Isabel Hofmeyr

Isabel Hofmeyr is Professor of African Literature. Her research interests include postcolonialism; African literature; Southern African literary studies; oral history and literature; John Bunyan; seventeenth century studies; textual transnationalism; Africa-India interactions; Indian Ocean studies; histories of the book and print culture; and histories of reading and writing. Her current work focuses on Africa and its intellectual trajectories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Her earlier scholarship examined ways of historicising oral literature and its interactions with literacy. As South Africa’s transition opened the country up to democracy and globalisation, Hofmeyr turned her attention to themes of transnationalism and textual circulation. More recently she has explored textual circulation in the Global South with a focus on the Indian Ocean. Her work addresses questions of Africa’s intellectual place in the world and the material and aesthetic history of texts and their transnational circulation. Hofmeyr has served as Acting Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa ( which she helped to establish. She has raised several large research grants; has won prizes for her articles and books; has held fellowships in various parts of the world; and sits on numerous editorial boards.

The CHR in the time of a global pandemic

In line with protocols introduced by government towards the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 virus, the CHR suspended its public events, seminars, and general fellowship program until further notice.  We wish CHR fellows, students, artists, colleagues and friends, as well as our partners and funders in South Africa and across the world much strength and compassion in these difficult times.


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