Dennis Walder

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dennis Walder (1943-) is an academic, theatre historian and critic.

Also known as Dennis Jean Walder


Born in Cape Town, South Africa on 7th February/2nd July (??), 1943 in Cape Town, the son of Jean Walder Lodge and Ruth (Von Liebenstein) Lodge.


Began his University training at the University Cape Town, completing a BA degree in 1964, then completed his studies at the University Edinburgh, Scotland, with a Master of Arts with honors (1967), a Master of Letters (1969) and a Ph.D. in 1979.

Married to Frances Moodie Powell (1968 to 1974) and to Mary MacLeod (1979-). Children: Anna Ruth, Rohan James.


Assistant lecturer English University Edinburgh, 1969-1973, Workers Education Authority, 1970-1971. Staff tutor arts Open University, Edinburgh, 1974-1981, lecturer literature Milton Keynes, England, 1981-1988, senior lecturer literature England, 1989-1999, professor, head department England, since 1999. He was promoted to a Chair in 1999 and to Emeritus Professor of Literature in 2010.

He introduced postcolonial literature to the Open University curriculum and was founding Director of the Post-Colonial Research Group and a director of The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies.

Presenter educational radio and television programs British Broadcasting Corporation.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Besides having acted as external examiner for many South African studies, and supervised studies on South African theatre, he is a founding member of the editorial board of the South African Theatre Journal, and is Co-editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Among his key publications have been the books Post-Colonial Literatures: History, Language, Theory (1998), Postcolonial Nostalgias: Writing, Memory and Representation (2010) and Athol Fugard, as well as three volumes of Fugard plays, edited for Oxford University Press.

His collection of papers on Athol Fugard and South African theatre has been lodged as an archive at the Lilly Library, Indiana University.

In 2013 he gave the Wertheim Lecture in Comparative Drama at the University of Indiana speaking on “The Play’s the Thing: A Journey through the Drama of South Africa”

Author of an article on "Athol Fugard" in Middeke, Schnierer and Homann(2015).

See the ESAT Bibliography section for more on his publications.


Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer and Greg Homann (editors). 2015. The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities W

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page