Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Taming the Demons: Comparative Colloquium on Xenophobia & Social Cohesion in Contemporary South Africa. Johannesburg, 13-14 May 2013 (http://www.migration.org.za/vacancy/2012/taming-demons-comparative-colloquium-xenophobia-social-cohesion-contemporary-south-afri)
***Closing date 01 March 2013***
The expansion and diversification of South Africa’s urban centres and rural communities have generated new social relationships and forms of conflict and conviviality. Five years ago, these changes resulted in a two week period of violence that left scores dead and tens of thousands displaced. Many of the victims were from beyond the country’s borders. Others were South Africans living amongst fellow citizens who did not want them there. Elsewhere, people from similarly diverse backgrounds continued to live side by side; if not always collaborating, then at least forging more or less inclusive forms of accommodation. In all cases-conflictive or convivial-examining these relationship offers important insights into the changing nature of South Africa’s on-going socio-economic and political transformations. On the fifth anniversary of the 2008 ‘xenophobic’ attacks, this colloquium will explore comparative perspectives on the roots of violence, the politics of conflict and the governance of diversity.
At issue are the ethics of living with diversity, the nature of social membership and the means of building unity in a country still characterised by division, inequality and faltering and fragmented institutions. At the same time, ‘ordinary’ South Africans and other residents both draw on and contest official discourses of exclusion and cohesion when they experience, debate and forge their own vernacular meanings and modalities of community. Moving beyond intertwined rhetorics and research surrounding anti-foreigner/anti-outsider violence (and potential preventive measures), this colloquium seeks fresh, comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives that will contribute to a book, special issue of a journal or other publications reflecting on discourses and practices surrounding social diversity in contemporary South Africa.
Hosted by the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, the event will bring together scholars and critics from diverse perspectives to critically examine the scholarship, practices and discourses-official and popular-around cohesion, consider the ethical, ideological and empirical assumptions informing them and discuss the various (dis)connections of official discourses with vernacular meanings and expressions of community and cohesion amongst the country’s diverse residents.
Supported in part by the South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD), the colloquium is part of the ACMS’s Communities of Diversity Research Theme, which interrogates the meaning of community and social difference in contemporary South Africa.
The colloquium will include a series of fifteen minutes presentations, based on article length papers (approximately 6000 words) circulated in advance of the meeting. Each paper will have one or two respondents who will also serve as discussants. Following the debate, the papers will be collected and published as an edited volume or special issue of an accredited journal. Depending on the content, excerpts from the papers may be published as an e-book, magazine or newspaper insert.
We invite scholars, critics and policy-makers to submit paper proposals which engage theoretically, empirically and/or normatively with one or more of the following (or related) topics:
* Idioms and practices of social cohesion in diverse South African contexts;
* Meanings of community, belonging and criteria for membership in South Africa;
* Territorial space and understanding of rights and entitlements in South Africa;
* Race, ethnicity, nationality, autochthony, class and South African national identity;
* Modalities of conflict, coexistence and cooperation;
* Difference, tolerance, discrimination, inclusion and exclusion.
Please send your expression of interest and a 200-word abstract to: firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business on Friday, 1 March 2013.
Authors of accepted abstracts/papers will be invited to present. The colloquium will be convened on 13-14 May 2013 at the Wits University Campus. Registration is free and limited financial assistance is available for travel.