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.

SASGLS/SAVAL invites papers with any of the following as points of departure:

  • Apocalypse and/or catastrophe
  • Third Millennium
  • The advent of the Anthropocene
  • Environment and ecology (the sixth mass extinction event)
  • Middle East: mass migration and asylum seeking in Europe
  • National identity and/or globalisation
  • World economy and/or politics
  • Metropole, colony or postcolony
  • Modernity and decoloniality
  • Popular/grassroots movements for change in the academe, such as #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall
  • Universities
  • Leadership (or the failure thereof)
  • Decentring language: poststructuralism and deconstruction
  • Decentring the individual subject
  • Madness and loss of self and/or identity
  • Play, jouissance and the pleasure of the text
  • Escalation of social/political /technological change
  • Ethical challenges of bioethics and cyberethics
  • Posthumanism
  • Any other related idea

30 minutes will be set aside for each paper: 20 minutes for reading and 10 minutes for questions. Kindly send abstracts of no longer than 300 words to Dr Alan Northover or Mr Reinhardt Fourie.

Conference fee and payment details to be announced later.


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