Call for Papers 2013

Call for Papers

2nd Africa Century International African Writers Conference

Museum Africa, 121 Bree Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province

7th – 9th November 2013

Theme: Dispossessed. Repossessed: Land Matters In African Letters.

The wRite associates, in partnership with the national Department of Arts and Culture invite submission of abstracts for individual and panel papers for the 2013 Africa Century International African Writers Conference. The Conference will also mark the 22nd anniversary of the OAU (now-AU) declared International African Writers’ Day (i.e. 7th November).


The theme is a deliberate play on the interesting dialectic: centenary of the formalisation or statutory colonial land dispossession on the African Continent (1913 Native Land Act) and the 50th anniversary of the formal establishment of the Continental organisation (OAU in 1963) to wage and support liberation struggles and movements against colonialist oppression, for political liberation and social emancipation. The pre-eminent and colossal figure, both as a scholar, an author and political activist, amongst his other countless activist engagements, Sol Plaatje, would feature prominently and celebrated in many ways in the course of the Conference and pre-Conference lecture and dialogue series.

This theme is undergirding the founding and guiding vision of the Conference: Celebrating both the 20th and 21st (the latter as the African century) Centuries of Writing and Literary Intellectuals’ Influence On The Liberation Struggles & Political Impact on Literary Discourse and Development.

This prospective historical gathering of authors and literary scholars and historians from across the world, will, as the then-OAU’s Conference of African Ministers of Education and Culture (meeting in Coutonou, Benin, in 1991) resolved, “…afford the African people a moment of pause within which to reflect on the contribution of African Writers to the development of the Continent”.


2013 also marks centennial coming of age of the notorious 1913 Land Act that deprived majority of black South Africans’ ownership of and access to their land.


The land question is not about land only. It invokes and speaks to various issues of poverty, property ownership, citizenship, culture, gender, belonging, power, self-determination, legitimacy, sovereignty, identity, dignity, nationalism, development, markets, poverty, territory, jurisdiction, and authority. Debates and struggles over land embrace various aspects of subjugation, subjectivity, and exploitation as well as aspects of liberation, freedom and empowerment.   Reflection on land in Africa necessarily includes thinking about the past, present and the future. Debates on land issues inevitably touch on power, wealth, being and meaning.

Areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to, the following sub-themes and questions, particularly in their relation to

Dispossessed. Repossessed: Land Matters In African:



  1. Land rights and economic justice
  2. Social formations and land questions
  3. Decolonizing land
  4. Gender and land
  5. Impact on culture, language and identity
  6. Conflicts over land
  7. New scramble for Africa and land-grabbing
  8. Independence, Resistance and revolutionary struggles and writers’ roles as pathfinders
  9. Africa’s Renaissance in the African Century



Please submit a 300 word proposal, along with a short biographical note to: Conference Team:, by no later than 9th August 2013


Notification of acceptance of abstracts: throughout, and until 16th August 2013


Programme finalised: 30th August 2013


Registration opens: 1st August 2013

For registration fees and guidelines, please click here

For any other conference-related queries, please contact: Conference Team at: or visit: