Graduate School
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African Languages department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

  • Communication studies in African languages: topics relating to persuasion communication and account-giving communication
  • Discourse analysis in African Languages: topics relating to: Institutional and professional discourse; Political discourse, e.g. parliamentary speeches, political speeches (in campaigning); Discourse of negotiation, mediation, problem solving and decision-making in workplace, or political context; Media discourse: the language of evaluation and objectivity (in print and broadcast) news reporting; or Song genres as public promotional discourse in African Languages 
  • Literacy development and language teaching of the African languages (within content and language integrated (CLIL) contexts (with English) in accordance with multilingual educational language policy in African countries: topics relating to intermediate and advanced academic literacy development, especially reading and writing in the content subjects (in addition to the language subjects) through use of the African languages, and how genre-based teaching of the indigenous African languages can facilitate reading and writing across the curriculum
  • Morphosyntax and lexical semantics of African languages: topics relating to: Argument realisation, event structure (concerning aspectual verb class properties) and lexical semantics; Determiner phrase syntax in African languages; or Comparative syntax of the African languages
  • Pragmatics in African languages: topics relating to speech acts, (im)politeness; e.g. requesting, advice-giving, apologies


Afrikaans and Dutch department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

  • Afrikaans literature and literary theory
  • Editing and the theory of editing
  • Interpreting
  • Language acquisition
  • Specialised lexicography
  • Theoretical lexicography


Ancient Studies department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

  • Art and iconography of the Ancient Near East (including ancient Egypt and Nubia)
  • Augustine of Hippo and the religions of North Africa in Late Antiquity
  • History of Pythagoreanism: late antiquity and/or Pythagoreanism and early Christianity
  • Popular philosophy and early Christianity
  • Rhetoric and the New Testament
  • The cultures of ancient Egypt and Nubia
  • The literary works of Augustine of Hippo, one of the greatest minds of Africa (especially his Confessions)
  • The reception of the ancient world (e.g. in Africa)
  • World view and way of life in the Greco-Roman world


English department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

  • Atlantic and Indian Oceans: Crossings and encounters
  • Genders and sexualities
  • Life writing and fictions of the self
  • Reading the nineteenth century
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Southern and Eastern African studies
  • The cultures of nature
  • The local, the global and the transnational
  • Writing and translation


General Linguistics department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

  • African migrants and their linguistic biographies
  • Childhood bilingualism
  • Language planning and/or policy and/or implementation in various contexts in African countries, including: language in education policy
  • Language structure
  • Literacy-related and later developing language structures in school-going children
  • Managing linguistic diversity in providing quality healthcare
  • Second language learning
  • Sociolinguistic aspects of multilingualism in African communities
  • Specific language impairment in South African languages
  • Typical child language development

Modern Foreign Languages department

Areas of study for doctoral candidates

French studies:

  • Autobiographical writing in French
  • Comparative literature
  • Crime and its fictions in Africa (French / English / Afrikaans)
  • Extreme contemporary French literature
  • French and Francophone gay/queer literary studies (special focus on the Maghreb)
  • French-speaking Romanian writers and intellectuals
  • Henri-Pierre Roché: Life and work
  • The Holocaust in the French and Francophone literary sphere
  • The representation of ageing in contemporary fiction
  • Wine and literature
  • XXth Century French literary and cultural history


German studies:

  • Contemporary German literature
  • Contemporary literature discourse in Germany, 1989 to the present
  • Discourse on Remembrance in German literature (Erinnerungsliteratur)
  • Fairy tales in Europe and Africa
  • GDR and Wende literature
  • Gender and writing in German literature
  • German and Germans in South Africa
  • German exile literature
  • German Jewish and Holocaust literature with a focus on Jurek Becker
  • German literature from the interwar period with a focus on Joseph Roth
  • German Romanticism
  • German youth literature about Africa
  • Germany's classical period in literature
  • Literature in foreign language teaching: from communicative to symbolic competence
  • Suggestopedia in the methodology discussion on foreign language teaching
  • Teaching and learning German as a foreign language (in South Africa)
  • The Habsburg monarchy: myth, history and literature
  • Topographies of culture
  • Writing Africa in German literature
  • Writing the city in German Culture  ​