Crossing 'other cultures'? Reading Tatamkhulu Afrika's 'Nothing's Changed' in the NEAB Anthology

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In 1998 the Northern Examination and Assessment Board selected the poem ‘Nothing's Changed’ by the South African writer Tatamkhulu Afrika as the last of its ten Poems from Other Cultures and Traditions. Published in the NEAB Anthology (1998), ‘Nothing's Changed’ became a favourite at GCSE for its vivid depiction of apartheid and its effects. This article revisits Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem, situating it in the context of educational policy, the creation of the NEAB Anthology, the poem's initial use by Devon Curriculum Services in the 1990s, and its emergence as an object of national study in Britain. It examines how the poem was read under the conditions of its anthologisation and the pressures of examination, highlighting how specific reading practices typically stumbled on the problems of history, cultural representativeness, and literature's capacity to offer a transparent window onto experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-93
Number of pages14
JournalEnglish in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • GCSE
  • reading
  • South Africa
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika
  • NEAB Anthology
  • multiculturalism


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