Maurits van Bever Donker

Associate Professor
Research Manager

Maurits van Bever Donker’s research specialisations are in Black Consciousness Philosophy, Postcolonial Theory and Aesthetics, African Philosophy and Literatures, and Contemporary South African and African History. He is the co-Principal Investigator for a project on “renewing the archives at UWC” and a lead researcher on “Communicating the Humanities” together with Prof. Patricia Hayes and Prof. Premesh Lalu, respectively, and on “Desiring the Postapartheid,” which was funded by the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. For the last four years he has held a research leadership and management role as the Research Manager in the CHR, where he convenes the Centre’s fellowship programme, which aims to develop the next generation of university educators in Africa. This includes the development and teaching of an annual directed reading programme, the development and teaching of a joint graduate seminar between UWC and the University of Minnesota on Global Apartheid, and providing mentorship to postgraduate students, as well as doctoral and masters supervision. Maurits van Bever Donker manages and plans the existing grants in the Centre and helps to drive the grant writing process to secure future funding, while advancing his own research. As a researcher and lecturer in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, he has taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in South Africa and the USA, and he is an editorial board member (and acting as one of the chief editors) for the international peer-reviewed African studies journal Afrika Focus. His current book projects are titled Texturing Difference: Black Consciousness Philosophy and the Script of Man and Technically Human. Prior to taking up the position as research manager, he was a Next Generation Scholar at the CHR.


Books, Edited Collections, Special Issues of Journals
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits. Texturing Difference: ‘Black Consciousness Philosophy’ and the ‘Script of Man,’ Commonalities (under revision).
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits, and Ross Truscott (eds), Kronos: Journal of South African Histories, Special Issue What is the University in Africa for?, 2017.
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits, and Ross Truscott (eds), Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies, Special Issue Apartheid and the Unconscious, forthcoming 2022.
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits, Ross Truscott, Gary Minkley, and Premesh Lalu (eds), The Remains of the Social: Desiring the Postapartheid, Wits University Press, 2017.
Book Chapters
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits. “Ethical Injunctions” [abridged], in Premesh Lalu and Noëleen Murray (eds), Becoming UWC: Reflections, Pathways, and Unmaking Apartheid’s Legacy, Centre for Humanities Research UWC, 2012.
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits. “The Principle of Insufficiency,” in Maurits van Bever Donker, Ross Truscott, Gary Minkley, and Premesh Lalu (eds), Remains of the Social: Desiring the Post-apartheid. Wits University Press, 2017.
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits. “Producing Concepts for the Possibility of Freedom,” in Gomes, C and Abreu, C (eds), Public Humanities: Thinking Freedom in the African University. CODESRIA, 2021.
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits, and Ciraj Rassool. “South African Apartheid: The White Man Must Govern,” in Apartheid: the South African Mirror, ACTAR: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, 2007. 
  • van Bever Donker, Maurits, Ross Truscott, Gary Minkley, and Premesh Lalu. “Traversing the Social,” in Maurits van Bever Donker, Ross Truscott, Gary Minkley, and Premesh Lalu (eds), Remains of the Social: Desiring the Post-apartheid. Wits University Press, 2017.
Articles in Peer-reviewed and Accredited Journals

Related News

Transformative Constitutionalism: Afrika Focus, Vol 36

The latest Afrika Focus is now available. Edited by the CHR’s, Maurits van Bever Donker and Lwando Scott, this volume focuses on the question of transformative constitutionalism.

Pedagogies of Repair

The CHR’s Maurits van Bever Donker will take part in an expert panel at the University of Oxford on Friday 21 July, 2023 (11:00 – 15:00 BST).

CHCI Humanities Administration Network Session

The CHR is co-sponsoring a two-part series of conversations on the critical work of humanities centers and humanities administration: “Forming the Humanities: On Care” and “Traversing the Humanities: On Space.” These sessions are open to anyone engaged with the work of directing and administering humanities centers and other spaces.

DSI-NRF Early Career Doctoral Fellows: Meet the Next Generation

The CHR’s Flagship fellowship programme for early career scholars is at the heart of a deep commitment to transforming higher education at the doctoral level in South Africa.

Book Chapters List

Contributions by Staff and Fellows of the Centre for Humanities Research to edited volumes represent a diverse engagement with the centre’s academic inquiries. The following list shows publications from the latter years of the centre’s output.

List of Articles (2016-present)

Staff and Fellows of the Centre for Humanities Research regularly publish articles and reviews in local and international journals, applying the centre’s intellectual inquiries across a wide range of disciplines and interests.


As part of the Communicating the Humanities research project, The CHR Documentary film class was in conversation with award winning journalists and filmmakers, Richard Poplak and Dianna Neile, and producer Neil Brant, about their latest film Influence.

Seminar: Meleesha Bardolia

The Politics of ‘Rightful Belonging’ in Post-Apartheid South African and Post-Mabo Australian Non-White ‘Settler’ Literatures

Kronos 43: What is the university in Africa for?

2017 Special Issue edited by Ross Truscott and Maurits Van Bever Donker