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?



Women’s History and Subjectivity. An Appreciative and Critical Engagement of the Marginalization of Women’s Role to, and in Democracy: Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mama Albertina Sisulu, and the Forgotten Women of the Liberation Struggle of South Africa

Constantly and portentously, the history of South Africa remains merely his story not her story. This special issue of Alternation challenges this slanted version of and portrayal of the anti-apartheid struggle as male-centric, bourgeois and urban. Specifically, it seeks to incorporate and document the role and contributions of ordinary women – unidentified and/or unsung – who never and/or barely make it into the history books. There were/ are innumerable diverse women of all walks of life – from poor, and rural settings – who were involved in South Africa’s liberation struggle. This special issue is therefore an attempt to demasculinize and decolonialize history and view it from the perspective of the individuals who lived that history, especially ordinary women. We invite papers to deal with the above contestations regarding women as subjects of history in the anti-apartheid struggle. We encourage scholarly papers that are theoretically and conceptually sound, which engage with new and diverse methodological approaches, and offer innovative research focuses. Grounded on the broader issue of this call, sub-themes include:

South Africa’s road to democracy and the decolonialisation of history

South Africa’s road to democracy and the depatriachalisation of history

South Africa’s road to democracy and (unidentified/unsung) women’s histories/narratives

South Africa’s road to democracy and political and gender struggles/nature of women’s resistance

South Africa’s road to democracy and gendered nationalisms and liberations/women’s subjectivity and agency

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’.

Religion/ Spirituality and Wellbeing in Africa


Internationally, numerous scholars of religion and spirituality argue that religion/ spirituality has direct implications for human wellbeing. Research has shown, that the same is true with regard to Africa. Across Africa, religion/ spirituality remains a factor that influences and shapes the wellbeing of many Africans. But the role of religion in Africa has not always been constructive and clear-cut. Affirmatively, religion has contributed to the struggle against colonialism, for national independence, the fostering and support of modern democracies, and the establishing of independent nation states. Negatively, religion(s) has, at times, and in some contexts, also contributed to endorsing and perpetuating postcolonial autocratic life-denying tendencies among politicians, patrimonial autocratic and oligarchic systems, and the denial of human rights, for a wide variety of minority groups, not aligned with the hegemonic power structures. The question is whether, and how religions and religious formations in Africa have intentionally positioned themselves as forces for wellbeing, safety and security, or, for ill. How have they engaged the individual, as well as social challenges that African people face? How do they function for the continuous improvement of the quality of life and wellbeing of people? OR: if they do not function in this way, what roles do they play in society in general, but also specifically, and practically. Acknowledging that there have been some valuable research focusing on particular contexts, there is inadequate scholarly literature which specifically explores the interplay between religion/ spirituality and wellbeing, or its opposites.

Reconfiguring Foundational Pedagogies through Theoretical Frameworks


Foundation provision is intended to both help students transition from school/work into first year as well as to navigate disciplinary discourses and develop a critical societal awareness. Such provision is seen as a vital initiative to improve quality and equity of outcomes in higher education. Throughout the years there have been regular national and regional colloquia on foundation provision teaching, learning and curriculum development. In 2015, based on these colloquia, there was a special edition of the SA Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE, 2015, 29:1). Dhunpath’s and Vithal’s 2012 book on Alternative Access to Higher Education: Underprepared Students or Underprepared Institutions?, furthermore, focused attention on the nature and success of foundation provision. Though there has been some theorisation of teaching and learning in these and other volumes, this has often been quite restricted to debates around, for example, ‘literacies’. Though such debates are important there is also a need to open up spaces for less normative, fresh and potentially disruptive social theories that can enrich our understanding of foundation provision. Thus the purpose of this call is to encourage the emergence of and discussion of theorisations of teaching and learning in foundation provision, including more recent ones, which can expand on and influence our understandings.

Rural Education Knowledge Production & Pedagogy


Conference and Alternation Call for Papers THEME: RURAL EDUCATION KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION AND PEDAGOGY INNOVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE EPISTEMIC SPACE OF DECOLONIALITY VENUE: UNIVERSITY OF THE FREE STATE, QWAQWA CAMPUS DATE: 4-6 OCTOBER, 2018 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: PROFESSOR SABELO GATSHENI NDLOVU (UNISA) 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.