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Dogs in Southern African Literatures

Category: Conference

Call for papers: Dogs –once you start looking for them – appear pervasively in the literatures of Southern Africa.  Sometimes they are central characters (as in Jock of the Bushveld).  Most often they appear peripherally or incidentally – pet dogs, feral dogs, guard dogs, wild dogs, companion dogs – tangential but apparently necessary.  What are they doing there? We invite the submission of papers for a book collection, in conjunction with a conference.  While the book is envisaged as an exploration primarily of literary representations of dogs, the colloquium hopes to open up more interdisciplinary spaces as well, including the visual arts.  We hope in this way to attract in-depth essays on dogs in a wide range of genres (by ‘literary’ we include, amongst others, travel accounts, memoirs, diaries, historical material, magazine journalism, even training manuals), and from a wide range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches (historical, anthropological, psychological, and so on). While J M Coetzee’s treatment of dogs (and animal issues generally) and Marlene van Niekerk’s remarkable dogs in Triomf are of obvious importance, we hope to elicit explorations of neglected periods, spheres, cultures and regions of dog-presence, from earliest days to the present, throughout South Africa and neighbouring states.  The following possibilities are intended to be suggestive, and not at all restrictive:  Representations of dogs in specific genres (for example, poetry, drama, fiction, and so on)  Colonial and postcolonial, apartheid and post-apartheid representations   Culturally, regionally, nationally specific representations  Urban dogs, rural dogs, feral and in-between dogs  Textual politics of realism, fantasy and anthropomorphism  Dogs in theory (structuralist/formalist, postmodern, posthuman, CAS, and so on)  Dogs and aesthetic movements (for example, the Romantic dog, the Modernist dog)  Dogs and animal rights issues (cruelty, welfare, experimentation, and so on)  Wild canids (jackals, hyaenas, foxes)  Dogs and their uses (companions, guards, policing, racing, and so on)  Dog breeds and breeding as social markers It is envisaged that a selection of papers from the conference would be considered for the book project, but contributors may wish to propose book chapters without necessarily attending the conference.  The conference will take place on 11-12 April 2017, on the campus of the Stellenbosch University at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS,  Abstracts should reach Sam Naidu, Dan Wylie, Joan-Mari Barendse and Andries Visagie by 30 November 2016 at the conference e-mail address:

When: Tuesday 11 April, 2017 1:00 am +03 - Wednesday 12 April, 2017 10:00 am +03
Where: Stellenbosch, South Africa
  1. Animals in literature.
  2. Books
  3. Human-animal bond
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. South Africa
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