Q & A with Peter Anderson
South African, Academic and Writer
"I like to see myself as a link between the 'forgotten continent,' Africa, and the United States of America."
— Peter Anderson
How do your life and work “link” Africa and the US?
I hail from South Africa, where I earned my B.A. in English and Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
I later received my M.A. and Ph.D. at Boston University. Now I reside in North Texas, where I am an associate professor of English at Austin College.
That is quite a journey. What were some of your experiences along the way?
I bring a wide experience to bear: I have been a journalist, a television producer, a puppeteer, even a construction worker, not to mention a teacher at the tertiary level for the last thirty-odd years.
At Austin College, which is centered on the liberal arts, I teach Postcolonial Literature: “Into Africa”
and “Apartheid and After,” as well as courses in fiction writing and creative writing.
You are both a teacher and a writer. What is your own writing focus?
I published a collection of my poems in Vanishing Ground, and my work in fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines and has been anthologized in both America and South Africa. My first novel is The Unspeakable.
What are some of your research interests?
Prison poetry under apartheid, Post-Marxist and Post-Freudian theories of literature, and visionary literature as “mixed media.”
Peter Anderson and his muse at work