South Africa Chair: Languages, Literature, Culture and Society

The Ghent Centre for Afrikaans and the study of South Africa started out in 2013 as a university partnership and, from 2016, was established as a research group within the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. It facilitates international seminars, academic colloquia and guest lectures in the field of language and linguistics of Afrikaans from a multilingual perspective. In addition, the members of the board of the university research group use their expertise to provide academic teaching about Afrikaans both at home and abroad, and to encourage doctoral research – as far as possible in collaboration with partner institutions in South Africa. The research centre now fulfils a coordinating role within the European context, bringing together researchers who work in the same field. 

The establishment of this post represents a significant contribution to the academic and social recognition of Ghent University’s diverse research and cultural activities in the study and teaching of Afrikaans and, by extension, of South Africa in a multilingual and intercultural context.


The post within this Ghent University chair is chiefly concerned with teaching. The holder of the chair offers guest classes (intensive course), participates in community service (lectures for cultural associations), and offers their expertise both for academic teaching and also to promote research into the multilingual and multicultural context of South Africa. The chair is now structurally embedded, and has existed for at least five years, thus offering considerable added value – given its focus on academic education, social services and, to a lesser extent, academic research (i.e. the domain of the Centre for Afrikaans and the Study of South Africa) – as compared to the university research group that undertakes more ad hoc initiatives.


  • Minister President of the Flemish Government, Flemish minister of Foreign Policy and Building Heritage
  • SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns
  • Fund for Dutch studies (Stellenbosch)
  • Algemeen Nederlands Verbond
  • Afrikaanse Taalraad (Afrikaans language council)
  • Flemish-South African cultural association
  • Private sponsors
  • Foundation of the South-Africa House, Netherlands




Promotor leerstoel Zuid-Afrika (UGent)Prof. Yves T’Sjoen obtained his PhD from Ghent University with an historical-critical edition of the poetry of Richard Minne. His academic research currently focuses on critical editions, and on Dutch-language literature and African literature of South Africa from the interbellum and post-war periods. He is an editor and member of the advisory board of magazines both in Belgium and abroad (Zacht Lawijd, Verslagen en Mededelingen van de KANTL, Dutch Crossing, Tydskrif vir Nederlands en Afrikaans, Stilet, Journal of Literary Studies). Alongside membership of CLIV he is the chair of the research group Teksteditie Literatuur in Vlaanderen (Critical editions of literature in Flanders), and of the Ghent Centre for Afrikaans and the study of South Africa (Ghent University). In addition, he also established POWEZIE (Centre for the study of poetry). Currently, together with Dr. Els van Damme, he is the editor of the Cyriel Buysse library (with support from the Buysse society) and two series of literary editions: Experimental literature in Flanders from 1950-1970 (Woolf) and Literature in Flanders from 1900-1950 (Academia Press). He holds the post of Associate Professor (Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Stellenbosch University), and works part time for the Dutch department of Charles University in Prague.