full name / name of organization: 
Dept of English Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria/Tshwane
contact email:;

VENUE: Kwa Maritane Lodge (Pilanesberg Game Reserve and Heritage Site), North-West Province, South Africa

The successful conference on “Memory” held in Pretoria, in March 2012, inaugurated a series of biennial international conferences organised by the Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA). The Department takes great pleasure in announcing the next conference, around the theme of “Home”, which will take place in September 2014.

Point of both literal and symbolic birth, growth, death, and the clearest referent for departure and return, the idea of “home” has accrued, from antiquity to our time, a wealth of diverse connotations in literature, language and numerous other fields of knowledge.

In the present era of world-wide travels, but also of migrations, expulsions, deportations and deracinations of various kinds, “home” has taken on a renewed significance, even when it is viewed with postmodern scepticism as a mythical point of origin that cannot fully be regained. This nexus of intersecting, overlapping and superimposed meanings provides the conceptual centre for an international and interdisciplinary conference on “home”, during which we hope to enable participants to engage in a stimulating dialogue involving multiple perspectives on this theme.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Home, real and imagined
• Home in literature
• Home in children’s literature
• The ‘return home’ in myth, fantasy, fairy tale and quest narratives
• Cultural centrality and its opposite (dispersal and marginality) in language varieties
• Plurilingualism and super-diversity
• World Englishes
• Notions of ‘home language’ or ‘first language’:
*Home language vs. English as the Language of Learning and Teaching
*Home schooling as an increasingly popular alternative to public schooling
*The compulsory learning of a South African indigenous language in schools from 2014
• Presence and absence
• Diaspora and exile
• Displacement and homelessness
• Migration
• Nostos and nostalgia/Wandering/Travelling
• Identity and liminality
• Origin/s
• Home as centre vs periphery
• Home and empire
• Home and gender
• Home and family
• Home as a locus of violence and loss
• Home as a locus of learning
• Home and animal ‘others’
• Home and architecture
• Home and landscape
• Home in art-historical contexts
• Home in archaeological and anthropological contexts
• Displacement, removal and restitution of cultural artefacts
• Home in the visual, performing and cinematic arts
• Home and the law
• Home and religion

Submission of Abstracts
We welcome abstracts from diverse relevant fields, in addition to language and literature, such as: anthropology and archaeology, architecture, art history, classics, criminology, cultural studies, education, economy and management studies, environmental sciences, film studies, gender studies, geography, history and historiography, law, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, psychology, theology, visual arts.

The language of abstracts and of presentations will be English. The time limit for each lecture is 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of discussion.

If you are interested in participating, please submit a title and a 250-300 words abstract, with your name and affiliation, to the following address by 28th February 2014 to the Convener, Dr S Dambe, at
All submissions will be acknowledged and acceptance of abstracts will be communicated within two weeks of receipt.

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