Andries Oliphant

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Andries Oliphant (19*-). Writer, playwright, academic, literary theorist, arts and culture policy developer, and cultural leader.

Training and academic career

Studied at the University of the Western Cape 1972-1976, and became a Fulbright Scholar in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon, USA. After finishing his studies, Oliphant became a lecturer, then professor and later head of the department for Theory of Literature at the University of South Africa. Well known as an editor, he has over the years also been Assistant Editor of the Journal of Literary Studies, Editor of Staffrider Magazine and worked as ediotr for Ravan Press and the Publishing House of the Congress of SA Writers.

Cultural activities

He also played a leading role in the development of arts, culture, and media policies for a democratic South Africa over the years, among others helping to write the White Paper on Arts, Culture, and Heritage. Has been a Council Member of the Johannesburg Art Foundation and an Executive Member of the Freedom of Expression Institute. He served as member of the International Panel for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 2003-2004 and chaired the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Africa Region. Further memberships include the Heritage Legislative Review Panel of the Department of Arts and Culture and the Council of the English Literary Museum and the International Comparative Literature Association. He was a participant in the first White House Conference on Culture and Diplomacy hosted by former US President Bill Clinton in Washington in 2000.

Theatre activities

During his undergraduate years at UWC where he became active in various student bodies and clubs. Besides and interest in poetry and painting, Oliphant gradually became a dynamic member of Dramsoc UWC. His play Die Bose Oog ("The Evil Eye" - 1977) won the first prize at the National Festival of Coloured Affairs in 1977. Other plays include Die Oordeel ("The Sentence" - 19*, the text confiscated by the police), Die Opstand ("The Rebellion" -19*), Inkululeko (19*), The Bicycle (Amstel Award) **.

Honours and awards

Honours include National Book Journalist of the Year Award International Literary Scholarship | Foundation of Creative Arts; Hippogriff Award for Children's Poetry; Thomas Pringle Award for Short Stories and the Amstel Playwright of the Year award. Also the recipient of a and Fulbright Scholar in Comparative Literature


January 1997.

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