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Call: Narratives of Society in Transition, Crisis and Change (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa)

Anthropology Southern Africa Annual Conference 2019

Department of Sociology, Anthropology and History

Dates: 26th – 28th September 2019

Narratives of Society in Transition, Crisis and Change

A ‘global society in crisis’ – significant climate change, unprecedented levels of violence and poverty as well as dictatorial and destructive political leadership – has received increased focus and scrutiny. Social scientists everywhere are concerned about the regression of political justice and equality, the increasing power and influence of major international companies, the devastation caused by the long term consequences of climate change and ocean pollution.

The term crisis suggests an acute state of discomfort and disjuncture. It creates an impression that the situation experienced will pass as long as appropriate measures and remedies are put in place. However, the global crisis experienced in the world today appears to have no end. Its longevity has been duly noted. According to David Graeber even the world’s current debt is some 5000 years in the making. How should anthropologists respond to the experience, knowledge, participation and observation of crisis? 

This conference seeks to harness the thoughts, theories and practices of researchers nationally and internationally to engage in debate, discussion, exhibition and/or performance on the central theme of crisis, culture and society in a time of global ‘change’.  

Please send individual paper abstracts and panel proposals to the organisers at by 30 May 2019. Panel proposals and individual paper abstracts should be no more than 300 words. For panel proposals, please include a list of prospective participants and their institutional affiliations if these have already been identified. 

Abstracts and proposals from anthropology and cognate disciplines that address social and cultural change from a theoretical and/or ethnographic perspective are welcome. In particular, papers which focus on the following themes:

  • Indigeneity, tradition and authenticity 
  • Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous methodologies 
  • Racial politics, human rights and social justice 
  • Indigene-ship, migration, citizenship and land rights, identity construction and negotiation 
  • African philosophy, worldviews, belief systems, rituals, festivals and ceremonies 
  • Media, aesthetics and material culture 
  • Power, governance, leadership, politics, corporate world, religious organisations and intuitions of higher learning 
  • Gender based  violence, sexuality and sexual Identities   
  • Alcohol and substance abuse 

Further information: