Africa’s Position in The 4th Industrial Revolution

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of South Africa (UNISA)










Africa’s Position in The 4th Industrial Revolution



DATE: 2-4 OCTOBER 2019          VENUE: Valley Lodge and Spa (Magaliesburg)


Being innovative is the only way in which universities and academics can be competitive and cushion themselves against the various turbulences of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). This digital industrial revolution presents both a majorchallenge and major opportunity forhigher education institutions to reinvent themselves. It requires new and creative ways of thinking, problem-solving and innovating. This technological revolution will fundamentally alter the way we work, live and relate to one another.


Rapid growth and unprecedented innovations in technology on a global scale have started to blur the distinction between human being and machine.Technologies barely imaginable a few decades ago are now embedded in our everyday lives and even our human bodies.  We have entered the 4IR. Worldwide, scholars are confronted with technologies that challenge their perceptions of their disciplines (including the Arts), the ways in which they teach and communicate with their students,and the ways in which they gather and analyse data and information.These technologies can threaten their jobs and their life’s work. Do we need language practitioners when machines are learning to translate, or librarians when we have search engines?  Can artificial intelligence and computer programmes compose music or produce artworks?  Will the robots dance for us?

We are forced to look anew at fundamental questions such as ‘What does it meanto be human?’. We have to consider what this 4IR will do to our humanity.In this era of the digital humanities, bio-engineering, genome editing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality,even the question of the necessityand value of the Arts has been brought to the fore once more.



But to what extent is this revolution happening on the African continent?  How can we discuss or anticipate the effects of the 4IR in African countries where, some might argue,the 3rd or even 2nd Industrial Revolutions have not fully run their course yet?  Can we address important social issues such as inequality, security and identity (the three major concerns raised regarding the 4IR) through a combination of art and technology?


This conference is inter-, trans- and multidisciplinary in nature and scholars in the Arts and other disciplines from as wide a range as possible will be accommodated.





Possible topics include(but are not limited to):



African Arts and technology

  • ·    Languages and linguistics
  • ·    Literatures and literary theory
  • ·    Human Language Technology (HLT), translation and dictionaries
  • ·    Musical Arts
  • ·    Performance arts
  • ·    Visual arts



Africancultures,societies andtechnology

  • ·    Africanization and/orglobalization
  • ·    Decolonization and transformation
  • ·    Identity and (digital) identities



African universities,education andtechnology

  • ·    Digital Humanities
  • ·    Information sciences (libraries, archives, museums)
  • ·    Teaching and learning
  • ·    The Digital Divide and open and free access
  • ·    Transforming institutional culture



African economics, politics andtechnology

  • ·    Automation and job security
  • ·    Democracy in the age of social media and fake news
  • ·    Disruptive technologies
  • ·    Equality
  • ·    Security



Important dates


Deadline for submission of abstracts:

31 May2019

Finalnotification date foracceptanceofabstracts:

28 June2019

Last day of registration for conference:

To be announced



Abstract and paperguidelines


Abstracts should be no longer than 250-300 words

Abstracts should be editable in MSWord format and include the following information:

  • ·    Title, full names and surname of author(s)
  • ·    Title of paper
  • ·    Institutional affiliation of author(s)
  • ·    E-mail address(es) of author(s)
  • ·    Telephone number (office or mobile) of  author(s)

Papers will be a 20 minute oral presentations plus 5 minutes Q&A

All abstracts must be submitted via e-mail to the following address: