[UPDATE DUE DATE FOR ABSTRACT] Dept of English Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria/Tshwane

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


DATES: 7th – 11th September 2014

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

CONFERENCE WEBSITE: www.unisa.ac.za/homeconf
DEPARTMENTAL WEBSITE: www.unisa.ac.za/english

The successful international conference on "Memory" held in Pretoria, in March 2012, inaugurated a series of biennial international and interdisciplinary 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

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 – 10 minutes of discussion.

If you are interested in participating, please submit by 5th May 2014 a title and a 250-300 words abstract, with your name and affiliation, to the following addresses: the Convener, Dr S Dambe, at dambesgi@unisa.ac.za and the conference administrator, Ms J Seshibedi, at seshimj@unisa.ac.za. In order to facilitate the booking process at the Lodge, early replies would be greatly appreciated.

All submissions will be acknowledged and acceptance of abstracts will be communicated within two weeks of receipt.


Together with the keynotes, a number of papers will be selected for publication and inclusion in special editions of the SA accredited journals scrutiny2 and Language Matters (negotiations with accredited journals in other disciplines are being conducted). All papers will be subjected to a rigorous peer-reviewing process. In order to facilitate a seamless and timeous publication process, completed versions of the papers intended for Journals should be submitted to the organising Committee by the end of September 2014.


Thematic sessions and plenary lectures will be scheduled over four days. A detailed conference programme will be available on the conference website and the departmental website at a later stage.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Dr. Louise Bethlehem (Tel Aviv University)
Prof. Rajend Mesthrie (University of Cape Town)
Dr. Mpalive-Hangson Msiska (Birbeck College, University of London)
Prof. Ivan Rabinowitz (Emeritus, University of South Africa)

Conference Fee and Accommodation

The conference will be held at Kwa Maritane (Pilanesberg), a well-known Game Lodge located in a large, malaria-free game and nature reserve, in the crater of a long-extinct volcano. For the duration of the conference, the Lodge Centre will enable undisturbed reflection and focused exchange of ideas, as all accommodation needs are catered for in one locality, immersed in the stillness and beauty of the unspoilt bush. Game drives can be arranged, during free time, to view the wealth of animal and plant life in the reserve. See the following websites: http://pilanesberggamereserve.co.za/ and http://pilanesberggamereserve.co.za/game-lodges/kwa-maritane-bush-lodge....

The conference fee is a reasonable R 13 640.00 for single accommodation and R 19 320.00 for a double room (two persons sharing, twin beds or double beds), for the duration of the conference. Unisa academics must apply for Training Funds, once their abstracts have been vetted and accepted.

The conference fee includes: Registration fee; fully equipped conference venue; delegate's pack (programme & folder); four nights in a luxury bedroom with private bathroom; full breakfast daily; three sit-down lunches; four sit-down dinners, including an end-of-conference dinner at the Lodge's Boma, in the bush (apart from vegetarian, specific dietary requirements will be catered for at extra cost); reception drinks; light refreshments twice daily during the conference; one game drive. Additional game drives will be for the account of guests.

Payment should be made by bank transfer after acceptance of the abstract has been communicated. Further details will be provided on acceptance of abstracts. Please note that all delegates are responsible for their conference fees and that no subsidies will be available towards travel and accommodation.

Kwa Maritane Lodge provides to delegates, at reasonable cost, a safe and reliable shuttle service between the Reserve and Johannesburg International Airport. The Lodge is located about an hour and forty minutes from the Airport, around an hour and thirty minutes from Pretoria and Johannesburg. Shuttle arrangements should be made preferably through the organising Committee. Note that the shuttle service is not included in the conference registration fee.

The Department of English Studies at the University of South Africa is keenly looking forward to welcoming colleagues from all over the world to what promises to be a stimulating gathering in a unique environment.

Reply to the Convener, Dr S Dambe at dambesgi@unisa.ac.za, with a copy to the administrator, Ms J Seshibedi at seshimj@unisa.ac.za