Call for Papers

Please make sure to create an account on the conference site in order to submit your contribution.

 

Please upload submissions to this link -

http://conferences.up.ac.za/index.php/TransnationalContactZones2022/TransnationalContactZones2022/author/submit?requiresAuthor=1

 

Second & Final Submission deadline is 30 November 2021.

 

 

TRANSNATIONAL CONTACT ZONES:

AFRICAN AND SOUTH ASIAN SEXUALITIES AND GENDERS

An International Hybrid Conference

26 – 28 July 2022

Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa https://www.up.ac.za/future-africa

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

‘South Asia’ and ‘Africa’ might seem odd bedfellows as they represent two distinct and distinguishable geopolitics. Beyond their rich diversity and differences, there is a dialectic relationship between the two (as a consequence of often overlooked ‘shared histories’ of politics, political economy, migration, colonialism, apartheid, postcolonialism and decoloniality). Both ‘South Asia’ and ‘Africa’  challenge the idea of “the world beyond Europe” and “non-Western civilisations” and critically propel arguments about the cultural constructs of “East” and “West”, “North” and “South”.  Such a relationality shows many synergies but also conceal many differences as well, which make for meaningful and powerful comparative inquiries that mobilise two disparate yet interrelated geopolitics (including their diverse diasporas).

 

The juxtaposition of ‘South Asia’ and ‘Africa’ in this transnational conference triggers opportunities for intellectual engagements that produce innovative and pioneering insights. The conference aims to foment research, thinking and advocacy arguments across and between disciplines/geopolitics/experiences that critically examine the power dynamics (amongst others) of the ‘contact zones’ (following Pratt) and ‘assemblages’ (following Puar) opened up by Africa and South Asia in a rigorous and inclusive manner.  Specifically, this conference addresses the contours of sexualities, gender and decolonisation in the nexus of Africa and South Asia.

 

The two geopolitics open up epistemic opportunities for intellectual and political enquiry in transnational ways that further address the idea of ‘mediated encounters’. Importantly by zooming in on the neglected "contact zone" between the various geocultural / geopolitical domains (South Asia and Africa) and taking them as a reference point, rather than as its end point, can enable us to identify different patterns, architecture and taxonomies of pluriversal knowledge systems. The intellectual mission of this conference will also enable further development of the scholarship on gender, sexuality, labour, migration and coloniality to revolutionize, rethink, collaborate, historicise and theorise new and untold narratives about a rich legacy of Africa and South Asia seen together in their relationality.

 

Opportunities for transnational organising and activism to support multiple sexed, gendered, and other diversities have proliferated in recent years, with expanded knowledge circuits sometimes developed in response to interventions such as the Yogyakarta +10 principles. Development initiatives may support the human rights of gender, sex, and sexual minorities, yet risk erasing localised and national cultures of diversity. A great many challenges face those committed to social justice, including a globalised shift towards authoritarianism, nationalism and traditionalism in some countries, the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, and the environmental crisis. Human, knowledge, and cultural flows between South Asian and African context are shaped and structured by these, and other forces such as sexism and material inequalities. The conference will open spaces for activist networking, and for productive interactions between activists and academics, with a view to supporting social justice.

 

This is an international abstract-driven conference inviting scholars, activists and creatives from South Asia, Africa and (the diasporas related to South Asia and Africa) that show the South Asia-Africa experience in its broad diversity. The conference remit is to develop rich understanding and fresh insights, in both theory and practice, the politics of crossing geographic, linguistic, cultural and heteronormative boundaries in the ‘contact zones’ opened up by the relationship between ‘South Asia’ and ‘Africa’ in its historical and current contexts.

 

Objectives:

  1. To explore how ‘contact zones’ and the idea of ‘assemblages’ can be reconceptualised to respond to genders, sexualities and queer visibility in cultural, sociological, political, theoretical and methodological debates that address the South Asia-Africa nexus.
  2. To challenge the socio-political and racialised narrativisation of experiences in terms of sexes and sexualities in the South Asia-Africa nexus.
  3. Rethinking the ways in which gendered, sexualised and queer bodies are perceived, represented and choose to move and travel through space and time.
  4. Examine the relative invisibility of sexual minorities within historical and contemporary cultural representations and political discourses in the South Asian-African nexus.
  5. To provide a space for activist discussions about supporting the human rights of people who experience social marginality and/or hardship on the grounds of sex, gender, sexuality, race, caste or other social characteristics, and to explore activist agendas and insights across the South Asia-Africa nexus.

 

Topics or issues that could feature (but by no means exhaustive or definitive):

●       Sexuality, sex,  gender, globalisation and transnational migration

●       Vectors of identities and markers of inequalities: race, class, sex, sexuality, gender, gender identity, national origin, language, disability, caste

●       Geopolitical boundaries, whether physical or symbolic, political or social, condition sexual practices that shape representations of sexuality

●       Commodification of bodies and sexual exploitation (including corporeality and embodiment)

●       Heterotopias in the making of sex, gender and sexuality

●       Homophobias, Biphobias, Transphobias, Interphobias (prejudice against intersex people), Heteronormativities and Pathologies

●       Migration and labour

●       Institutional reforms through law, religion and education

●       Erasure and invisibility of sexualities, sexes, and genders

●       Intimaces across borders (transnational, racial, gendered)

●       Mental frontiers: exoticism, orientalism, idealisation, stereotypes and projections

●       Desire, eroticisation and sexual pleasure

 

This is an international conference inviting scholars, activists and creatives from South Asia, Africa (and the diasporas related to South Asia and Africa) that show the South Asia-Africa experience in its broad diversity. Activists and scholars in the fields of sociology, anthropology, law, history, postcolonial studies, critical psychology, gender studies, cultural/literary studies, politics and ethnic studies, migration, transnational and queer studies are invited to submit papers.  The conference remit is to develop rich understanding, in both theory and practice, the politics of crossing geographic, linguistic, cultural and heteronormative boundaries in the ‘contact zones’ opened up by the relationship between ‘South Asia’ and ‘Africa’ in its historical and current contexts.

 

Conference Organising Committee

 

  • Vasu Reddy (University of Pretoria)
  • Ahonaa Roy (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay)
  • Zethu Matebeni (University of Fort Hare)
  • Surya Monro (University of Huddersfield, UK)
  • Dr Nisa Paleker (Dept of Historical & Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria)
  • 2 x PostDoctoral Fellows
  • 1 x Doctoral candidate
  • Heather Thuynsma (Dean’s Office, University of Pretoria)
  • Louis Cloete Productions

 

For Prospective Participants Noting

 

Although there is no conference registration fee, all participants will need to register via this link –  http://conferences.up.ac.za/index.php/TransnationalContactZones2022/TransnationalContactZones2022/index

 

The conference will use a hybrid model with tele-broadcasting technology (via zoom) to accommodate the current COVID pandemic.

 

For participants attending physically:

  • Please make your own transport arrangements to and from the venue (accommodation spaces have been made via a block booking and reserved for participant’s costs at the Future Africa Campus; information provided on request: Email: accommodation@futureafrica.science).

 

  • If you are staying at the Future Africa conference venue, meals will be provided.

 

Limited funding is available for some activists and some emerging scholars.

 

Abstract Submission Guidelines

●       Abstract for individual oral presentations of no more than 300 words (plus 5 -6 keywords), and/or your proposal for a panel session (to include names of proposed speakers/facilitators) of no more than 800 words

 

●       A short biography (100 words) that includes the organisation you are affiliated to and relevant contact information (e.g. full name and title, email address, institutional/organisational affiliation)

 

Deadlines

1. First and early submission deadline is 30 September 2021. Decisions on abstracts by 31 October 2021.


2. Second & Final Submission deadline is 30 November 2021. Decisions/Feedback on Abstracts by 10 January 2022.

 

Please make sure to create an account on the conference site in order to submit your contribution.

 

Please upload submissions to this link -

http://conferences.up.ac.za/index.php/TransnationalContactZones2022/TransnationalContactZones2022/author/submit?requiresAuthor=1

 

Please feel free to forward this invitation to your colleagues, resident researchers, activists, students in your networks.

Submissions for this conference were closed on 2021-11-30.