This is a superb contribution to thinking about the teaching and
transmutation of the culture of letters in South Africa.
— Arlene Archer, University of Cape Town
In this wonderfully original, intensely personal yet deeply analytical work, Carli Coetzee argues that difference and disagreement can be forms of activism to bring about social change, inside and outside the teaching environment. Since it is not the student alone who needs to be transformed, she proposes a model of teaching that is insistent on the teacher’s scholarship as a tool for hearing the many voices and accents in the South African classroom.
For Coetzee, ‘accentedness’ is a description for actively working towards the ending of apartheid by being aware of the legacies of the past, without attempting to empty out or gloss over the conflicts and violence that may exist under the surface. In the broad context of education, ‘accent’ can be an accent of speech; an attitude; a stance against being ‘understood’; yet a way of teaching that requires teacher and pupil to understand each other’s contexts. This is a book about the relationships created by the use of language to convey knowledge, particularly in translation. The ideas it presents are evocative, thought-provoking and challenging at times.
Carli Coetzee is a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and Associate Academic at HUMA, University of Cape Town.
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Chapter 1. Against translation, in defence of accentedness
Chapter 2. There was this missing quotation mark
Chapter 3. Njabulo Ndebele’s ordinary address
Chapter 4. Thembinkosi Goniwe’s eyes
Chapter 5. A history of translation and non-translation
Chapter 6. The copy and the lost original
Chapter 7. He places his chair against mine and translates
Chapter 8. The multi-lingual scholar of the future
Chapter 9. A book must be returned to the library from which it was borrowed
Chapter 10. The surprisingly accented classroom