Bernth Lindfors

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Bernth Lindfors (1938-) is an academic, researcher and author, with a special interest in African literature and performance.


Born in Sweden in 1938, he trained at Northwestern University and Harvard University, later becoming professor of English and African literatures at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has established himself as one of the most renowned critics and historiographers of African literature and a prolific writer on the subject.

One of the founders of the African Literature Association (ALA), he also began the distinguished journal Research in African Literatures (RAL) in 1970, editing it till 1990, when he handed it over to Richard Bjornson.

Contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

Besides numerous articles on a variety of matters regarding Southern African performance, published in a vast range of journals, including the South African Theatre Journal, , he wrote or edited a large number of relevant books, among which are:

Black African Literature in English, 1982-86 1989

Black African Literature in English, 1987-1991 (Bibliographical Research in African Literatures) 1995

African Textualities: Texts, Pre-Texts, and Contexts of African Literature Africa World Press , 1997

Africans on Stage: Studies in Ethnological Show Business Indiana University Press, 1999

Black African Literature in English, 1992-1996, 2000

Early Black South African Writing in English, Africa World Press, 2011

Ira Aldridge: The Vagabond Years, 1833-1852 and Ira Aldridge: The Last Years, 1855-1867 (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, 2011 and 2015.

Awards, etc

Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada


Chris Dunton. 2012. "Lindfors generous, barbed, acidly witty", posted on SLiP, Stellenbosch, on July 19, 2012.

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