Eroding Dichotomies: Description, Analysis, and Publishing in African Linguistics: Writing workshop, 26-28 June 2020, Durban, South Africa

What is the workshop about?

The workshop brings together early career researchers and experienced editors, researchers, and publishers. Through critical reflection, guidance and (peer-)mentoring, the workshop will develop and hone participants’ academic writing skills and their understanding of editorial, review, and publishing processes. Each participant will submit one work-in-progress research paper before the workshop and work on this throughout the workshop. Participants will also peer-review others’ papers before and during the workshop. A central theme of the workshop is discussion of ways to strengthen local and regional publishing in the global South and to ensure more equitable access to information and distribution of top-quality research outputs. The forging of ongoing scholarly links between early-career researchers from across Eastern and Southern African is another important aspect of this work.

 The workshop will include sessions and discussion on:

  • Linguistic description and theory
  • Writing for regional journals
  • Writing for international journals
  • Open Access publishing
  • Writing grant applications
  • Starting and running your own journal
  • A roundtable on decolonising linguistics


The workshop is organised by Dr Hannah Gibson (University of Essex, UK), Professor Lutz Marten (SOAS University of London, UK), Dr Kristina Riedel (University of the Free State, South Africa), and Dr David Barasa (Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya).

The workshop is made possible through the generous support of a British Academy Writing Workshops grant (WW20200073) for the project entitled ‘Eroding dichotomies: description, analysis and publishing in African linguistics’. The support of the British Academy is gratefully acknowledged.

Who can attend?

The workshop is open to early-career researchers from Eastern and Southern Africa who are working in the fields of documentary, descriptive, and theoretical linguistics, with a focus on African languages. By early-career researchers we mean scholars with a relevant MA who have either not yet completed their PhD or who did so no more than 7 years ago.

What does it cost?

The workshop is free for all accepted participants. In addition, the workshop will cover costs of accommodation from 25 to 28 June as well as some meals during the workshop. A number of travel stipends are available for applicants travelling from Eastern Africa, as well as for those travelling within Southern Africa. There are limited spaces available for local participants who are able to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. All applicants must follow the application process detailed below.

Following the writing workshop, the Southern African Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Society (SALALS) will be holding its annual conference, also in Durban (29 June to 1 July 2020). Participants are encouraged to submit abstracts to the conference but will be responsible for covering their own costs for attendance and staying in Durban during the SALAS conference. Additional details can be found on the SALALS homepage.

Application deadline: 11 March 2020

The deadline for completion of both the online application form and submission of the writing sample is Wednesday 11 March 2020. We must receive both portions of the application for it to be considered. See the call for applications for application details here


Application deadline: 11 March 2020

Notification of outcome of application: 27 March 2020

Peer-review period: 27 March to 1 May 2020

Workshop: 26 to 28 June 2020

Where will I find updated information?

We will post updated information about the workshop on this page.

Where will I find details about travel and local information?

We will post updated information about the workshop, travel, and accommodation here.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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