Reminder – CFP open for African Studies Association UK 2014 Conference (deadline 25 April)

ASAUKlogoThe ASAUK biennial conference will be held at the University of Sussex this year and will run from 2pm on Tuesday Sept 9th to 3.30 pm on Thursday 11th September 2014. The Sussex Africa Centre is scheduled for its official launch at the conference too (with further details to come).

While there is no overarching ‘theme’ for the conference, there are a number of streams (linked panels) which will run throughout:

  • African utopias/dystopias (Critical African Studies)
  • Congo Research Network (Katrien Pype and Reuben Loffman)
  • Culture Stream (Carli Coetzee / JACS)
  • From Global Crisis to African Rising? (ROAPE)
  • Labour, Insecurity and Violence in South Africa (Maxim Bolt / Dina Rajak)
  • Literature Stream (Ranka Primorac)
  • Lusophone Africa (Toby Green)
  • Publishing (Stephanie Kitchen / IAI)
  • Sudan (Ahmed Al-Shahi)

Two AiW editors are co-convening panels for the conference and would like to invite paper proposals for the following:

Rebecca Jones, with Sara Marzagora, Comparing Afrophone literatures and intellectual traditions (Culture and Literature streams);
and Katie Reid, with James Graham, Ivan Vladislavić and the South African literary imagination (Literature stream).

Click the panel titles for full details and the CFP for each (or see below).

A full list of the panels across the streams can be found here. There are still spaces available in the conference for panels and interested parties are asked to submit proposals as soon as possible.
To submit a paper or a panel proposal for the ASAUK Conference, please visit the conference website.

The call for papers will close on 25th April 2014.

Hope to see you there!


Comparing Afrophone literatures and intellectual traditions ^
Panel at the African Studies Association UK (ASAUK) Conference
University of Sussex (Brighton, UK)
9-11 September 2014

Panel convenors: Rebecca Jones and Sara Marzagora

The study of African language literatures has not yet benefitted from substantial comparison between Afrophone literatures. While studies have compared Europhone and Afrophone literary traditions, few scholars have attempted to compare Yoruba and Hausa, Amharic and Swahili, or Zulu and Xhosa, to take just a few examples of the many opportunities for comparison across the continent. Many of us working on Afrophone literatures understand the particular literature we research, but not the similarities, differences and interactions with other Afrophone literatures.

The panel invites papers which allow for comparison on two levels: firstly, of Afrophone texts themselves, and secondly, of the intellectual landscape and the production, circulation and readership of Afrophone literatures. We thus hope to explore not only comparisons between texts, but also what writers and readers themselves have thought about comparison or interaction between Afrophone literatures.

Papers which focus on the texts themselves may wish to make comparisons between particular genres or historical moments in Afrophone literatures: for instance, the novel, praise poetry, post-independence theatre, or short stories. Papers focusing on just one language literature are also welcome, as long as they also show how their study could contribute to the broader field of Afrophone literary studies.

Papers which focus on the intellectual landscape surrounding Afrophone literatures may map out comparisons or interactions between Afrophone intellectuals, in newspapers, magazines or other media, or in their works themselves. Papers could explore reviews, responses to literary works and debates, translations, letters, articles, and editorial debates about publishing. How were Afrophone writers and intellectuals influenced by other African-language traditions? How were debates about literature – and more broadly about art, aesthetics and culture – shaped by other Afrophone traditions? Did Yoruba authors ever read (or hear about) Hausa literature, or Amharic writers Swahili literature? Where did translation from one Afrophone language to another take place, or where were different Afrophone literatures published alongside each other?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  •        How have different genres arisen in different Afrophone languages, and were there interactions between them?
  •        How did writers in different language traditions respond to similar historical events or intellectual circumstances?
  •        The histories of publishing and of literary criticism in African languages
  •        The role of translations and translators in Afrophone literatures
  •        Interactions between Afrophone literary cultures in magazines, newspapers and other media

For any queries, please write to – abstracts (max 250 words) should be submitted via the conference website (deadline 15 April 2014)


Ivan Vladislavić and the South African literary imagination ^
A panel in the literature stream of the African Studies Association UK (ASAUK) 2014 conference
University of Sussex (Brighton, UK)
9-11 September 2014

Panel convenors Katie Reid (Sussex) and Dr James Graham (Middlesex)

This panel proposes an exploration of the multiple meanings of literary ‘work’ that may emerge from a study of the career of South African author and editor Ivan Vladislavić.

Vladislavić has played various roles, and occupied a range of institutional spaces, in the development of contemporary South African literary culture. In the 1980s, as fiction and social studies editor for Ravan Press and as assistant editor for the groundbreaking Staffrider magazine, Vladislavić was involved in the editing and publication of writers, black and white, who were openly hostile to the apartheid state. Through the late 1980s and to date, his reputation has grown, nationally and internationally, as a preeminent writer of post-apartheid South Africa, with a remarkably attenuated appreciation of urban Johannesburg. Throughout this period Vladislavić has worked with both prominent and new writers across a range of genres as a highly sought after freelance editor, as well as with architects, urbanists, photographers and artists, on projects that typically seek to reframe the ways in which everyday life in South Africa is perceived, imagined and lived.

As well as considering the ways in which existing material –  ranging from the textual matter of the urban everyday to a host of literary and artistic intertexts – is variously worked on, worked through and re-worked, and so potentially transformed by Vladislavić’s writing, the panel is interested in examinations of the kinds of ‘work’ that are performed by and through his range of working methods. This idea of ‘literary work’ will enable an exploration of Vladislavić’s oeuvre in light of South African aesthetic production, print cultures and the book market. We therefore welcome proposals that may look to explore, although need not be limited to:

  • Vladislavić and anglophone literary culture, within South Africa, and without;
  • Book design and marketing: production and publication;
  • Intertextuality, literary labour and the world literary system;
  • Vladislavić and the ‘post-’: the postcolonial; the postmodern; the postapartheid, including the politics of transition;
  • Involvement and imbrication in other forms of cultural production: art, photography, architecture;
  • Exploding genre: documentary and social realism, short stories and novels, essays and creative non-fiction, art criticism;
  • Vladislavić’s literary modes and techniques;
  • Vladislavić as a major ‘South African voice’: reflections on the cultural ‘work’ of the writer; cultural intermediaries and the transformation of the South African literary field;
  • The politics of ordinariness: the banal versus the spectacular; surface versus depth;
  • Urban semiotics and poetics: the Afropolitan and African urban.

Any enquiries and abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted directly to the panel organisers Katie Reid (Sussex and Dr James Graham (Middlesex 

Abstracts can also be submitted submitted via the conference website (deadline 25 April 2014).


A full list of the panels across the streams can be found here. There are still spaces available in the conference for panels and interested parties are asked to submit proposals as soon as possible.
To submit a paper or a panel proposal for the ASAUK Conference, please visit the conference website.

Categories: Calls for & opportunities

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