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August 12, 2019

2019 LASA Conference: Programme

The 2019 LASA Conference will take place from 14 to 16 August on the Vanderbijlpark Campus of North-West University. The programme for the event can be downloaded by clicking here.

April 2, 2019

2019 LASA Conference: Call for Papers

LASA Conference and Biennial General Meeting

First Call for Papers


Theme: Renewal – “O, brave new world!”
Date: 14-16 August 2019
Venue: North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus


The Literature Association of South Africa (formerly SASGLS) invites literary scholars and postgraduate students to submit abstracts on the theme of renewal in literature. Miranda’s words, “O, brave new world!”, taken from William Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest (1611), and used in the title of Aldous Huxley’s (1932) dystopian novel are taken as a point of departure. This also departs from the themes of previous LASA colloquia and conferences, which spoke to a shared sense of disillusionment. However, the irony implicit in Miranda’s exclamation warns against simple optimism. Chimamanda Adichie cautions against “the danger of a single story” and, like Huxley’s novel, her Americanah (2013) is inspired, in part, by the New World, the USA epitomising a technology- and consumer-driven society. The idea of renewal contains an ambiguity – a tension between renewing the old and initiating the radically new – suggesting various sub-themes:

  • Language and literature – the power of imaginative fiction, drama and poetry to conceive of new worlds and alternative realities, new genres or cross-genres, new or renewed approaches to literature, New Materialism
  • Consciousness – beyond the subject, intersubjectivity, discourse and the end of individualism
  • Society – sexual diversity, new forms of living, new modes of being, migration, globalisation, rediscovering the local, urban renewal
  • Culture – modernity, postmodernity, indigenous knowledge, New Animism, cultural diversity
  • Technology – disruptive technologies, the challenges of biotech and infotech, big data, surveillance, digital dictatorship, posthumanism and transhumanism
  • Politics – the end of nation states, new forms of government, postcolonialism, decoloniality
  • Economy – neoliberalism, consumer capitalism and alternatives, intensifying or overcoming the divide between rich and poor, literature as commodity, green economy
  • Ecology – ecopoetics, petrofiction, Cli-Fi, climate change, climate refugees, Anthropocene, Chthulucene, rewilding

These sub-themes are by no means exhaustive. Students and scholars of literature are welcome to consider anything else related to the theme of “Renewal – ‘O, brave new world!’”.

Deadline for submission of abstracts:

Please submit abstracts of between 200-300 words by 1 May 2019 to Dr Neil van Heerden: E-mail: vheern@unisa.ac.za | Tel.: 012 429 6424. 30 minutes will be set aside for each paper: 20 minutes for reading and 10 minutes for questions. Conference fee and payment details to be announced later.

August 20, 2017

SASGLS General Conference 2017

17 & 18 August 2017, Unisa, Sunnyside campus, Pretoria


The call for papers for the 2017 SASGLS General Conference has now closed. The registration form for the conference can be downloaded by clicking here

August 20, 2017

SASGLS General Conference – CALL FOR PAPERS


 “Things fall apart”

17-19 August 2017, Unisa, Pretoria

The South African Society for General Literary Studies (SASGLS) invites scholars to submit proposals on the theme “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” for its biennial conference, to be hosted at the University of South Africa (Unisa), Pretoria, from 17 to 19 August 2017.

The theme of the conference is taken from W.B. Yeats’s apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming”, famously used by Chinua Achebe as the title of his influential postcolonial novel. The line from the poem suggests crisis, both as a key term in traditional poetics and as a much broader theme, in the sense of flux – or even disintegration and collapse. It problematizes the idea of literary representations of chaos or the collapse of order. However, it also presents opportunities for renewal or the imagining of possible worlds, as the collapse of old structures makes way for a new order. The theme is not intended to focus only on political imagination or critique, whether pessimistic or optimistic, utopian or dystopian, but can also be applied to literature on an individual, psychological level or on an abstract, theoretical one. Thus, the theme invokes not just postcolonialism and decoloniality but also poststructuralism and deconstruction, and many other fields of research besides.

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