- Professor EllekeBoehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford
- Professor PitikaNtuli, South African poet, sculptor, public intellectual, insanusi and former University of Durban-Westville
This conference focusses on decolonial turns and postcolonial shifts in English writings, and on the ownership of English today: how the Commonwealth and other English-using polities are assimilating, adapting and re-inventing the global lingua franca to advance education and reflect the culture, individuality and rapidly changing nature of these societies. Is English proving itself a malleable and useful instrument in economic advancement and cultural development, or is it dominating countries and regions as an oppressive political or cultural behemoth, and thwarting advance? That is the question.
The English Academy of Southern Africa interests itself in all aspects of English literary and language studies, encouraging research and debate in these fields across the globe. Uniquely in the world, the multilingualism underwritten by the South African Constitution guarantees rights for all the official languages of South Africa. This challenging constitutional provision and the Academy’s commitment to an evolving and inclusive linguistic and cultural ecology, nationally, regionally and internationally, coalesce in its concern for preserving and developing linguistic and cultural ecologies. Consciously treating language, literature and culture from an ecological perspective invites the fresh and innovative perspectives which form the central focus of this conference.
Papers are welcome in all areas of English scholarship but particularly where research explores English as a force for effective change in postcolonial environments. Engagement with literacy in its broad Freirean definition is particularly welcomed. This conference examines how English literacy is being used, and could be used further, as a means of individual enlightenment and effective social amelioration and advance. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all and can play a large role in eradicating poverty, ensuring sustainable development and disseminating democratic principles. Language education papers should reflect the conference focus on English as a transformative and dynamic force, whether within the southern African region or elsewhere in the world.
Papers dealing with topics and issues related to any of these areas in English literature, education, language and literacy are invited from colleagues throughout the world. There will be a 20 minute time slot for each paper with 10 minutes associated discussion. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Selected papers will be offered publication in the English Academy of Southern Africa’s accredited and peer-reviewed journal, The English Academy Review.
The conference programme will be organised around themes and issue-centred concerns, and there will be a core of invited contributions on these topics. We invite papers on the following or related themes:
Sub-themes include but are not confined to the following areas:
- The decolonial turn in English literature
- Disrupting the English curriculum
- Circling definitions: Commonwealth/ Postcolonial/ Transnational/ Diasporal
- Postcolonial writings
- Short-circuiting genre: literary experimentation
- Linguistic ecologies
- Cross cultural translation
- Writings from the Commonwealth
- Language and education
- Language policy, theory and practice
- Language and (social) media, television and film
- Language, culture, gender and identity
- Language and transformation
- Technology and the teaching of English
Several outstanding speakers of international stature will deliver plenary addresses at the conference. The programme consists of three days of plenary presentations and a diverse range of concurrent workshops and parallel sessions for paper presentations. The academic programme will be complemented by social activities including a welcome reception, a poetry reading festival and a closing gala dinner. This conference will be one of the most significant events on the English studies calendar for 2017.
Guidelines and instructions:
An abstract not exceeding 300 words should be submitted by e-mail as an Ms Word file accompanied by the following information:
- Title, full names and surname:
- Institutional affiliation:
- E-mail address:
- Postal address and postal code:
- Full title of the paper:
Submission of abstracts:
Final Deadline for abstract submission: 30 April 2017. Colleagues are encouraged to send their abstracts early as the conference can accommodate only a limited number of papers. Abstracts should be sent to the English Academy: firstname.lastname@example.org
All abstracts will be peer reviewed.