Dr Mariana Kriel

Senior Lecturer


LESV202 (Phonetics); LESV301 (Sociolinguistics); LESV302 (Semantics and Pragmatics); LTTVV401 (General Linguistics); LTTV402 (Multilingualism)

Area of expertise / Research interests:

Language and identity politics
Language and (de)coloniality
Nationalism theory as it relates to language, Western modernity, and colonisation
Afrikaner nationalisms, past and present
Currently, my major research project (which I hope will, in time, become a book) is titled, The lives and times of Afrikaner nationalisms. I am also working with Jacqueline Knörr (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale) on an article featuring creole languages and decolonisation.


After completing my undergraduate, honours and MA study at the University of Pretoria, I started my lecturing career in 1996 in the Afrikaans Department at (what was then) the University of Port Elizabeth. Eight years later, I left for the UK for PhD study at the London School of Economics under the supervision of John Breuilly (at the time Chair of Nationalism and Ethnicity Studies). On my return to South Africa, I joined the University of the Free State for a seven-year stint, first in the Unit for Language Management and later in the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice. In 2015, I was fortunate to be offered a Senior Lectureship in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Nelson Mandela University. 


Recent publications:
Under review. Failing the vulnerable and the voiceless: A critique of the South African Language Rights Monitor Project (2003–2018). In: Stroud, C. & Williams, Q. (eds). Language and vulnerability: The making and unmaking of language and selves. London: Bloomsbury.
2021. boere into Boere (farmers into Boers): The so-called Great Trek and the rise of Boer nationalism. Nations and Nationalism, 27(4): 1198--1212. https://doi.org/10.1111/nana.12760
2018. Chronicle of a creole: The ironic history of Afrikaans. In: Knörr, J. & Filho, W.T. (eds). Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture and Identity. Brill’s Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, Volume 17. Leiden: Brill, 132–157.
Recent conference presentations:
2023. Decolonial resistance to epistemological colonialism: What we ought to celebrate in 2023 on the bicentenary of isiXhosa in print. Paper presented at the conference of the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, July.
2020. Language policy in higher education and ‘the long ending of apartheid’: Why Afrikaans was destined to fall at the University of the Free State. Paper presented on invitation of Lloyd Hill and Stephanie Rudwick at the workshop ‘Language, science and the transformation of South African university research and teaching spaces’, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), February.