Prof Andy Carolin
1. TEACHER EXCELLENCE
In our fast-changing, super-complex world, university students are usually taught to think smart, to solve problems and make quick and informed decisions in unexpected contexts. Prof Andrew Carolin, however, often suggests a very different process to his students in Childhood Education, encouraging them to “think slowly, think longer, linger. . . read slowly”. At the heart of this advice is his passionate commitment to equipping student teachers with an awareness of social justice issues in Africa via the critical analysis of carefully chosen texts. These are skills that take time to develop but are crucial to creating a base for sharing knowledge and that offer opportunities to openly discuss the meaning of social justice, a concept which initially is often difficult and uncomfortable for students to absorb.
Prof Carolin’s students are quick to recognise the contribution that he is making to their learning experiences. He is applauded as a gifted teacher and described as “exceptional” and “supportive”, as someone who “encourages us to think, but not what to think”. Others celebrate his African focus, recognising, often for the first time, that “Africa has a story” and “Africans have a voice”. And when a student can say, “I have read books about me”, we can be sure that he offers students an education that is responsive to the African context and relevant to their lives.
As a scholar, Prof Carolin is widely acknowledged as an expert in Boyer’s “scholarship of integration” as well as for his ability to apply complex concepts in the classroom. He is also known for his willingness to share expertise and mentor young scholars. His students are aware of this but for many, it is his personal interest and attitude towards them that matters most. A student captures this perfectly when she says he is “the Best Amongst The Rest. This Lecturer Has A Heart”.
We are proud to be associated with the work of Prof Carolin. His expertise and his passion are evident in all that he does, and we have every confidence that he offers our student teachers and the children who will be taught by them, the best educational experience possible.
2. BOOK OF THE YEAR
Prof Andy Carolin is an associate professor in the Department of Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education, where he teaches English to primary school student teachers. His research is located within literary and cultural studies. His research focuses on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in South African literature, film, and print media. He holds a Y rating from the NRF, and his research has appeared in several prestigious journals in the humanities, including the Journal of Southern African Studies, Current Writing, Journal of Literary Studies, Social Dynamics, Critical Arts and African Studies.
About the book
In Post-Apartheid Same-Sex Sexualities: Restless Identities in Literary and Visual Culture, Carolin explores the ways in which race and sexuality are co-constituted in the post-apartheid imaginary. What distinguishes Carolin’s monograph is how he uses various literary and narrative texts to theorise a cultural history of restlessness that has implications far beyond the book’s focus on sexuality. Through close study of a wide range of texts and genres, the book seeks to build a theory of transnational cultural flows that complicates how we conceptualise notions of human rights, culture, nationalism, and politics. Carolin shows how these are malleable discursive and ideological forms that can be repurposed and mobilised for different and sometimes contradictory political purposes. Carolin’s monograph makes two key analytical interventions. Firstly, the book criticises how the constitutional recognition of sexual rights in 1996 has become an almost blindingly hyper visible moment in the country’s sexual rights history. He notes that “this teleological historiography conceptualises the equality clause as the point towards which everything moved and the point from which everything henceforth flows”. The book challenges this established orthodoxy by mapping an expansive and entangled cultural history of sexuality in South Africa. Secondly, the book’s pioneering theorisation of “restlessness” expands on current understandings of transnationalism: Carolin argues that global cultural flows are always an inherently historical – and not only geographic – set of relations and connections. A review of the book published in the Journal of the African Literature Association describes it as a “compelling” and “invaluable” contribution to queer studies. A review in the media studies journal, Communicatio, describes the book as “a meticulously researched and innovative study that is immensely thought-provoking”. The review observes further that the book is “conceptually sophisticated and offers an exceptionally engaging and enlightening examination”.