Two professors co-edited a new collection, "Print Culture in Southern Africa"

Posted on August 19, 2021

Prof. Archie Dick and Beth le Roux are two of the co-editors of a new collection on Print Culture in Southern Africa, recently published by Routledge. The chapters included in this book were originally published in a special issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies, but have been reissued with a new Introduction, to reach a broader audience.

Print Culture in Southern Africa – which is co-edited with Caroline Davis and Dennis Walder – is concerned with the institutions and processes informing the production, circulation and consumption of books, from the late 18th century to the present day. The book is organised around three closely related themes. Firstly, it presents original research into the formation of reading publics and the impact of reading cultures, by uncovering obscure but important reading communities and circuits of book distribution and reception. A second theme is the relationship between print and politics, with a particular focus on the networks of power: how control over the production and circulation of printed books has shaped literary and cultural development. The third theme is transnational print culture, and how the control exercised by publishers in Europe and America has shaped literature and society in southern Africa.

Drawing together interdisciplinary research and diverse methodologies, the collection encompasses a range of perspectives, including literary studies, anthropology, publishing studies, the history of the book and art history, and many of the chapters are based on previously unexamined archives and collections. The volume contributes to current debates and opens up new and exciting ways of furthering the study of postcolonial literature and African book history.

Prof. Dick’s chapter is titled ‘Reading Authors of the Enlightenment at the Cape of Good Hope from the Late 1780s to the Early 1830s’, while Prof. le Roux’s chapter is ‘Miriam Tlali and Ravan Press: Politics and Power in Literary Publishing during the Apartheid Period’.

More details on the book can be found at

- Author Anneke Nel

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