Louise Bethlehem

Region of Interest


Primary Country of Residence





Hebrew University of Jerusalem



Mailing Address

Department of English
Humanities Building
Mount Scopus Campus
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Phone/Fax Number(s)


Countries of Specialization

South Africa


1982-1984 University of the Witwatersrand, Departments of Hebrew, English and Comparative Literature, Bachelor of Humanities degree (magna cum laude, Gold Medal for the Best Graduate in the Faculty of Arts).
1985-1991 Tel Aviv University, Department of Comparative Literature and Poetics, Master of Arts degree (summa cum laude).
1992-1998 Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Department of Comparative Literature and Poetics, Shirley and Leslie Porter School of Cultural Studies, Ph.D. (with distinction) under the supervision of Professor Hannan Hever.
1998-1999 Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of English, post-doctorate (Lady Davis Fellowship) under the sponsorship of Dr. Shuli Barzilai.

Research Interests

South African literature, South African literary history, South African cultural studies, postapartheid literature, J.M. Coetzee, urban studies, memory studies, gender studies, transitional justice, global modernism.

Teaching Interests

South African literature, South African literary history, South African cultural studies, postapartheid literature, J.M. Coetzee, urban studies, memory studies, gender studies, transitional justice, global modernism, cultural studies.


2006. Skin tight: Apartheid literary culture and its aftermath. Pretoria: Unisa (University of South Africa) Press and Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Translated into Hebrew as: 2011 Tzeva mekomi: apartheid le’or hate’oria, by Oded Wolkstein. Tel Aviv: Resling.

Co-edited Volumes:
2012. Unruly pedagogies; migratory interventions: Unsettling cultural studies. Special edition of Critical Arts: Journal of South-North cultural and media studies, 26(1) 2012, edited by Louise Bethlehem and Ashleigh Harris.
2010. Rethinking Labour in Africa, Past and Present, edited by Lynn Schler, Louise Bethlehem and Galia Sabar. London: Routledge.
2008. The State of Literary Studies in South Africa, Special Centenary Edition, English Studies in Africa 51(1). Louise Bethlehem, Reingard Nethersole and Michael Titlestad, eds.
2007. Violence & Non-Violence in Africa, edited by Pal Ahluwalia, Louise Bethlehem and Ruth Ginio. London: Routledge. Reprinted in paperback, Routledge 2011.
2006. Research and Theory in Postcolonial Studies, Special Issue of The’oria Vebikoret 29, Louise Bethlehem, Tal Kochavi, Yehouda Shenhav and Yossi Yona, eds. [Hebrew].
2001. “South Africa in the global imaginary,” Special Issue of Poetics Today 22(2). Guest editor: Leon de Kock, co-editors Louise Bethlehem, and Sonja Laden. Reprinted in 2004 with additional material as South Africa in the global imaginary. Pretoria: Unisa.

Selected Book Chapters:
In press. “Adamastor’s Daughter: Lucy Lurie and “White Writing” in Disgrace.” In Approaches to
Teaching Coetzee’s Disgrace and Other Works, edited by Elleke Boehmer, Jane Poyner and Laura Wright. New York: Modern Language Association.
2010. “Now That all is said and done: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa” in The Social Construction of Silence, edited by Efrat Ben-Zeev, Ruth Ginio and Jay Winter, 153-170. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2009. “The pleasures of the political: Apartheid and post-apartheid South African fiction.” In Teaching the African novel, edited by Gaurav Desai, 222-245. New York: Modern Language Association (MLA).
2006. "11 February 1990, South Africa: Apartheid and after." In The Edinburgh companion to twentieth century literature in English, edited by Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson, pages 240- 250. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Selected Articles:
2013. “Inhabiting Moxyland: Lauren Beukes’s Post-Apartheid Dystopia,”
Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Published online 02 Jul 2013. DOI:10.1080/17449855.2013.8138672005 2009. “Park pictures: On the Work of Photography in Johannesburg” (co-authored with Terry Kurgan. African Identities 7(3): 417-432. Special edition “Rethinking Labour in Africa, Past and Present,” Lynn Schler, Louise Bethlehem and Galia Sabar, eds. 2009.
2005."Materiality and the madness of reading: J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello as post-apartheid text" Journal of Literary Studies/Tydskrif vir Literatuurwetenskap. 21 (3/4): 225- 243.
2004. "Membership, Dismemberment and the Boundaries of the Nation: Manfred Nathan's Sarie Marais: A Romance of the Anglo-Boer War," African Studies 63(1): 95-117.
2003. "Aneconomy in an economy of melancholy: Embodiment and gendered identity in J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace" African Identities 1(2):167-85.
2001. "'A Primary Need as Strong as Hunger: The Rhetoric of Urgency in South African Literary
Historiography." Special Issue of Poetics Today, "South Africa in the Global Imaginary," 22(2) Summer 2001: 365-89.
1997. "'Under the Proteatree at Daggaboersnek': Stephen Gray, South African literary historiography
and the limit trope of the local," English in Africa 24(2): 27-50.
1993. "In/Articulation: Polysystem theory, postcolonial discourse theory and South African literary
historiography," Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa 5(2): 25-43.


South African literature, South African literary history, cultural studies, postcolonialism