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CfP: Southern African Historical Society 27th Biennial Conference (June 2019, Grahamstown, South Africa)

Trails, Traditions, Trajectories: Rethinking Perspectives on Southern African Histories

This 27th Biennial Conference of the Southern African Historical Society comes barely a year before the 200th anniversary of the 1820 English Settlers who occupied parts of the Eastern Cape including Grahamstown itself, dispossessing Xhosa and other groups. The histories of these settlers were pivotal to the colonisations of what later became Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia, as South Africa became a base for British colonialism regionally. The broader southern African region is rethinking the legacy of dispossession: for example, with resource nationalism in Mozambique and decades of radical land redistribution in Zimbabwe, both of which have had significant implications for the region’s economic performance, leading to illegal goods and human traffic. The pronouncement – towards the end of the Zuma era in South Africa – of ‘radical economic transformation’ and ‘expropriation of land without compensation’ signals the need for historians to engage with these crucial issues. Another contemporary concern is the rise of China as a global economic player and its impact on Africa. How could historians of our time examine African economic histories?

Hosted by the Department of History, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 24-26 June 2019

Deadline to submit a proposal: December 15, 2018

Further information on themes, deadlines, fees, and logistics at