Call for papers: 2019 New Materialist Reconfiguring Higher Education conference


When and where: 2-4 December 2019, at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract submission deadline: 30 April 2019 (will be peer-reviewed).

Notification of outcome: 30 June 2019 

Abstract length: 300 words

Annual New Materialisms Conferences have been organised since 2009 by an international group of scholars who received the EU’s H2020 funding from 2014–18. The conferences are meant to develop, discuss and communicate new materialisms’ conceptual and methodological innovations, and to stimulate discussion among new materialist scholars and students about themes and phenomena that are dear to the hosting local research community as well as interdisciplinary new materialist scholarship. After having visited many cities across Europe, as well as Melbourne (Australia), the conference will come to Cape Town (South Africa) in 2019 in order to discuss the dynamic higher education landscape that we find ourselves in today. The recent #Rhodesmustfall and #feesmustfall protests have, in particular, set South African higher education on a new course towards transformation, focusing on equitable access to higher education, Africanisation and decolonisation. This has raised important questions regarding knowledge production beyond the South African context, particularly in relation to the use and value of western theorists in local research and curricula, as well as who gains epistemological and physical access to higher education. On the other hand, we have seen many productive junctures between pedagogy and the new materialisms, including the use of Deleuze and Guattari in education studies. In particular, there has been a focus on cartography, schizoanalysis, corporeal theorising, rhizomatic learning and nomadic thought in socially just pedagogical praxis. These junctures and innovative genealogies and methodologies can both address as well as be further improved and made more precise by engagements with transformation toward accessible, Africanised and decolonised curricula, and research agendas and practices. It seems fitting, then, that the 3rd South African Deleuze and Guattari Studies Conference will be held directly after the 10th Annual New Materialisms Conference as we grapple, together, towards new ways of being and seeing in relation to higher education.

Please email if you have any queries regarding the conference. Website: