Invitation to the Nadine Gordimer Lecture

Posted on August 28, 2019

University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tawana Kupe and the Friends of the Nadine Gordimer Committee invite you to the 2019 Nadine Gordimer Lecture, to be delivered by writer, human rights activist and member of the Swedish Academy, Per Wästberg.

The theme of the lecture is Encounters with Nadine Gordimer and Other African Writers.

Date:                             Thursday, 5 September 2019

Time:                            17:00 – 17:30 Registration and light refreshments

                                     17:30 – 19:00 Lecture

Venue:                           Senate Hall, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria

Dress:                            Business attire

Enquiries:                       Kirsty Nepomuceno at

RSVP:                            Click here  by 29 August 2019 to accept or decline, booking is essential.

Per Wästberg is a Swedish writer, human rights activist, and the Chairperson of the Nobel Prize Literature Committee. His association with South Africa began in 1959 when he visited (then) Rhodesia on a fellowship. When he was expelled from the country for his anti-colonial stance, he fled to South Africa, to the home of Nadine Gordimer, and so began a long friendship. He was banned by the South African government in 1960, but visited the region frequently, establishing lasting friendships with writers and activists, including Es’kia Mphahlele, Mongane Wally Serote, Oliver Tambo, Jack Mapanje and Yvonne Vera. Wästberg has written novels, poetry and works of non-fiction. He was a President of PEN International and established the Swedish branch of Amnesty International. Through his work with the International Aid and Defence Fund, he came into contact with key anti-apartheid activists, helping to channel funds in support of lawyers defending political prisoners. In 2008 was awarded the Order of the Companions of Oliver Tambo in Silver.

The Nadine Gordimer Lecture was established at the University of the Witwatersrand to pay tribute to a great South African writer, and to bring other important writers to Johannesburg to address the University and broader South African community. The lecture has been co-hosted from time to time with other South African universities and this year the University of Pretoria has joined Wits in hosting the lecture. The lecture was delivered by Susan Sontag in 2004, Carlos Fuentes in 2005, Amartya Sen in 2006, George Bizos in 2017 and William Gumede in 2018.




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