Alternation is an interdisciplinary academic peer-reviewed open access journal for policy makers, practitioners, and the research community, on the Arts and Humanities and related fields in Southern Africa. Each journal issue is thematic, and the product of an Alternation Research Group under the leadership of one or more of the members of the Alternation Editorial Committee. Alternation invites articles, and responses to articles of up to 10 000 words dealing with topics relevant to the contemporary scholarly significance of the academic comparative study of the Arts and Humanities. (Longer articles may also be considered for publication.) Book reviews between 1000-1200 words are also welcome.

Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Johannes A. Smit
Associate Editor: Prof. Nobuhle P. Hlongwa

Online ISSN: 2519-5476
Print ISSN: 1023-1757

Migration, Children, and Youth


The Focus on Children and Youth

In the process of migration, it is assumed, that it is especially children and youth that are caught up in the dynamics of the migration of their parents and/ or guardians. Children are often also separated from their parents (one or both parents) during processes of migration, due to the un-coordinated, if not chaotic nature of migration, or because of international statist or nation-state conditions and agreements.

Children and youth that happen to travel with their parents may experience the same challenges experienced by adults. Sometimes, due to them being children and youth in the growing up stages of their lives, they may experience these migrations as quite unsettling, as well as psychologically, socially, and religiously disconcerting, if not confusing, and bewildering.

This special issue of Alternation seeks to deepen our intellectual engagements and scholarly understandings of how migration affect and impact children and youth.


Suggested Topics

  • Children and Youth who migrate in families, or alone: what particular rights should unaccompanied and separated children have? How should they be treated in the context of border controls, and statist and nationalist systems and agreements?
  • Children and Youth who are left behind; many children are left behind, when parents of families migrate, most often with another family member or friends: How does migration impact them?
  • Children and Youth differ from adults in some important aspects, although their migration experiences are similar: In what respects are the theories and claims about adult migration applicable to children, and vice-versa?
  • The Migration experiences of Children and Youth: Are child and youth experiences and perceptions of migration special, and different from adults, and do these justify special treatment? Are children always, as the UNICEF claims, the most vulnerable group?
  • Do individual states have obligations towards migrating Children and Youth, especially when it comes to socio-cultural integration, citizenship or access to education and health care?
  • Is Youth and Child migration also a problem for global justice, and, if it is, how does, and should social, as well as legal justice matters impact the migration of Children and Youth?
  • Youth and Child migration is closely connected to a vast range of injustices: war, poverty, exploitation, desertification, social discrimination, and even persecution and expulsion. What are the most significant factors that impact the migration of Children and Youth, and how could caring communities cater for them, in both their home and host countries?
  • Also, how do national and international organisations deal with those children who are unable to migrate in their searches for better lives and living conditions, and remain stuck in their conditions of threat, insecurity, and deprivation?
  • African Communitarian thinking and child, and youth migration: Are there any social systems, and actual social interventions evidence with regard to this focus, and if there are, how do they function, how could they be enhanced, and augmented?

The Intellectualization of African Languages for Higher Education


Call for papers on The Intellectualization of African Languages for Higher Education Guest Editors: Langa Khumalo1 and Sam Mchombo2 Call Deadline: 31 January 2019. Contributions are sought for a special issue of the ALTERNATION focusing on the intellectualization of African languages for higher education. Papers addressing the role of African languages in higher education curriculum, language as a pedagogy, cognitive development and linguistic incarceration, development of human language technologies in African languages, intellectualization through terminology development, language policy, linguistic rights and corpus planning are particularly sought. This Special Issue aims to showcase recent research advances in the development of African languages as the kernel of the academy in addressing national imperatives such as transformation, decoloniality, epistemic access and student success in higher education, and social cohesion.

Religion and Gullibility in Zimbabwe


Gullibility is not a unique phenomenon to religion. It appears in almost all social institutions including relationships, academia, finance, science, politics and war and justice especially criminal justice. However, religion has often proven to be a fertile ground for the expression of gullible behavior, both in the portrayal of gullibility in religious characters and the devotees’ unquestioning acceptance of any notion legitimated through an appeal to the supernatural (Greenspan, 2009:29). Zimbabwe has not been spared of religious gullibility and what baffles the mind is that when the law is expected to take its course, it is either silent or it is found wanting on matters involving religious gullibility. Ironically, in academic circles in Zimbabwe in particular, there has not been sufficient exploration of this subject. Therefore, it is in this context that we are calling for papers for publication in a special issue of ALTERNATION, to explore the theme of ‘Religion and Gullibility in Zimbabwe’.

No 23 (2018): Alternation Special Edition 23 (2018)-Open Issue #01

Following the opening of Alternation on the UKZN platform of the Online Journal Editing System (OJS), in late 2018, we have decided to both continue publishing theme-specific issues of Alternation, as well as open issues. Calls for papers for upcoming theme-specific issues will be published, on the Calls for Papers button, on our regular site, at, Starting with this issue of Alternation, we shall also publish open issues, and number them consecutively, as from this, the first issue, AlterNation Open Issue #01. As usual, we provide a brief overview of the abstracts of the papers in the issue.

Published: 2018-12-31

AlterNation Open Issue #01

Johannes A Smit, Nobuhle Ndimande-Hlongwa, Denzil Chetty, Beverly Vencatsamy


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