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First Call for Abstracts | Conference “Troubling Seasons of Hate” | Johannesburg, December 2017

First Call for Abstracts Conference

“Troubling Seasons of Hate”


December 2017

The Wits Centre for Diversity Studies ( will host a conference on the topic of “Troubling Seasons of Hate” on 5, 6 & 7 December at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Globally, it is becoming clear that we are in trouble. Humanity may be on the brink of repeating some of the most destructive and dehumanizing chapters of modern history as populist ethno-nationalism gains currency, working to overturn many of the gains made by anti-colonial, civil rights, feminist, disability and sexual minority rights movements. Expressions of violence and exclusion directed towards those constructed as racial, ethnic, religious, national, sexed/gendered ‘others’ are gaining a level of respectability as some political leaders and popular movements endorse inhumane and bigoted attitudes and behaviors against those regarded as non-normative. The dehumanizing effects of this rising tide of hatred are already reverberating throughout our societies, with severe consequences for the human dignity and safety of everyone, even those who deploy hate in the face of difference. While overt acts of violence directed at people because of perceived group belonging are often spectacularized in the media, we seek to understand the quotidian permissions that enable the trans/homophobia, racism, misogyny and more to circulate and become diffused in society in the first place.

The fourth annual international conference hosted by the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies wishes to trouble the insidious normalization of hateful ways of being, speaking and behaving. The conference aims to trouble the ways in which hate operates in societies globally, interrogate how it is constituted, travels and circulates, its many effects, and how we can prevent, limit and challenge its harm.

This conference invites proposals for 15-minute presentations followed by moderated table discussions with conference delegates. We are interested in reading proposals that trouble hate at all levels and in all aspects of society. These may include:

 Normative social formations

 Social movements

 Identities

 Culture and arts

 Memory and memorialization

 Knowledge production

 Affective economies

 Bodies

 Faith, spirituality and religion

 Law and legislation

 Institutions

 Globalization and nativism

 Economic practices

 Civil society initiatives

The deadline for the first call for abstracts is 15 June 2017. Abstracts should be between 250 and 300 words, and should be sent to by midnight, GMT, on 15 June 2017, accompanied by a brief CV. We will respond to abstracts by the end of June 2017.


(c) 2017 Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre

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