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Professor Karin van Marle

Academic profile

Professor Karin van Marle holds the degrees BLC LLB (UP) LLM LLD (Unisa).

Professor van Marle worked as lecturer at UNISA, Department of Jurisprudence from 1997 to 1998 and was appointed in the Department of Legal History as senior lecturer in 1999. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and to Professor in 2004.  From November 2007 to November 2008 Karin acted as Head of the Department, whereafter she served two four-year terms as Head of the Department  until November 2016.  After the conclusion of her second term in 2016, she acted as Head of the Department of Jurisprudence until July 2017.

She teaches Jurisprudence 310 and Jurisprudence 420 at undergraduate level. She convenes the LLM in Law and Political Justice that is offered in collaboration with Birkbeck Law School, University of London. The core modules of the programme are Philosophy and history of human rights, Post-apartheid jurisprudence and Global perspectives on law, rights and development. She convenes the Research methodology modules on undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Focus areas

The main areas of her research fall in the field of law and the humanities scholarship with an emphasis on critical legal theory, feminist theory and law and literature. Her work engages the social and political context in South Africa and the continued struggle to transform.

Publications 2013-2015

Journal articles

  • “Law and resistance in the city of Pretoria: Space, history and the everyday’ vol 38 June (2013) Australian Feminist Law Journal (with I de Villiers) 129-148
  • ‘Being counterintuitive’ vol 24 no2 (2013) Stellenbosch Law Review (with JFD Brand) 264-280
  • “Poverty as injustice’ (2013) Law, Democracy and Development (with Brand, De Beer & De Villiers) 273-297
  • ‘Re-visioning space, justice and belonging in the capital of Pretoria/ Tshwane’ (2014) De Jure 163-174
  • ‘Reflections on legacy, complicity, and legal education’ vol 46 no 3 (2014) Acta Academica 198-217
  • ‘Afriforum v Malema: The limits of law and complexity’ (with N Buitendag) (2014) Potchefstroom Electronic Review  2895-2916
  • ‘Ubuntu-feminism – Tentative reflections’ (with D Cornell) (2015) Verbum et Ecclesia 1-8
  • ‘Post-1994 jurisprudence and its coming of age stories’ (2015) No foundations 114.135
  • ‘Mandela in/ and Pretoria’ Image and text (2015) 142-160
  • ‘Thought as condition for a healthy society’ (2015) Journal for the Humanities 541-555

Edited collection

  • Genres of critique. Law, aesthetics and liminality (2013) Stellenbosch: Sun Media (co-editor with Stewart Motha, Birkbeck, University of London)

Significant publications prior to 2013

  • “Law’s time, particularity and slowness” (2003) vol 19 part 2 South African Journal on Human Rights 239-255
  • “Lives of action, thinking and revolt – A feminist call for politics and becoming in post-apartheid South Africa” (2004) vol 19 no 3 SA Publiekreg/Public Law 605-628
  • ‘Exploring ubuntu: Tentative reflections’ (2005) vol 5 no 2 African Human Rights Law Journal 195-220 (co-authored with Drucilla Cornell, Ruthers University)
  • ‘The spectacle of post-apartheid constitutionalism’ (2007) vol 16 no 2 Griffiths Law Review 411 – 429
  • ‘Laughter, refusal, friendship: Thoughts on a ‘jurisprudence of generosity” ‘ (2007) vol 18 no 1 Stellenbosch Law Review  vol 18 no 1 194 – 206  

Presentations at international conferences 2013-2015

  • “Memory and metaphor” Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, London, March 2013
  • “The present and future of feminism, alternative modernities and difference” Conference on Law, Culture and the Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London, London, March 2013
  • “‘And nothing changed again.’ Conciliation, reconfiliation, frailty” Critical Legal Conference, Belfast, Ireland, September 2013 (plenary speaker)
  • “Liberalism and socio-economic rights: modernity, technology and science” Workshop on social liberalism, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, October 2013
  • “Legacy and complicity” Conference on Law, Culture and the Humanities, Charlelottesville, US, March 2014
  • “The politics of memory and the politics of memory, reparation and reconciliation in post-1994 South Africa” Conference on The politics of memory, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, November, 2014
  • “No place like home” The precaurious home: Socio-legal perspectives on the home in insecure times Onata, Spain, June 2015
  • ‘If I am a man, then I should have a farm’ The conflation of land, mastery and patriarchy in colonial and postcolonial South Africa” Critical Legal Conference, Wroclaw, Poland, September 2015
  • “Complicity, spatiality, temporality” Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference Sydney, Australia, December, 2016 (keynote speaker)

Academic and professional memberships

Prof van Marle serves on the Editorial Committee of Law and Critique and the International Editorial Board of Feminist Legal Studies.

Awards and bursaries

Prof van Marle received a Junior Researcher Award from the University of Pretoria in 2003 and was recognised as Exceptional Achiever for two terms (2010-2012 and 2013-2015). In 2006 she was invited by Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study to take up a Research Fellowship.  She has visited STIAS as fellow conducting research annually from 2007 to 2010, and again from 2014 to 2015. 

Contact Details

Tel: +27 12 420 2393
Fax: +27 12 420 4524
Email: [email protected]

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Last edited by Elzet HurterEdit