang, New York, 2006, pp.15-38.

 

‘Revisiting the canon and the literary tradition: a South African case study’, Journal for Literary Studies, vol.21, no.1/2, 2005, pp.29-47. 

 

‘Antjie Krog se vertaling van Henk van Woerden se roman Een mond vol glas (Antjie Krog´s translation of Henk van Woerden’s novel Een mond vol glas)’, Literator, vol.23, no.2, 2002, pp.129-163.

institut

junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
discipline Anthropology
2012
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
discipline History
2011
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
discipline Sociology
2013
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
discipline Literature
2011