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Faculty of Humanities

University of the Free State

INVITE - KLEINBOER erf en elders

INVITE - Climate Change and its impact on African Security

Recently Published articles, books and chapters by Researchers in the Faculty of Humanities

Climate Realism : The Aesthetics of Weather and Atmosphere in the Anthropocene book cover

This book sets forth a new research agenda for climate theory and aesthetics for the age of the Anthropocene. It explores the challenge of representing and conceptualizing climate in the era of climate change. 

In the Anthropocene when geologic conditions and processes are primarily shaped by human activity, climate indicates not only atmospheric forces but the gamut of human activity that shape these forces. It includes the fuels we use, the lifestyles we cultivate, the industrial infrastructures and supply chains we build, and together these point to the possible futures we may encounter. This book demonstrates how every weather event constitutes the climatic forces that are as much social, cultural, and economic as they are environmental, natural, and physical. By foregrounding this fundamental insight, it intervenes in the well-established political and scientific discourses of climate change by identifying and exploring emergent aesthetic practices and the conceptual project of mediating the various forces embedded in climate. 

This book is the first to sustain a theoretical and analytical engagement with the category of realism in the context of anthropogenic climate change, to capture climate’s capacity to express embedded histories, and to map the formal strategies of representation that have turned climate into cultural content.

Table of Contents


Part 1. The Climate of Representation


1. Ecological Postures for a Climate Realism

Amanda Boetzkes


2. Anthropocene Arts: Apocalyptic Realism and the Post-Oil Imaginary in the Niger Delta

Philip Aghoghovwia


3. Fire, Water, Moon: Supplemental Seasons in a Time without Season

Anne-Lise François


Part 2. The Subject of Climate


4. Indigenous Realism and Climate Change

Kyle Powys Whyte


5. Realism’s Phantom Subjects

M. Ty


6. Geologic Realism: On the Beach of Geologic Time

Kathryn Yusoff


Part 3. Realism and the Critique of Climate, or Climate and the Critique of Realism


7. The Poetics of Geopower: Climate Change and the Politics of Representation

Ingrid Diran and Antoine Traisnel


8. Perplexing Realities: Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene

Barbara Herrnstein Smith


Eliot and Beckett’s Low Modernism

Humility and Humiliation

Rick de Villiers

Eliot and Beckett’s Low Modernism

Explores a comparison between T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett and theorises the relation between humility and humiliation

  • Offers the first book-length comparative study of T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett
  • Develops a literary theory of humility and humiliation – concepts whose definitions have largely been determined by philosophy and theology
  • Explores the relation between negative affect, ethics and aesthetics

Humility and humiliation have an awkward, often unacknowledged intimacy. Humility may be a queenly, cardinal or monkish virtue, while humiliation points to an affective state at the extreme end of shame. Yet a shared etymology links the words to lowliness and, further down, to the earth. As this study suggests, like the terms in question, T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett share an imperfect likeness. Between them is a common interest in states of abjection, shame and suffering – and possible responses to such states. Tracing the relation between negative affect, ethics, and aesthetics, Eliot and Beckett’s Low Modernism demonstrates how these two major modernists recuperate the affinity between humility and humiliation concepts whose definitions have largely been determined by philosophy and theology.


Abbreviations and conventions

  1. Fat fingers and private truths: between manners and morals in Eeldrop and Appleplex
  2. Pudenda of the psyche: embarrassment in More Pricks than Kicks
  3. Mr. Eliot’s sermons and sermonising: participation, good will, and humility in Murder in the Cathedral
  4. A defence of wretchedness: Molloy and humiliation
  5. Assuming the double part: Irony as humility in East Coker
  6. How It Is and the syntax of penury

Conclusion: humility’s edges

About the Author


A Defense of Wretchedness: Molloy and Humiliation

Rick de Villiers
Journal of Modern Literature
Vol. 42, No. 4, Joyce, Beckett, Coetzee (Summer 2019), pp. 93-110

Restorative School Discipline

Restorative School Discipline

Law and Practice

The increasing lack of discipline in South African schools and the impact thereof is well known. In most instances, existing punitive measures do not yield the required results. Yet, schools continue to scramble to find alternative punishments that will result in a disciplined environment conducive to teaching and learning. Albert Einstein rightly said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

This book seeks to provide an alternative approach to discipline. However, to implement this approach, a complete mind-shift is required. This mind set requires an understanding that to discipline learners is to teach socially acceptable behaviour. The restorative approach entails moving away from an approach that merely focuses on the ill-disciplined learner to an approach that focuses on preventing disciplinary problems, changing the culture of the school and restoring the harm done to those affected by the misconduct. The restorative approach involves focusing on finding solutions to address the needs and interests of all the role-players in the school community, rather than finding suitable punishments. Thus, focusing on the best interests of every learner and the interests of educators. Restorative discipline is a value-driven approach that respects the human rights of every stakeholder and also protects, promotes and fulfils everyone’s human rights.

The restorative approach to discipline is explained in detail. The role of every stakeholder in the implementation of this approach also receives attention. The social justice implications are highlighted as well as the impact of discipline on the neurological functioning and development of the child. The book provides practical advice for SGB’s, educators, school social workers and other role-players, such as the Department of Basic Education, on how to implement the restorative approach to discipline. The Constitutional imperatives and the legal framework related to school discipline are also examined. This ground-breaking book will provide guidance for school administrators, practitioners and academics on this innovative school discipline practice.

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