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Land Labour Life: Call for submissions for ellipses [...] special edition


Call for submissions for ellipses [...] special edition

Co-ordinated by

Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP)

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Land, Labour, Life are commonly significant to different experiences of colonisation,

proletarianisation, and social, economic and political transitions away from them.

While the study of each, on their own (as concept, question, theme) has produced

(and continues to produce) important insights into the character of society, thought

together they provide different paths and windows to unravelling what has been and

become, what is, and what is yet, to come. At SWOP, this has been an important

shift in how research about society is imagined and undertaken, especially when

considering what is foreclosed when thinking them separately.

For this special edition of Ellipses, Land, Labour, Life becomes one thread through

which collaborative engagements amongst scholars from different experiences and

perspectives can produce differently, creatively, in multiple forms and formats. Key

sub-themes will include questions and focuses related to time; the everyday; care;

value; alternative forms of politics; alternative forms of life.


We are looking for contributions that unfold in the gaps and silences of traditional

academic publishing. This could take form in text, audio, visual or combinations of

different mediums.

The submissions will be published online and in print but may include physical or live

elements. We encourage applicants to consider working with the different forms and

the productive tensions that translation between them can allow.

Producing, writing and making differently cannot be separated from publishing differently. All participants will be asked to form a creative collective that will

together shape and edit the journal.

What to submit:

Proposals should not be more than 2 pages and include:

• Cover letter

• Conceptual description/abstract

• While proposals can include links or documentation of previous engagements

with the subject or medium, this is not necessary as the journal is a site for

new experimentation.

• We do not need CVs or portfolios.

Proposals should be sent to

Deadline for proposals 17th May 2024

About SWOP

The Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) is one of two research institutes

in the faculty of humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), its

intellectual trajectory stretching back over forty years, its roots in the discipline

of sociology. Over the course of the last five years, however, work at SWOP has

been shaped by greater experimentation with comparativist and interdisciplinary

approaches to the study of society, and the strengthening and expansion of

collaborations within, across and beyond academia and South Africa. This has opened

up opportunities for the production of new knowledge about old questions and

problems that persist, and for creative engagements amongst diverse groups whose

members share a commitment to deepening understandings of a changing world in

order to craft alternatives in the interests of equality and justice. Land, Labour, Life

are three separate threads that run across SWOP’s long history of research, more

recently becoming a singular frame for a new research programme at the institute.

About ellipses […]

ellipses [...] was collectively founded in 2015 at the Wits School of Arts as a multi/

cross-disciplinary, digital, online and interactive journal for creative research. It

was launched in close conversation with political demands for the decolonisation

of knowledge and the university mobilised by #rhodesmustfall and #feesmustfall

in South Africa. So while ellipses [...] necessarily emerges from a moment where a

demand is made of the centre to accommodate the margins, ellipses [...] recognizes

that there is also a necessity for more spaces on the margins to exist.

It is a digital platform that seeks to develop and disseminate forms of knowledge that

are either on the edges of or totally omitted from disciplinary norms or conventional

scholarship. Initially responding to the problematics of creative research within the

South African Higher education knowledge economy, the platform has gone beyond

this to explore omissions or silences in broader and more varied senses, including,

narrative or political forms of silencing epistemic or otherwise.

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