Department of History - Call for Papers

Faculty of Humanities

Department of History

Swaziland’s 50th Independence Anniversary Conference

Call for Papers

Theme: Celebrating Development and Expanding Our Possibilities:  Swaziland’s 50th Independence Anniversary

To mark Swaziland’s 50th Independence anniversary, we are looking for papers to be presented during a conference that will be held at the University of Swaziland from 25 to 28 September 2018. 

The aim of the conference is to constructively and critically reflect on Swaziland’s experiences since the attainment of political independence. The collection will bring together local and international scholars to deliberate on the meaning(s) of Swaziland’s independence, and the country’s future trajectories. While focussing on local realities, prospective authors are encouraged to locate their discussions in either regional and / or continental and / or international contexts.

We are particularly interested in questions of decolonisation and transformation in all areas of Swazi politics, economy and society, and want to push the conversation beyond the narrow boundaries of the epistemological frameworks imposed by Western knowledge production and international development interventions.

Objectives of the Conference

The objectives of the conference are:

  • To invite Africanist scholars to critically reflect on the meaning of independence for Africa after over half a century of qualified independence;
  • To create a forum for multi-disciplinary and intra-disciplinary exchanges between historians and scholars from other fields in shared thematic areas of interest;
  • To historicize Swaziland’s commonality and exceptionality in the continent;
  • To evaluate Swaziland’s contribution to pan - Africanism;
  • To garner new and varied perspectives on the experience of independence especially on the successes and challenges of independent societies and the impact of these challenges to development;
  • To promote policy dialogue between various stakeholders on Swaziland’s socio-economic development;
  • To explore causes of failures of economic change in Swaziland and beyond and the direct repercussions of this to national economic growth;
  • To produce a special journal issue documenting Swaziland’s historical experiences throughout the 50 years of self- rule.


Thematic Areas

We are looking for papers that can be developed into full-length research articles and review articles. There are a number of possible areas of interest, including but not restricted to:

  • Politics and Governance
  • Labour
  • Economy
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Agriculture
  • Land
  • Religion
  • Culture and Tradition
  • Health and Society
  • Local Development
  • Heritage and Archaeology
  • Environment and Conservation
  • Education and Transition
  • Human Rights
  • Social Movements
  • Constitutionalism
  • Elections and Democracy
  • International Relations

If you would like your work to be considered for inclusion, please send us a 250 word abstract and a one-page CV by 30 March 2018.  Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 30 April 2018. The authors will need to submit completed papers by 30 August 2018. Information on registration will be sent to those whose abstracts would be accepted.

Abstracts and papers are to be submitted as a word document to the History Department, University of Swaziland.  The e-mail address is