SoTL in the South (as in South Africa) call for proposals

Conference: SOTL in the South

Announcement and First Call for Papers

Date: 24 – 27 July 2017

Venue: University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus

The University of Johannesburg, in collaboration with colleagues at other South African universities, including UWC, CPUT and RU, will host an international conference, which focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning in the global South. It will showcase exciting and innovative research methods, new findings and feature provocative debates.


Why a conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) in the South?

The scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education has gained momentum and credibility internationally. It is seen as an important means to enhance teaching and learning and to support the professionalization of academics with regard to their teaching role. It is also a means to contribute to the body of knowledge on teaching and learning in higher education. The scholarship of teaching and learning has gained significant momentum in Southern Africa. Many universities have put considerable moral and material support behind this scholarly activity and it is time to celebrate and disseminate these achievements. Since the #Fees must fall and #Rhodes must fall student campaigns beginning in 2015, there has been a growing debate in South Africa about the appropriateness of the content of our curricula, and an interest in looking towards the South for additional or alternative methods and content.

International models and debates are valuable. However it would be useful to contextualise these in relation to challenges and opportunities provided by settings such as the global South, which have not received as much attention. Further, the consolidation of a rigorous and creative scholarly SOTL community in the South will enrich international theories and ideas.

Call for contributions

Proposals for oral presentations, posters and panels are welcomed. We are also interested in proposals suggesting interesting and innovative measures to share knowledge (eg performance, visual display) and communication forms drawing on indigenous knowledge systems.

We hope to receive contributions from postgraduate and undergraduate students, and encourage academics to support students to generate such contributions.  Possible topics for research into teaching and learning in higher education that will be featured at the conference include, but are not restricted to:

  • Research on teaching and learning in the disciplines
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary research
  • Multimodal approaches to research and pedagogy
  • SOTL and social justice
  • Definitions of SOTL
  • SOTL in Africa
  • Postgraduate supervision
  • The first-year experience
  • Educational research methodologies
  • The question of knowledge, cognitive justice and indigenous knowledge systems.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words can be sent to:

For more information see:


Pre-conference Workshops

Workshops will be offered on the 24 July. Topics are to be confirmed.


Journals and Conference Proceedings

A new online journal, The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) in the South, will be launched at the conference. Conference delegates will be able to submit papers for peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

Invited speakers include: Carolina Guzman (Chile), Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Portugal/US), Catherine Manathunga (Australia), Cheryl Hendricks (South Africa)


Due Dates

First call for abstracts                                                                   22 August 2016

Second call for abstracts                                                             28 October 2016

Abstract submission due (x1)                                                    1 December 2016

Abstract submission due (x2)                                                    15 February 2016

Notification of acceptance (x1)                                                 1 February 2017

Notification of acceptance (x2)                                                 15 March 2017

Full paper for proceedings                                                         15 May 2017

Registration                                                                                     30 May 2017

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