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Acta Germanica Band / Volume 44 • 2016

50 Jahre / Years – Jubiläumsausgabe / Anniversary Edition

Series:

Edited By Carlotta von Maltzan

Das 50-jährige Jubiläum des «Germanistenverbandes im südlichen Afrika» wird in dem ersten Teil «50 Jahre SAGV» und den beiden Rubriken zu den Verbandszeitschriften «Acta Germanica» und «DUSA/e-DUSA» gewürdigt. Die nachfolgenden wissenschaftlichen Beiträge sind wie immer unter den Überschriften «Afrika schreiben» und «Allgemeine Beiträge» versammelt. Die Rubrik «Afrika schreiben» vertritt seit geraumer Zeit die Schwerpunktsetzung des Jahrbuchs. Beiträge von (süd-)afrikanischen Germanist/innen und anderen zeigen, dass der dezidierte Afrikabezug mit literarischen, kulturellen, sprachlichen, theoretischen, fachlichen wie wissenschaftsbezogenen Themenstellungen vielfältig produktiv ist. Die Sparte «Allgemeine Beiträge» umfasst Auseinandersetzungen mit deutschsprachiger Literatur, Sprache und Kultur über andere Zugänge, die die Bandbreite des Faches widerspiegeln. Zwei Interviews mit Yoko Tawada und Ilija Trojanow sowie Buchbesprechungen schließen den Band ab. Insgesamt vermittelt dieser Jubiläumsband Einblicke in die Vielfalt, Auseinandersetzungen und Veränderungen in der 50-jährigen Geschichte des Fachverbands.

The first part titled «50 Years SAGV» and the two subsequent sections on the association’s journals «Acta Germanica» and «DUSA/e-DUSA» pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the «Association for German Studies in Southern Africa». As in every edition of «Acta Germanica», peer-reviewed articles appear under the headings «Writing Africa» and «General Contributions to German Studies». For a while now the section «Writing Africa» has provided a discussion forum which emphasises its location. Contributions by (South) African academics of German Studies and others demonstrate that an Africa focus is multidimensional and productive as evidenced by the literary, cultural, linguistic, theoretical, and scientific explorations and topics covered. The section «General Contributions to German Studies» opens other avenues of debate on German literature, language and culture reflecting the spectrum of the discipline. Two interviews with Yoko Tawada and Ilija Trojanow followed by book reviews conclude the volume. Overall, this jubilee edition provides insight into diverse positions, debates and changes during the 50 year history of the association.

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Afrika schreiben / Writing Africa

Extract

Zur Geschichte des Germanistenverbands im Südlichen Afrika (SAGV) im sozialpolitischen Kontext1

GUNTHER PAKENDORF

University of Cape Town

Abstract

The Association for German Studies in Southern Africa, or SAGV, was established in 1966. From its beginnings the Association modelled itself, in terms of its self-image and its academic approach, on its counterpart in Germany. Yet its history has always been deeply embedded in contemporary events and the social realities in South Africa. The study of German language and literature in this country was confined to the white community, from the 19th century onwards. The 1930s saw a split between, roughly speaking, conservative Afrikaans-medium universities and the more liberal English-language institutions, a division which affected the subject of German as well. The founding of the SAGV can be seen, at least in part, as an attempt at bringing together the two directions under the banner of an internationally accepted standard of academic practice. Black South Africans, while never explicitly excluded, were never significantly represented in the subject of German and its Association. In spite of the turmoil of the Apartheid years, the SAGV remained true to its founding aims and principles and has continued in this spirit since the major political shift in the 1990s. Today the major challenge is whether the society can move from a predominantly German focus to an African one, and thus continue in the political and cultural climate in a changed South Africa.

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