Back to About Us
Professional Experience

Catherine du Toit


Associate Professor

Qualifications Other Presentations
Publications Awards
Research Areas Academic & Administrative Responsibilities



2013 - Associate Professor, Department of Modern Foreign Languages, University of Stellenbosch
2008 - 2013 Senior Lecturer, Department of Modern Foreign Languages, University of Stellenbosch
1998 -2008 Lecturer in French, Department of Modern Foreign Languages, University of Stellenbosch
1997 - 1998 French language Instructor at the Language Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs
1995 – 1996 Awarded French Government Bursary for doctoral research in France
1994 –1995 Junior Lecturer (full-time) in the Department of Romance Languages (French Section), University of South Africa Teaching assistant (part-time) in the Department of Modern European Languages (French Section), University of Pretoria Research assistant (part-time) in the Department of Modern European Languages (French Section), University of Pretoria (research project : French-Afrikaans Dictionary)
1992 – 1993 Awarded French Government Bursary for post-magistral studies (D.E.A.) in France
1992 Junior Lecturer (full-time) in the French Department, University of Pretoria External Marker (part-time) in the Department of Romance Languages (French Section), University of South Africa Lecturer (part-time) at the Alliance Française de Pretoria
1990 –1991 Junior Lecturer (full-time) in the French Department, University of Pretoria




2006 University of Pretoria: Doctor Litterarum et philosophiae (DLitt) in French. Dissertation in French and Comparative Literature: Henri-Pierre Roché. À la recherche de l’unité perdue
1993 Université de Nantes : D.E.A.(Diplôme d'études approfondies = post-graduated diploma taken in France before completing a PhD) in French and Comparative Literature -summa cum laude
1989 University of Pretoria : Baccalaureus Artium Honores (BA Honours degree) in French Language and Literature cum laude
1988 University of Pretoria : Baccalaureus Legum Civilium (Bachelor's degree in Law)




Articles (peer reviewed)
Conference proceedings




















I speak, read and write fluent English, French and Afrikaans, have a good working knowledge of German and Dutch and a reading knowledge of Italian.




CFPPA, Beaune :
2001       Intensive course in winemaking (with the object of creating a French language course for the wine industry)
Cape Wine Academy :
2000       Preliminary and Certificate Wine Courses
Fokus Sprachenschule, Munich :
1995       Successful completion of intensive advanced German Language course.
Alliance Française :
1991       Diplôme supérieur d'études françaises modernes  / Higher Diploma in Modern French Studies  (with distinction)
1990       Diplôme de langue française / Diploma in French Language (with distinction)
Trinity College of Music, London :
1985       Grade 8 (Final) in violin (with distinction)
1985       Grade 5 (Higher) in guitar (with distinction)
 Technical College Pretoria :
1984-1985            First Prize in Drama and Mime




My research areas encompass a fairly wide field since foreign language teachers in South Africa have to be able to transmit various and varied skills.  I have concentrated on integrating literature as a functional part of French as a foreign language in the South African context.  My focus areas in this respect are : identity and otherness, the representation of the self in literature, crime fiction in Africa, the representation of ageing in contemporary literature and cinema. I teach and supervise postgraduate research in French as well as comparative literature. My personal research focus for the past twenty years has been the life and times of the French author, Henri-Pierre Roché. In recent years, I have extended my research to 21st century literature, specifically in a comparative literature context. Themes I have thus far covered include the representation of ageing in 21st century literature and francophone and anglophone crime fiction in Africa. Apart from literature I am interested in creating a French language course for the wine industry over a broad spectrum (viticultural workers, winemakers, consultants, tourism. I regularly present courses in film studies where my main focus area in recent years has been the films of the French Nouvelle Vague. 



Since 1998, I have taught and developed courses for the Honours degree in French, teaching a total of 31 students.  In order to prepare these students for the academic environment, I have organised student research seminars to develop skills such as the writing of an academic paper and the presentation of conference papers.  Three students have completed MA degrees in French under my supervision, all obtaining a cum laude result. I supervised the thesis of the first candidate to obtain a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Stellenbosch (degree awarded, March 2013). I co-supervised a PhD student in Translation Studies (degree obtained in December 2012) and am co-supervising another candidate in the same field. I am currently supervising two further PhD students (comparative literature and French) and am assisting two more PhD students with their research proposals for admission to the PhD programme in comparative literature under my supervision. I have acted as external examiner for several Masters and Doctoral theses from other tertiary establishments in South Africa. My input has been instrumental in regularly obtaining French Government bursaries for our students to pursue their post-graduate studies in France.

Students supervised

Marietjie Fouché Se construire en lisant: les petits héros ordinaires de Marie Despléchin.
(MA in French, Cum Laude 2008)
Marie-Anne Staebler Analyse des stratégies d’émancipation ou d’adaptation des personnages de romans beurs à la réalité des marchés sociaux de l’échange.
(MA in French, Cum Laude 2009)
Wilhelm Snyman Literature of impasse: A comparative analysis of Joseph Roth’s Radetzkymarsch, Giorgio Bassani’s Gli Occhiali d’Oro and Henri Fauconnier’s Malaisie.
(PhD in Comparative Literature, March 2013)
Marie-Anne Staebler Reflets narcissiques dans l’oeuvre de Jack-Alain Léger
(PhD in French, In progress)
Doret Jordaan Die uitbeelding van Afrika woestyne in Afrikaanse, Engelse, Duitse en Franse fiksie
(PhD in Comparative Literature, In progress)
Ciska Cockrell The representation of womanhood in African crime fiction
(PhD in Comparative Literature, In progress)
Nerisha Dewoo Love in the 21st century
(MA in French, In progress)

Students co-supervised

Marietjie Fouché Vertaling en die Kindervers: `n Vergelykende studie van Afrikaanse en Franse vertalings van humoristiese Engelse kleuter- en kinderverse.
(PhD in Translation Studies, 2012)
Johanna Steyn Direkte vertaling vs intermediêre vertaling: ‘n fokus op kulturele oordrag, ideologie en habitus in die Franse vertalings van twee Afrikaanse romans.
(PhD in Translation Studies, 2014)



Involvement as external examiner with the Universities of Namibia, Cape Town, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State and taught at Honours level at the University of the Western Cape. Member of external audit panel at UJ (2007) and at UFS (2009).



Computer skills : MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Prezi, Adobe Audition, Adobe Acrobat and DTP.

I enjoy motherhood, bonding with my horse, reading, literary translation, music, tasting and discussing wine, travelling, cinema, theatre and photography.


Updated: 06-Feb-2018