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Jane Taylor

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor holds the Skye Chair of Dramatic Art at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is the winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize for her first novel, Of Wild Dogs, which was published in 2005.

Taylor has a background in theatre studies, and a Ph.D in English from Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. She has an abiding interest in the history of theatre.

In 1996 she curated “Fault Lines,” an exhibition about issues of truth and reconciliation, at the Cape Town Castle, and designed and co-ordinated the broad range of “Fault Lines” events which included conferences, media workshops, ands literary readings. In 1998, she curated “Holdings: Rethinking the Archive” for the launch of the University of the Witwatersrand’s new Graduate School. (David Philip publishers).

In 1996 she wrote the play Ubu & the Truth Commission for the Handspring Puppet Company. She has also, with composer Kevin Volans, written a piece of music theatre based on The Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, which was directed by the artist William Kentridge, and which opened at the KunstenFest in Brussels in 2001.

In 1999, Taylor directed Puccini’s La Boheme for the Spier Summer Season in Cape Town. She also won a Rockefeller Fellowship to Emory University, Atlanta in the United States.

She has written a wide range of reviews and catalogues on contemporary South African culture, and in 1987 co-edited From South Africa with David Bunn (Triquarterly), and has lectured in centres such as Fes, Chicago, London, Yale, New York, Minneapolis, Munich and Seoul.

Taylor served for several years on the Board of the South African National Gallery and was the keynote speaker in March 2002 for an international conference on Public Art in Cape Town.

In 2004, Taylor was Schaffner Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago. In 2005, she took up a Visiting Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford.


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