Call for Abstracts, Themed Edition of Education As Change: Decolonisation in/and Poetry


Call for Abstracts

Themed Edition of Education As Change:

Decolonisation in/and Poetry

This themed edition focuses on challenges, opportunities and threats to curricular and pedagogic transformation in previously colonised educational systems, with a special focus on the teaching and learning of poetry.

This edition is situated against the backdrop of decolonising educational impulses in various countries. The call to decolonise education at schools and universities has frequently taken the form of a demand to indigenise the curriculum. In the African context, this has meant – to a greater or lesser extent – Africanising curricular and pedagogic context. But how is this to be done in existing disciplines? This themed issue attempts to provide tentative answers to this question within the discipline of English, itself contested in postcolonial contexts and the subject of decolonising endeavours. It focuses on what it means to decolonise and indigenise curricula and pedagogies used in teaching and learning. It hones in on a particular component of English literature: namely poetry as a case study for the decolonisation and transformation of curriculum and society. In many contexts in the Global South, poetry has been used to give expression to indigenous ideas, feelings and cosmologies. In South Africa, it has a strong history of socio-political protest, resistance and mobilisation. Our conceptualisation of poetry is as a multimodal genre which operates across a range of platforms – stages, the media, anthologies in both spoken and written forms, and in a range of contexts – communities, clubs and educational institutions. It is an indigenous art form which may include multiple languages and legacies.

We plan to intersperse original poems in the issue to enact our principle of bridging the gaps between theory and practice, and between artists and scholars.

Abstracts are invited on any of the following themes:

  • Curricular, pedagogical and assessment reform
  • Education for social transformation
  • Educational histories, e.g. Eurocentric vs indigenous or local curricula
  • Intercultural and cross-cultural dynamics in education
  • Original poems
  • Poetry and indigeneity
  • Poetry education and learning/healing/personal growth/social transformation/creativity

Please send a 300-word abstract to BOTH of the editors by 30 November 2019.

Editors: Prof. Denise Newfield (School of Literature, Language and Media, University of the Witswatersrand):

Prof. Deirdre Byrne (Department of English, UNISA):