Call for participants Eroding Dichotomies: Description, Analysis and Publishing in African Linguistics Writing workshop

by Kristina Riedel | Feb 24, 2020

Call for participants: Eroding Dichotomies: Description, Analysis and Publishing in African Linguistics Writing workshop

26-28 June 2020, Durban South Africa

Applications are now open for a residential writing workshop aimed at early career researchers working in the field of descriptive and theoretical linguistics with a focus on African languages. The workshop will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 26th to 28th June 2020.

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 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

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 (29th June to 1st 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 here:

How to apply

Submissions will be judged on academic merit and academic potential. However, the workshop is aimed at early career researchers and, as such, we aim to give opportunities for development to a wide range of participants.

There is a two-part application process: an online application form and the submission of a draft paper. The draft paper should be one which the applicants would like to work on as part of their involvement in the project. This should not be a paper which has already been published or which is currently in the submission and evaluation process by a journal. But similarly, we recognise that since this is a draft version, the paper may still be in need of additional work and input.

Applicants may find the following resources helpful in preparing their papers:

1) Please complete the online application form by Wednesday 11th March 2020:

2) Please send your draft paper to Dr Hannah Gibson at ( by Wednesday 11th March 2020 with the subject line ‘Writing Workshop 2020’.

Application deadline: 11th March 2020

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


Application deadline: 11th March 2020

Notification of outcome of application: 27th March 2020

Peer-review period: 27th March to 1st May 2020

Workshop: 26th to 28th June 2020

Where will I find updated information?

We will post updated information about the workshop at this link:

Where will I find details about travel and local information?

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


The workshop is organized 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.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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