J.C. Kannemeyer (1939–2011) was an Afrikaans lecturer, critic and eminent literary historian. Perhaps one of the most influential and certainly one of the most prolific biographers and historians of his generation.
Born John Christoffel Kannemeyer on 31 March 1939 in Robertson, Western Cape, where he also grew up and attended school. studied Afrikaans-Dutch literature at the University of Stellenbosch between 1959 and 1964, obtaining a D.Litt.
He was married 4 times, and had two sons, the artist Anton Kannemeyer and Mark Kannemeyer. John Kannemeyer died in Stellenbosch on 25 December 2011.
He became a lecturer in Afrikaans at the University of Cape Town as (1962) and later taught at the RAU (the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit), Stellenbosch University and the University of the Witwatersrand (1982-1987). Then he joined CENSAL (the Centre for SA Literary Research) at the Human Sciences Research Council in 1987 as a senior researcher. In September 1992 he returned to Stellenbosch to become a free-lance and independent researcher and author. From 2004 till his death in 2011 he was an Extraordinary Professor of Afrikaans and Dutch at Stellenbosch University. Over the years he was a visiting lecturer and researcher at the universities of Nijmegen, Amsterdam and Leuven and a member of the Dutch Literary Society (Maatschappij der Nederlandse letterkunde). He was on the editorial team of the literary journal Standpunte from 1976 to 1983. His many awards include the Recht Malan-prys (1979, 1996, 2000), the Helgaard Steyn-prys (2000), the Ou Mutual-prys vir nie-fiksie (1987), the Gustav Preller-prys (1988), the C. Louis Leipoldt-prys van die Maatschappij der Nederlandse letterkunde and the die N. P. van Wyk Louw-medalje (2003).
His writings on theatre
Besides his comprehensive and authoritative Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse Literatuur ("History of the Afrikaans Literature") Part 1 (1978) and part 2 (1983) - which includes sections on Afrikaans drama - he is noted for his exhaustive biographies of various authors. Notable for our purposes are those on the playwrights D.J. Opperman, C.J. Langenhoven, C. Louis Leipoldt and Uys Krige. In 1993 he also published a summarised English version of his history, entitled A History of the Afrikaans Literature. [TH]
Wium van Zyl huldeblyk J.C. Kannemeyer Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 49 (1) • 2012 157 http://www.stellenboschwriters.com/kannemey.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Christoffel_Kannemeyer Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography
Return to ESAT Personalities K
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries