LASA Conference and Biennial General Meeting : Second Call for Papers : Renewal – “O, brave new world!”

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Literature Association of South Africa (LASA)
contact email: 

LASA Conference and Biennial General Meeting

Second Call for Papers


Theme: Renewal – “O, brave new world!”

Date: 14-16 August 2019

Venue: North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus


The Literature Association of South Africa (formerly SASGLS) invites literary scholars and postgraduate students to submit abstracts on the theme of renewal in literature. Miranda’s words, “O, brave new world!”, taken from William Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest (1611), and used in the title of Aldous Huxley’s (1932) dystopian novel are taken as a point of departure. This also departs from the themes of previous LASA colloquia and conferences, which spoke to a shared sense of disillusionment. However, the irony implicit in Miranda’s exclamation warns against simple optimism. Chimamanda Adichie cautions against “the danger of a single story” and, like Huxley’s novel, her Americanah (2013) is inspired, in part, by the New World, the USA epitomising a technology- and consumer-driven society. The idea of renewal contains an ambiguity – a tension between renewing the old and initiating the radically new – suggesting various sub-themes:

  • Language and literature – the power of imaginative fiction, drama and poetry to conceive of new worlds and alternative realities, new genres or cross-genres, new or renewed approaches to literature, New Materialism
  • Consciousness – beyond the subject, intersubjectivity, discourse and the end of individualism
  • Society – sexual diversity, new forms of living, new modes of being, migration, globalisation, rediscovering the local, urban renewal
  • Culture – modernity, postmodernity, indigenous knowledge, New Animism, cultural diversity
  • Technology – disruptive technologies, the challenges of biotech and infotech, big data, surveillance, digital dictatorship, posthumanism and transhumanism
  • Politics – the end of nation states, new forms of government, postcolonialism, decoloniality
  • Economy – neoliberalism, consumer capitalism and alternatives, intensifying or overcoming the divide between rich and poor, literature as commodity, green economy
  • Ecology – ecopoetics, petrofiction, Cli-Fi, climate change, climate refugees, Anthropocene, Chthulucene, rewilding

These sub-themes are by no means exhaustive. Students and scholars of literature are welcome to consider anything else related to the theme of “Renewal – ‘O, brave new world!’”.

Deadline for submission of abstracts:

Please submit abstracts of between 200-300 words by 1 June 2019 to Dr Neil van Heerden: E-mail: | Tel.: +27 12 429 6424. 30 minutes will be set aside for each paper: 20 minutes for reading and 10 minutes for questions. Conference fee and payment details to be announced later.