Workshop Announcement and Call for Abstracts: Centre for Social Research

September 15, 2017   Centre For Social Research




The Centre for Social Research of the University of Malawi, in collaboration with the Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS, UK), and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA, Nairobi), will host a three-day Early Career Writing Workshop on 16-20 July 2018 at Chancellor College in Zomba, Malawi. The aim of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for early career scholars and postdocs to present papers for discussion and eventual publication in JSAS. Participants will bring papers on various aspects of the Southern African region, JSAS’s mandate. The region embraces South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique; and occasionally, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Mauritius.


The workshop is a key platform for capacity development in the region. It seeks to contribute to the development of a new cadre of scholars who would be actively involved in writing and publishing. It will use a one-on-one mentoring approach through which participants will work with experienced journal editors to facilitate submission of papers to the Journal of Southern African Studies. The workshop is expected to bring together about 36 participants from Malawi, the SADC region, the UK and the USA.

The workshop aims to stimulate new thinking in African Studies and encourage the writing of high-quality academic papers. The selection committee is made up of leading scholars who are members of the JSAS Advisory Board based in the southern African region. The committee will seek original research and critical thinking. We do not want policy-oriented papers that only describe the results of small-scale studies. Instead we want papers that show the value of such empirical studies for broader societal issues, including analysis of their political, economic and human consequences. During the workshop, participants may also present their papers alongside established scholars from the JSAS board, where papers will be presented and critiqued in an egalitarian atmosphere that will promote new ways of understanding the problems and opportunities facing southern Africans today. All emerging scholars who aim to publish in JSAS will also receive mentoring after the workshop, up to the point of submitting their papers.


Each applicant must send the following: (1) a CV, (2) an abstract (at least 350 words) and/or first draft of their paper, and (3) a covering letter describing his/her goals for the workshop and demonstrating their need for funding (reasons include being based at a university that does not fund workshop attendance). Also include (4) a letter of support from the head of institution or PhD supervisor. Please send applications to Lyn Schumaker at with a copy to by 1st November 2017. Notification of acceptance will take place in December. The successful candidates must send full papers at the latest by 15 April 2018, or they will not receive funding.

Support is available for 16 scholars, funded by JSAS, from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. However, self-funding candidates may come from any country in southern Africa. Selection of successful candidates is on a competitive basis. For more information, contact the Local Organising Committee at the Centre for Social Research: Email:;; and

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