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Welcome to Conferences

That we have a vibrant academic and research community in the Arts Faculty at UWC is evident in the diverse and numerous research colloquiums, symposiums and conferences that we have hosted over the last few years.




That we have a vibrant academic and research community in the Arts Faculty at UWC is evident in the diverse and numerous research colloquiums, symposiums and conferences that we have hosted over the last few years. While these events have brought together colleagues from different departments and Centres within the Faculty, they have also been opportunities to host and partner with colleagues globally. These events also highlight the innovative research questions that are being posed by scholars in the Arts Faculty. They cover an impressive spectrum of issues,and the discussion these events have facilitated are playing a leading role in mapping out a path for the future of research in humanities and social sciences in post-apartheid Africa. The topics range from considerations on contemporary intellectual histories and legacies; textual and linguisticstudies of new media forms; conceptual and theoretical rethinking of the foundational categories of the humanities; to the production of new historical narratives about Southern Africa’s past and present in relation to liberation movements; and a reconsideration of the role of hitherto neglected elements, such as affect and visuality in the making of subjectivities.

As a sample of these dynamic events, among the conferences we have held recently, are:

The 7th International Conference of the Association of Dutch Studies in Southern Africa held in July of 2011. Under the thematic of ‘Intertaal or Interteks’, the conference attracted major international scholars from Russia, Romania, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands, and local academics. An important event celebrated at the conference was the launch of the first Afrikaans-Dutch dictionary.

The Life and Times of Adam Small Marking the intellectual itinerary of an iconic Cape-based national intellectual figure who spent much of his career in the Arts Faculty, in 2011 we also hosted a symposium on the life and work of Adam Small. At this symposium vibrant event scholars from across the country reflected with much insight and nuance on the intellectual formation and legacy of this important writer.

Love and Revolution

A novel research platform was launched with this landmark colloquium held in 2010 at the Center for Humanities Research. A collaborative and inter-disciplinary venture, it has been led by colleagues in the Department of History at UWC and the CHR, and brings together a group of scholars across the faculty, as well as internationally from Southern Africa, India and Latin America, to rethink the role of affect in our recent political and cultural pasts. Under the exciting formulation Love and Revolution, the workshop reinstated the relationship between affect and politics as being at the heart of enquiries about gender, sexuality, aesthetics and creativity.

Mobility, Language and Literacy

In January of 2011 scores of scholars were hosted by the Linguistics Department for an international conference which examined the transnational, translocal and global flows of people, languages and literacies. Co-hosted with five other South African universities, the conference brought together established and emerging scholars to think about the relationship between increasingly mobile global populations and the ways in which language and linguistic conventions are being defined and redefined.

Camps, Liberation Movements, Politics

Over the past century camps have become an increasingly common feature of global space. There, millions of people displaced by natural disaster, resource depletion, oppression and war live in temporary settlements, segregated from the outside world. This event, held in 2011, invited a select group of local and international scholars to the CHR to present work pertaining to liberation movement camps in Southern Africa and the politics which they have generated. By selecting these themes, the organisers drew attention to the camps where Southern Africa’s liberation movements first governed their exiled citizens and on the unfolding legacies of these sites. It has raised a number of important questions that are opening up distinct areas of inquiry hitherto underexplored.

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