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Prof. dr. C.A.P. (Carrol) Clarkson

Modern English Literature
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Engelse taal en cultuur
Photographer: Jeroen Oerlemans

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
  • Room number:530
Postal address
  • Postbus 1641
    1000 BP Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Carrol Clarkson is Professor and Chair of Modern English Literature at the University of Amsterdam. She has published widely on aesthetics, legal theory, and South African literature and art. Her books include J.M. Coetzee: Countervoices (2009; second edition 2013) and Drawing the Line: Toward an Aesthetics of Transitional Justice (Fordham University Press, 2014). Before coming to Amsterdam she was Professor and Head of the English Department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Books


    Drawing the Line: Toward an Aesthetics of Transitional Justice

    (Fordham University Press, 2014)



    One seldom comes across work of such intelligence and imagination. This book is beautifully written, and one finds oneself forever being caught by wonderful and unpredicted connections, turns of phrase, the ease and acuity with which insights from disparate fields are brought together and developed.

                                                               - Emilios Christodoulidis, University of Glasgow


    What makes Clarkson’s project truly dialogical—and what distinguishes it from a number of other analyses of contemporary South African culture and literature—is that she both reads South African culture in terms of theory, and also examines, and indeed, displays what South African culture might also offer theory.

                                                            - Russell Samolsky, University of California, Santa Barbara



    Review by Susan Spearey in Ariel.  Vol. 47.1-2 (2016): 399-402.|A459171020&v=2.1&u=amst&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w&authCount=1


    Review by Jaco Barnard-Naudé in The South African Law Journal, vol. 131 (2014): 926-934.


    Review by Miriam Pahl in Postamble: A Transdisciplinary Journal of Postgraduate Journal of African Studies. Vol. 9.1



    Winner of the University of Cape Town Meritorious Book Award 2018.

    Long-listed for the Academy of Sciences of South Africa Humanities Book Award 2017.



    J.M. Coetzee: Countervoices (Palgrave 2009; 2nd edition 2013)



    In this highly original and thought-provoking study, Carrol Clarkson puts her expertise in linguistic theory and philosophy to excellent use. Her meticulous discussions of the nerves and sinews of Coetzee’s writing undergird a subtle account of the ethical implications of his fiction, and encourage the reader to  return to the novels with a new sense of their achievement. (Derek Attridge, York)


    J.M. Coetzee: Countervoices emerges as a solid, interesting and apposite contribution to Coetzee criticism: Countervoices presents a novel approach to Coetzee’s writing and opens up new and important perspectives on one of the world’s most critically challenging authors. (Kjetil Enstad, Nordic Journal of English Studies)


    Countervoices is essential reading in the burgeoning field of Coetzee studies. (David Attwell, York).



    Review by David Attwell in Novel: A Forum on Fiction (Spring 2013): 170-174.

    Review by Kjetil Enstad in Nordic Journal of English Studies. Vol. 10.1 (2011): 217-221.



    Winner of the University of Cape Town’s Meritorious Book Award, 2013.



  • Publications


    • Clarkson, C. (2020). The King's English and the Mother Tongue. In S. Helgesson, B. Neumann, & G. Rippl (Eds.), Handbook of Anglophone World Literatures (pp. 53-66). (Handbooks of English and American Studies; Vol. 13). De Gruyter. [details]
    • Clarkson, C. A. P. (2020). Literary Non-sites. In D. Driver (Ed.), A Book of Friends: In Honour of J.M. Coetzee on his 80th Birthday (pp. 37-44). Text Publishing.


    • Clarkson, C. (2018). Academic Freedom Academic Obligation. In D. Matthews, & S. Veitch (Eds.), Law, Obligation, Community (pp. 251-267). (Critical Studies in Jurisprudence). Abingdon: Routledge. [details]
    • Clarkson, C. (2018). Coetzee's Womanizing. Australian Literary Studies, 33(1). [details]
    • Clarkson, C. (2018). Force Fields. In T. Mehigan, & C. Moser (Eds.), The Intellectual Landscape in the Works of J.M. Coetzee (pp. 172-188). Rochester: Camden House. [details]



    • Clarkson, C. (2016). Book review forum: [Review essay about: J. Higgins (2013) Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa: Essays and Interviews on Higher Education and the Humanities]. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 15(2), 187-193. [details]
    • Clarkson, C. (2016). Inner Worlds. Texas Studies in Language and Literature, 58(4), 422-434. [details]
    • Clarkson, C. (2016). Willem Boshoff: Art of the Dictionary. In A. Bannink, & W. Honselaar (Eds.), From variation to iconicity: festschrift for Olga Fischer on the occasion of her 65th birthday (pp. 41-48). Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Pegasus. [details]


    • Clarkson, C. (2015). ¿Quiénes somos nosotros? In A. Chaparro Amaya, B. van Roermund, & W. Herrera Romero (Eds.), ¿Quiénes somos ‘nosotros’?: O cómo (no) hablar en primera persona del plural (pp. 323-343). Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario.


    • Clarkson, C. A. P. (2014). Drawing the Line: Toward an Aesthetics of Transitional Justice. New York: Fordham University Press.


    • Clarkson, C. A. P. (2013). JM Coetzee: Countervoices (second edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.


    • Clarkson, C. A. P. (2009). JM Coetzee: Countervoices. Houndmills: Palgrave.

    Talk / presentation

    • Clarkson, C. (speaker) (27-9-2016). Coetzee's "Womanizing", Reading Coetzee's Women, Prato.
    • Clarkson, C. (speaker) (27-9-2016). Coetzee's "Womanizing", Monash University.


    • van der Waal, M. (organiser), Buikema, R. (participant), Clarkson, C. A. P. (participant), Robbe, K. (participant), Willemse, H. (participant) & Mahomed, M. (participant) (9-11-2017). The Art of Debate, Amsterdam. Symposium to mark the start of the new Chair "Zuid-Afrikaanse Literatuur, Cultuur en Geschiedenis". (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Ansari, U. A. (2019). Orhan Pamuk’s city and the Turkish republic: An engagement with the modern nation state. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities