About the Author(s)

Phil van Schalkwyk Email symbol
School of Languages, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Van Schalkwyk, P., 2023, ‘Places called home’, Literator 44(1), a2025. https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v44i1.2025


Places called home

Phil van Schalkwyk

Copyright: © 2023. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The articles published in Literator in 2023 are, like last year’s, quite diverse as far as subdisciplines and research topics are concerned. However, when one casts an eye over all the contributions, both in literature and linguistics, certain recurring strands are discernible, which to my mind coalesce in the notion of home.

Rosemary George (1999), in her book The Politics of Home, poses the pertinent question: ‘What then, is home?’. She provides the following thought-provoking perspectives in this regard:

One distinguishing feature of places called home is that they are built on select inclusions. The inclusions are grounded in a learned (or taught) sense of a kinship that is extended to those who are perceived as sharing the same blood, race, class, gender, or religion. Membership is maintained by bonds of love, fear, power, desire and control. Homes are manifest on geographical, psychological and material levels. They are places that are recognized as such by those within and those without. They are places of violence and nurturing. A place that is flexible, that manifests itself in various forms and yet whose every reinvention seems to follow the basic pattern of inclusions/exclusions. Home is a place to escape to and a place to escape from. Its importance lies in the fact that it is not equally available to all. Home is a desired place that is fought for and established as the exclusive domain of a few. It is not a neutral place. (p. 9)

Several of the literature articles foreground and problematise space in relation to concepts such as marginalisation, migration, relocation, family, belonging, the nomadic, naming, narration, mythology, transgression, the body, landscape, ecology, loss, mortality, etc.

In the linguistics contributions, themes that relate to the aforementioned literary ones include the following: critical investigations of language shift and maintenance in particular spaces, differences and kinship between languages and/or dialects, the idea of a language as a kind of home, language as a space of access and restriction.

As in the past, we would like to express a warm word of gratitude to our editorial team, notably the section editors and the reviewers, whose specialised knowledge and dedication contributed towards the maintenance of high scholarly standards.


George, R.S., 1999, The politics of home: Postcolonial relocations and twentieth-century fiction, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

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