Background: The conference is an imbizo of authors, poets, literary critics, language practitioners and historians from across Africa, the Diaspora and the globe. Every year these role-players meet to explore the role of writers in society and hoping to influence the ongoing debates on languages and African identity, culture, heritage and embellishment of African values.
The Conference is in line with the United Nations (UN) declaration that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019). The UN wants to raise awareness of indigenous languages not only to benefit native speakers of these languages, “but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity”
Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. Despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Indigenous languages struggle for survival around the world as they exist in danger of extinction.
Using indigenous languages in Africa can help break the alienation that indigenous language speakers usually experience, it can help empower communities and close achievement gaps in learning institutions, thus bringing closer the ideal of a decolonised society. Chief among these is the ideal of nation building. The ability to foster sustainable development needs indigenous language speakers to be confident with a raised self-esteem. Language is also related to poverty alleviation. However, for people to participate in development initiatives, they have to be empowered linguistically for “linguistic inclusion is directly linked to mother tongue/language.
Presentations for the conference may include, but are not limited to the following sub-themes:
- The Role of Indigenous Languages and Nation Building;
- Language, Culture, Beliefs and the Land Question;
- The Influence of Language, Culture and Heritage in Addressing Gender Inequality
Prospective presenters should submit chapter proposals or abstracts of between 200-300 words with a short biographical note, as well as contact details.
Deadline: 10 June 2019
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