INTERVIEWS WITH NEVILLE ALEXANDER, the power of languages against the language of power

: Busch (B. & L.) & Press (K.) eds.

R 230.00
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342pp., illus., map, paperback, Pietermaritzburg, 2014.


A reconstruction of "a series of interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010, in which Neville Alexander reflected on how the languages he had used throughout his life shaped his world and his relationships with his immediate and wider communities." from the back cover

The book also includes some of Alexander's seminal writings on multilingualism.

"For many of us who were privileged to hear Neville Alexander in moments such as are captured here, this book will strike a chord of deep sadness, sadness for the loss of that wonderful capacity he demonstrates to traverse the arcane and the ordinary and in that to show the extraordinariness of being simply human, not black or white, male or female or any of those numbing binaries which so seem to capture the limited imaginations in which much of our South African experience is rendered." Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape town

Linguist, educationalist, academic and anti-apartheid struggle veteran Neville Alexander was born in 1936 in Cradock in the Eastern Cape. A member of the National Liberation Front, which he co-founded, he was arrested in 1963 and found guilty of conspiracy to commit sabotage. He spent ten years on Robben Island. A proponent of a multi-lingual South Africa, after his release he did pioneering work in the field of language policy and planning via organisations such as the National Language Project, the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in Southern Africa(PRAESA), the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) and the LANGTAG process. In 2008 he received the Linguapax Prize in recognition of his contributions to linguistic diversity and multilingual education. He died in August 2012.