The Centre for African Studies invites you to The Third Annual Neville Alexander Seminar.


‘We need a new language: a dialogue with Neville Alexander on the Language Question’.

Panelists include Blaq Pearl, Imraan Coovadia, Ana Deumert (Moderator), Adam Haupt, Xolisa Guzula, Wandile Kasibe and live entertainment will be provided by local group Chapterz Jazz Band.

Blaq Pearl is from Cape Town and has been writing poetry and songs since the age of 12. Her musical genre is a fusion of Afro, Soul, Hip-hop, Jazz and R&B. She is known for her phenomenal performances at various events, both national and international. She is also a cast member in two popular and award winning musical theatre productions, namely Afrikaaps and A Plekkie in die Son. Towards the end of 2011 she finally released her debut album titled ‘Against All Odds’. Blaq Pearl (named Janine) also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of the Western Cape. She is a proud social activist and loves her youth development work. As a professional artist she covers a wide range that includes performing live music, poetry, storytelling and motivational speaking.

Imraan Coovadia is a writer and director of the creative writing programme at the University of Cape Town. He is the author most recently of a novel, The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012), winner of the M-Net Prize, and a collection of essays, Transformations (2012) which won the South African Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction. In 2010 his novel High Low In-between won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg prize. He has published a scholarly monograph with Palgrave, Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul (2009), two earlier novels, and a number of journal articles. His fiction has been published in a number of countries, and he has written for many newspapers, journals, and magazines both here and abroad, including the New York Times, N+1, Agni, the Times of India, and Threepenny Review. His research interests are eighteenth and nineteenth century English and American literature, philosophy and literature, political and social thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries including Adam Smith, Hazlitt, Hume, Edmund Burke, and Swift, and contemporary fiction.

Ana Deumert is an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town. Her research programme is located within the broad field of African sociolinguistics and has a strong interdisciplinary focus (with particular attention to anthropology, sociology and economics). She has worked on the history of Afrikaans (The Dynamics of Cape Dutch, 2004) and coauthored Introducing Sociolinguistics (2009, with Rajend Mesthrie, Joan Swann and William Leap) and the Dictionary of Sociolinguistics (2004, with Joan Swann, Rajend Mesthrie and Theresa Lillis). Her latest book looks at mobile communication from a global perspective (Sociolinguistics and Mobile Communication, 2014). She is editor of IMPACT – Studies in Language and Society (Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins) and co-editor of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact (with Salikoko Mufwene). She is also an NRF-rated scientist.

Adam Haupt is Associate Professor in Media Studies in the Centre for Film & Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of Static: Race and Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media and Film (HSRC Press, 2012) and Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion (HSRC Press, 2008), which are available under open content licenses at

Xolisa Guzula is a bi-literacy teacher and community trainer, researcher, storyteller and translator of children's literature. She is one of the founders of the network of community literacy reading clubs emerging across the country. She has worked for the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in SA and The Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development managing both school based teacher support programmes and community reading and writing club programmes. She is currently doing full time doctoral studies at the University of Cape Town focusing on the social approach to children's writing.

Wandile Kasibe is a Chevening scholar and currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Cape Town.

Event type: Seminar
Date of event: Thursday, August 27, 2015
Venue: Centre for African Studies Gallery