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A conference presented jointly by the Association of University English Teachers of Southern Africa (AUETSA), the South African Association for Commonwealth Language and Literature Studies (SAACLALS), the South African Society for General Literary studies (SAVAL), the 4th Conference on South African Children’s and Youth Literature, and the South African Association for Language Teaching (SAALT).

Hosts: The School of Languages and the Research Unit: Languages and literature in the South African context
Dates: 8-11 July 2009
Venue: North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom, South Africa

Final deadline for abstracts: 31 May 2009

Dialogue between the imagined worlds of languages, texts, authors and cultures is an important force in language and literature. The aim of this conference is to provide a forum for stimulating and enhancing such dialogue in the field of literary and linguistic discourse. Dialogue here means to enter into conversation with, to create community and new meaning, but also to contest (to discuss critically) or to dialogise (to expose to different points of view, to relativise).

The field can broadly be organized as conversations (or breaks in the conversations) between five “scapes” that characterize the postmodern, global “landscape”, according to Arjun Appadurai, Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy (Modernity at Large – Cultural Dimensions of Globalization.) These “scapes” are ideoscapes, technoscapes, ethnoscapes, mediascapes, financescapes and (can one add) landscapes.

Themes within these “scapes” include:

Dialogues between writers, texts, groups, generations, national literatures.
Dialogues between movements, like the Romantics and the Modernists, British or American Modernism and modernisms in Africa and elsewhere, local rewritings of realism (magical or otherwise), symbolism.
Dialogues between literature, philosophy, anthropology, “theory,” sociology, politics and aesthetics.
Dialogues between value systems and religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, African religions.
Dialogues between cultures, social strata, identities: middle class, workers* culture, social identity, media culture, subcultures.

Dialogues between places and the representations of places and spaces.
Dialogues between world regions and civilizations: East-West, Africa-Europe, but also south-south, e.g. between South America, Africa, India and China.
Dialogues between a variety of centres and the peripheries.

Dialogues on ways, means, practices, methods, techniques.
Dialogues on and between genres.
Dialogues on ideas, views, demarcations within the disciplines, be that within English, Afrikaans, African languages or other language or literary disciplines.
Dialogues on where we are and where we ought to go.

Dialogues on and between stayers and migrants, exiles and nomads.
Dialogues on and between victims of xenophobia, refugees, asylum seekers, marginal figures.

Dialogues on and between different languages and on translation and transposition.
Dialogues between the canonical and the popular.
Dialogues on and between different audiences: toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, senior citizens.
Dialogues on and between literature and newspapers, radio, television, film, the Internet.
Dialogues on the changing “cultural landscape.”
Dialogues between literature and other art forms: music, dance, painting.

Dialogues on the flow of money, patronage, the economic base and conditions for language and literary study: funding, publishing, marketing.

To bring out the foci of the participating organisations the conference will be organised in five sections, viz.

  • English (with emphasis on modernisms and modernity; the state of the discipline)
  • Literary theory
  • Postcolonialism
  • Children*s and youth literature
  • Language teaching


Profs. Hein Viljoen, Betsie van der Westhuizen, Franci Greyling, Ms Dolly Dlavane, chairs of other societies (programme committee), Ms Stefanie Dose (conference secretary), Dr Phil van Schalkwyk (catering and entertainment), Mrs Elsa van Tonder (finance and logistics), Ms Karien Hattingh (customer relations), Mr Alwyn Roux (marketing and advertising).


Ms Stefanie Dose
Mrs Elsa van Tonder
Mr Alwyn Roux
Tel. +27-18-299-1485
Fax +27-18-299-1562

AUETSA: Prof. Michael Green:
SAACLALS: Prof. Gerald Gaylard:
SAVAL: Prof. Hein Viljoen:
Children’s literature: Prof. Betsie van der Westhuizen:
SAALT: Prof. Brenda Spencer:

Please send proposals (with abstracts of max. 300 words) for papers, 3-person panels or posters either via Organizational Representatives or directly to,/a>. The languages of the conference will be Setswana, Afrikaans, and English. Simultaneous interpreting into English will be provided.

Early registration (before 31 May): R950-00 Student registration (with proof of registration) R600
Late registration (between 1-30 June): R1050-00
One day fee: R400

For accommodation and transport arrangements please see our website at

CFP – Worlds in Dialogue