Elizabeth Le Roux

Elizabeth Le Roux
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Information Science

MIS, PhD (Publishing)

About

42
Publications
5,616
Reads
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90
Citations
Introduction
I teach Publishing Studies and conduct research into publishing history in South Africa and Africa more broadly. I am busy conducting research into oppositional (anti-apartheid) publishing in South Africa. I am also very interested in book history and print culture in Africa, and would love to hear from other scholars working in this field to develop a more formal research network.

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
The publishing industry in Africa is usually described in terms of ‘booklessness’, ‘hunger’ or ‘famine’. But does this language of scarcity reflect the realities of book production and consumption? In this paper, the concept of ‘book famine’ is analysed as a central frame of discourse on African books, using a survey of existing documentation. Two...
Chapter
Africa is a very large continent, so experiences of textual and print culture differ from country to country. Existing approaches to understanding book history in the African context have often been limited by a tendency not only to split the continent into separate regions and languages but also to essentialize and generalize experiences for the w...
Chapter
Publishing reflects society, but can also influence society. Publishing also varies according to its particular social setting: it is affected by diversity and demographics. Debates around education, language and culture all overlap with publishing. The industry cannot be separated from issues of identity and is thus a central driver for nationalis...
Chapter
South Africa’s literary history is divided across both language and race. A survey of the country’s publishing history provides a lens for examining these diverse literatures in an integrated way, by focusing on the production context, the circulation, and the readership. The key threads in South Africa’s publishing history can be traced to influen...
Article
AFRICAN PRINT CULTURES - African Print Cultures: Newspapers and Their Publics in the Twentieth Century. Edited by Derek R. Peterson, Emma Hunter, and Stephanie Newell. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016. Pp xi + 447. $95 (hardcover) $34.95 (paperback) (ISBN 978-0-472-05317-9). - Volume 59 Issue 3 - ELIZABETH LE ROUX
Article
Repressive Tolerance in a Political Context: Academic Freedom in Apartheid South Africa - Volume 58 Issue 3 - Beth le Roux
Article
Full-text available
Publications in minority languages have a very limited audience. Their reach can be extended through the sales of translation rights. This article reports on the results of an exploratory study conducted on the selling of translation rights of Afrikaans fiction to Dutch publishers [3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 22]. Using case studies of two bestselling Afrikaa...
Article
In a committed anti-apartheid publisher like Ravan Press in the 1970s and 1980s, the selection of authors was usually based on political or ideological grounds as well as the quality of their writing. As a result, Ravan was harassed and subjected to censorship. But to what extent did Ravan’s social position and capital inform the author–publisher r...
Article
Amid ongoing concerns about the reading decline, the lack of a “reading culture” and children not reading enough, a variety of solutions are put forward, largely in the form of reading promotion campaigns. These campaigns are seldom sustainable, usually owing to sporadic funding. However, this paper considers whether another factor that affects the...
Article
The trade publishing sector in South Africa produces books primarily in English and Afrikaans, which is not representative of the spread of languages spoken in the country. In particular, there are very few books published for general readers in the local African languages. The Indigenous Language Publishing Programme (ILPP) is a government-sponsor...
Article
Full-text available
The selection of authors for publication is a gatekeeping function. While in the case of academic journals the gatekeeper is usually identified with the editor and the editorial board, books are usually selected by the publishing house that will produce and disseminate them. This article aims to provide an overview of author selection at South Afri...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa’s academic publishing history has been profoundly influenced by its colonial heritage. This is reflected in the publication of Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society (later, the Royal Society of South Africa) from 1878. Although the Society and journal sought to promote original research about South Africa, it was mode...
Article
Full-text available
In this essay we demonstrate how the burgeoning field of South African crime fiction has responded to the birth and development of a democratic, post-apartheid South African state. First, an overview of South African crime fiction in the last 20 years is presented. Then the essay presents an argument for South African crime fiction to be regarded a...
Chapter
South Africa’s oldest university press, Witwatersrand University Press, is often associated with oppositional publishing. Examining the historical evidence provides a new angle for describing academic freedom and knowledge production during the apartheid era. Based on a bibliographic analysis of the press’s list, this chapter examines the contribut...
Article
Full-text available
Print culture came to South Africa with the Dutch East India Company, followed by the British colonisers. This influence persisted after colonisation officially ended, with the Union of South Africa in 1910. Many early publishers and booksellers were immigrants, especially Dutch immigrants. While the settlers were Dutch, many lent their support to...
Article
Publishers’ and booksellers’ marketing campaigns are aimed at ‘target audiences’ – groups of potential book buyers who can be demographically and geographically segmented. This segmentation is not always overt, but in the case of a ‘buy local’ campaign, it becomes so. One example is the ‘Homebru’ promotion run annually by South Africa's biggest tra...
Article
Full-text available
Deon Meyer is a household name in South Africa as a bestselling crime fiction author. This article explores how and why Meyer’s career has evolved in the way that it has, in an attempt to answer the question of what has made him so successful. The focus is not, like so much academic analysis of fiction, on the form or content of Meyer’s work, but r...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technologies such as e-books are predicted to have a profound effect on publishing, but they are yet to have a serious impact on the industry. This paper considers the implications of digitization and digital publishing for the trade book publishing industry in South Africa. Through surveys and interviews with South African trade publishers...
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Full-text available
Wits University Press (WUP), South Africa’s oldest university press, is considered a pioneer in the publishing of African-language literature, due to the publication of the long-running Bantu Treasury Series (later to be renamed the African Treasury Series). Along with the mission presses, local-language newspapers and some educational publishers,...
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Full-text available
Against the general assumption that crime and detective fiction has only recently emerged as a genre in South African publishing, this essay will consider the publishing history of this genre in South Africa. The question that is considered is whether trade or general-interest publishers targeting a mass audience in South Africa have produced 'whod...
Article
Publishing is an important cultural industry, and its products form part of the record of our social and cultural history. Yet what of the records of the publishers themselves - the voluminous correspondence, financial information, manuscripts, policies, review reports, and so on - and what is preserved of such records? In this paper, I propose to...
Article
African print culture has not been widely studied from a historical perspective. Many studies focus on the present, without interrogating the historical developments that led to the present situation. We do find information available on what has been published over time, but little attention has been paid to the material forms of texts, their distr...
Article
African print culture has not been widely studied from a historical perspective. Many studies focus on the present, without interrogating the historical developments that led to the present situation. We do find information available on what has been published over time, but little attention has been paid to the material forms of texts, their distr...
Article
It is often assumed that African scholarly publishing is poorly resourced and unappealing to authors, both African and otherwise. While the resource constraints are real, is it true that authors are avoiding African publishers in favour of those based in the North? An exploratory study was undertaken to assess the demand for scholarly publishers ba...
Article
This essay examines both media reports on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and the TRC's final report, to determine the reasons why women are portrayed in the media - when they are portrayed at all - almost exclusively as victims. This author examines media reports which deal with the testimony of women who lived through th...
Article
This essay examines both media reports on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and the TRC's final report, to determine the reasons why women are portrayed in the media — when they are portrayed at all — almost exclusively as victims. This author examines media reports which deal with the testimony of women who lived through th...
Article
Full-text available
Start-up problems for a journal include attracting authors and building initial readership, but challenges further down the line include building visibility and maintaining credibility. One of the key strategies in this regard is indexing. According to the literature, the main reasons for having a journal indexed or listed in an abstracting service...
Article
Full-text available
Sources' are whatever scratches on paper or parchment or stone or earth we find from some past human engagements from some past world. We will listen a long time before they speak – unless they are made to, by the reconstruction of the particular context, by attentiveness to the range of contemporary vernaculars, by our learning to distinguish brea...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
I am working on the history of Ravan Press, an anti-apartheid publisher in South Africa, which was active from the 1970s until around 2000.