About the conference

This conference focuses on the dynamic relationship between knowledge and epistemic justice in the context of African higher education. The notion of epistemic justice in the process of curriculum transformation is likely to revolve around the recognition and acknowledgment of forms of knowledge and knowing which for political, ideological and historical reasons, have been deliberately excluded from dominant disciplinary and professional discourses and thus relegated to the periphery or totally excluded from the mainstream curricula of South African universities. Paradoxically, the idea of epistemic justice is better understood by examining its exact opposite, namely epistemic injustice that manifests itself in the systematic marginalisation of the knowledge as well as collective or individual experiences of particular social groups.


According to Fricker (2007), epistemic justice often takes the form of testimonial or hermeneutic injustice. Testimonial injustice occurs when someone’s knowledge is ignored or not believed because that person is a member of a particular social group. A hermeneutical injustice occurs when someone’s experience is not understood (by them or by others) because there are no concepts available that can adequately identify or explain that experience.


The idea of epistemic justice as propounded by Fricker has a particular resonance for the proposed conference as we seek to foreground and critically examine marginalised worldviews belief systems in the debates about transforming the curriculum in (South) African universities.


You are invited to submit abstracts on any of the sub-themes below. Your abstract should focus on a conscious linking of theory and practice and its connection to the theme “Critiquing the Notion of Epistemic Justice in African Higher Education”

  1. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in relation to Curriculum Transformation.
    “A scholarship of teaching requires a kind of going ‘meta’’ in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning-the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it and so forth and so on, with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it.” (Hutchings and Schulman, 1999:13). The purpose is not just to make an impact on student learning, but through formal, peer-reviewed communication, to contribute to the knowledge base of teaching and learning. 

    This sub-theme seeks to showcase work which scholars as co-learners and co-constructors of knowledge have developed within the classroom context and how this has led to a transformation of student learning.


  1. Internationalisation of the curriculum: reconciling globalism and with national relevance.
    This sub-theme invites engagement on curriculum transformation that examines both globalism and national relevance, highlighting the need to understand and harness the benefits of internationalisation, while minimising the risks and costs in an increasingly unequal global environment. The sub-theme invites exploration on:

    • leveraging internationalisation against local needs for development and modernisation
    • globalisation in contrast with national culture and autonomy
    • evaluating the academic enterprise and strategic partnerships and international projects
    • examining risks and benefits of online distance education courses that make learning opportunities and resources accessible across national boundaries
    • international benchmarking and the provision of joint degree programmes in an unequal environment
    • international exposure and experience through staff and student mobilisation


  1. Desirable Graduate attributes in the context.
    Within the current socio-political context of SA, higher education has to be transformative and empowering and needs to incorporate the academic, emotional and social development of students. Therefore, the focus of our programmes has to move beyond mastery of skills towards a holistic development of students who can engage in the profession and society confidently and competently. The inclusion of graduate attributes will contribute to the above. Therefore, conscious programme responses to the development of graduate attributes is crucial. This involves unpacking “graduate attributes as they relate to the programme, discipline and society and ensuring assessment plans that include assessing these attributes. Graduate Attributes cannot be taught as a set of skills but is rather a practice or habit of mind. Developing the graduate attributes is a long term process and therefore needs to permeate the curriculum. 

    You are invited to share with us your assessment and reflective insights of curricula and pedagogy that ensures the development of graduate attributes.


  1. African worldviews and higher education curricula.
    All across the African continent, particularly in the southern region, the end of the oppressive and racist colonial systems was celebrated. In South Africa, for example, the demise of apartheid in 1994 did not usher in new epistemologies and knowledge systems at most South African universities. The higher education remained largely unchanged as it remained rooted in colonial, apartheid and Western worldviews and epistemological traditions. This is to say that higher education curriculum remained predominately Eurocentric and continued to reinforce white and Western dominance and privilege. This subtheme on African worldviews and the higher education curricula seeks to solicit for articles that trace the roots of Eurocentrism epistemic worldviews at universities. The idea is to argue that South Africa must tackle and dismantle the Eurocentrism epistemic and hegemonic tendencies of the West by completely rethinking, reframing and reconstructing higher education curricula and place South Africa, Southern Africa and Africa at the centre of teaching, learning and research.

Abstract Submission Information

Important Dates


Abstract Submissions First Call closing date 26th  July 2019
Notification of acceptance of abstract 16th  August 2019
Abstract Submissions Second Call closing date 16th  August 2019
Notification of acceptance of abstracts 30th  August 2019
Final Revised abstract due date 15th  September 2019


You are invited to submit proposals (500-750 words) for pre-conference workshops and critical dialogue sessions, and/or abstracts (350 words) for paper presentation, poster presentation and flipped paper session. All submissions will need to indicate a conscious linking of theory and practice in the context of the theme “Epistemic Justice and African Higher  Education”.


Below are brief guidelines for each of the categories.   Please indicate on your abstract the sub-   theme your abstract relates to and the preferred presentation style. The abstract reviewers will consider your submission but may recommend that another presentation category be adopted.

Pre - conference Workshop

Proposals words should include:

  • Topic of workshop
  • Name of workshop facilitators and affiliation(s) with a short (30 word bio)
  • Relevance to main conference theme and sub-themes
  • Proposal for the workshop including a short motivation indicating benefits for participants, purpose, outcomes and possible activities
  • Duration : 1.5hrs or 3 hrs
  • Maximum number of participants
  • 500-750 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases

Paper and Poster Presentations

Abstracts should include:

  • A title that provides an indication of the subject being written about
  • A brief context
  • Purpose of the presentation
  • The theories, approaches, methodologies informing the study
  • How the research was/will be undertaken
  • Possible results and implications
  • 350-500 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


Paper sessions will be allocated 30 minutes (20 minutes for presentations and 10 minutes for questions).

A dedicated poster sessions will be included within the programme where presenters can discuss their work with interested delegates.

The conference organising team embraces diverse, innovative and creative presentations of the paper or poster.

Flipped Paper Session

A flipped paper session provides opportunities to discuss complete or draft papers. The intention of the session is to focus on the discussion of the paper instead of a presentation. Presenters will be given 5 minutes for a brief overview of the paper followed by discussion for the remainder of the session. Complete or draft papers must be submitted by 20th September 2019. These will  be made available to delegates interested in the sessions to read prior to the conference. Abstracts should be included on work that will be completed at the time of the conference.


Abstracts should include:

  • A title that provides an indication of the subject being written about
  • A brief context
  • The theories, approaches, methodologies informing the study
  • Research design
  • Results and implications
  • Possible issues that the paper will raise
  • 350 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases


The session will be allocated 30 minutes.

Critical Dialogue Session

These 90 minute sessions should focus on current higher  education  issues  that  focus  on  the  theme “Epistemic Justice and African Higher Education”.  The  facilitator/s  should  present  a  brief context of the issue  and its   relevance to the theme.


Proposals should include:

  • Title for the session that clearly indicates the issue to be discussed
  • Name of facilitator/s and affiliation(s) with a short (30 word bio)
  • Description of the issue, its context, relevance to main theme and sub theme/s
  • Suggestions to participants to prepare for the
  • Possible questions that could be discussed
  • 500-750 words
  • 3-5 keywords/ phrases

Abstract selection process

The following criteria will be used as a guide. We strongly recommend that you ensure your abstract meets these requirements


  1. Does the abstract title describe the subject being written about ?
  2. Does the abstract make a clear statement of the topic of the paper and the research question ?
  3. Does the abstract capture the interest of a potential reader of the paper ?
  4. Is the abstract well written in terms of language, grammar ?
  5. Does the abstract engage the reader by telling him or her what the paper is about and why they should read it ?
  6. Does the abstract say how the research was/is being undertaken ?
  7. Does the abstract indicate the value of the findings and to whom will they be of use?
  8. Does the abstract describe the work to be discussed in the paper ?
  9. Does the abstract give a concise summary of the findings ?
  10. Is the word limit of 350-500 words for abstracts and 500-700 words for the proposals adhered to ?
  11. Does the abstract have between 3-5 keywords or phrases that closely reflect the content of the paper ?

Registration and Abstract Submission Form

Important Dates

Conference Registration Opens 1st July 2019
Early-Bird Registration Closes 16th August 2019
Standard Registration Closes 13th September 2019
Final date for payment (external delegates) 21st September 2019


Registration Fees for External Delegates: R 1 500


Payment Details


Name of Bank: Standard Bank
Name of Branch: Durban main
Branch code: 040026
Account Number: 050007068
Reference: L and T Conference


Once you have registered, you will receive an invoice indicating the total amount to be paid. If you have not heard from us within 10 days of registering, please contact us at

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