Rural Education Knowledge Production & Pedagogy

Conference and Alternation Call for Papers
DATE: 4-6 OCTOBER, 2018

Emergent rural epistemologies from the South, find themselves in contested terrain in the academic space. In competition with colonially-inspired epistemologies from the North, as well as reigning epistemologies serving urban areas and city life, they are challenged to creatively set and constructively engage their own knowledge production agendas. Aiming at serving and empowering rural communities, they should creatively problematize the South-North, and rural-urban, epistemological divides, and produce the requisite rural knowledge, that serves the objectives of rural sustainable development. They need to imaginatively and resourcefully negotiate and articulate rural epistemological repositories, social networks, treasured values, moral wisdom and social cohesion, in the broader universe of knowledge production relevance, equality, and epistemic transformation and development. These resources, so typical of rural communities, should be intellectualized, harnessed and mobilized in constructive and enabling epistemological networks that serve rural, communal, upwardly mobile wealth creation, modernization, and socio-economic advancement. As such, rural, home-grown, epistemological production would not only reclaim its own space for knowledge production, in the broader, universally contested epistemological arena, but also constructively contribute its own socio-cultural wealth and wisdom to the globalizing and digitalizing world.
Furthermore, cognizant of the challenge of fostering a constructive and productive epistemic framework for rural learners that attend higher education institutions in the South, decolonial pedagogies should foster positive and affirmative worldviews, human dignity, and knowledge and skills development for rural self-advancement. This should be done in the context of the history of the decolonial experience of the resistance to slavery, and the confrontation of, and struggles against imperialism and colonization, and the achievements of independence and self-rule, as the dominant trajectory in the story of the modern world (Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2013:11-12). A centrally significant constituent focus in this narrative, is the struggle against the de-humanisation, binarism, and hierarchization of colonising knowledges, and the triumphs of the assertion of human dignity, freedom, equality, and sustainable development, against the imbalances of power, knowledge and the colonial legacy (Sithole, 2014). It challenges rural pedagogies to positively and practically, not only rethinking the very constitution of the present, but also the construction and reconstruction of African subjectivity as an important and integral project in rurally-focused teaching and learning. In the face of the ever-growing divide between the rural and urban, and the South and the North, the innovative engagement of this educational challenge is needed today, more than ever before.
It is along these two trajectories – decolonial knowledge production and decolonial pedagogy innovation – that the University of the Free State, QwaQwa Campus, situated in the rural Afromontane region of the Maloti, invite scholars nationally, as well as internationally, to contribute theoretical and empirical papers on how rural epistemologies can be a force to be reckoned with in the epistemic space of sustainable development for all. The areas to be covered by this conference, include but are not limited to, the following:
• Theorizing Rural Education (RE)
• Theorizing Rural Education (RE) Knowledge Production
• Rural Knowledge Production and Sustainable Development
• Decolonizing the Tertiary Knowledge Space
• Teacher Education and Rural Pedagogies
• Decolonial Rural Pedagogies and Citizenship Education
• Teaching and Learning in the Rural Classroom
• Rural Knowledge in Mathematics Education
• The Rural Education Curriculum in Higher Education
• The Challenges of Teaching Practice in Rural Contexts
• Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the Era of Decolonisation
• Technical and Vocational Education and Training Education in Rural Contexts

Reference list
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, SJ. 2013. Empire, Global Coloniality, and African Subjectivity. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Sithole, T. 2014. Achille Mbembe: Subject, Subjection and Subjectivity. PhD Thesis Submitted at the University of South Africa. Pretoria.

The Conference
Please send proposed topics and abstracts of papers, to:
Deadline for topics and abstracts: Monday, 30 July 2018
Confirmation of acceptance of papers: Friday 3 August 2018
Abstracts should contain between 150 and 300 words
Selected and successful conference papers, after double blind peer reviews, will be considered for publication in the DHET-accredited journal Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal for the study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, and the African Journal of Education in Rural Contexts (UFS, QwaQwa).
The Alternation Guidelines for authors, and reference style sheet is available at:

Post-conference deadline submission of papers for publication: 31 October, 2018
Feedback from reviewers 31 December, 2018
Return of corrected versions of papers 30 January, 2019
Publication date for both journals 30 April, 2019

We look forward welcoming you to the University of the Free State, QwaQwa Campus

NB: Please note we do not publish conference proceedings. All papers submitted for publication following the conference, will go through the double blind peer review process and must adhere to the style sheet, and deadlines stipulated.