Department of English & Comparative Studies

The Department of English and Comparative Literature focuses on the study of local and international literatures written in English. Additionally, the department offers courses in Linguistics and Language Teaching.

Our Literatures interrogate the African socio-political/economic and cultural contexts within the continent with the appropriate underlying theoretical emphasis. Our study of literatures also ventures into the literatures of the diaspora i.e., the writers of the Caribbean and African American regions. We cover all genres of literature: prose, poetry, and Drama. Our linguistics courses include theoretical linguistics, language teaching and learning, language policy and planning, corpus linguistics and onomastics.

The undergraduate core courses in literature range over different periods in African, diasporic and European literatures.

The intensive honours courses consolidate the work done at undergraduate level with compulsory sections in Academic Writing and Theoretical Debates in African /South African Literature. Relevant texts covering the key periods in the socio-political economic situations in the relevant contexts are used. The Creative Writing course is an additional course which will commence in 2020 at the honours level.

Our Masters and PHD candidates are recruited from diverse nationalities. We are also committed to producing Masters and PHDs of South African origin. We apply strict admission policies with regard to intake at postgraduate level.

In the English Department, we encourage a collegial, inclusive research community where academics strive to produce original and innovative research papers. We also encourage in-house training for which we make use of the academic training offered by the Govan Mbeki Research Development Centre (GMRDC).

We have staff members who pursue different areas of specialisation, and this they bring to bear in the supervision of Masters and PHD candidates. Our full-time and part-time staff members are committed to the core values of our department which is integrity, hard work, and excellence.