CFP: South African Society for Critical Theory 4th Annual Conference

Submission deadline: September 22, 2022

Conference date(s):
November 17, 2022 - November 19, 2022

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

School of Philosophy, North-West University
Potchefstroom, South Africa

Topic areas


South African Society for Critical Theory 4th Annual Conference

17 – 19 November 2022

North-West University South Africa

Culture Industry 2.0: Africa, Global South, World


The South African Society for Critical Theory is pleased to announce the keynote speakers for its forthcoming conference...



Keynote Speaker: Prof Samir Gandesha (Simon Fraser University)

Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, specializing in modern European thought and culture with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012), and with Johan Hartle of Spell of Capital: Reification and Spectacle (University of Amsterdam Press, 2017) and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press, 2017). In the Spring of 2017, he was the Liu Boming Visiting Scholar in Philosophy at the University of Nanjing and Visiting Lecturer at Suzhou University of Science and Technology in China. He also taught a course on the “Neo-Liberal Personality” in the Summer Semester at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil in February, 2019 and is a regular contributor to openDemocracy.


Next Gen Keynote Speaker: Kiasha Naidoo (University of the Western Cape)

The Next Generation Keynote is intended as a means of supporting and developing future SA thought-leaders by offering early career academics the opportunity to deliver a keynote address.

Kiasha’s research concerns thinking neoliberalism as a governing rationality in the domain of means and ends. Moreover, to consider the way that such a rationality might bear on the human subject in terms of its ontology as fundamentally futural. She draws on the work of Michel Foucault and Wendy Brown in order to consider the functioning, limits, and high points of the exercise of power on subjects and collectivities with regard to life and death. Her research interest includes the effects of a neoliberal governmentality on our democratic ideals, notions of political collectivity, as well as on virtues and ends such as freedom, equality, and justice.


The South African Society for Critical Theory (SASCT) invites abstract submissions of up to 500 words for its 4th Annual Conference which will take place at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, from the 17th to the 19th of November 2022. This will be a hybrid conference, with in-person attendance recommended but with accommodation made for online participation and presentations.

SASCT invites papers which address the concept of the culture industry, as described by Adorno and Horkheimer in Dialectic of Enlightenment. The culture industry sees forms of culture become part of the capitalist system of production which in the contemporary age has seen commodification spread from "culture" to all non-work activities of humanity - hobbies, sports, self-improvement, mental health, tourism, and so on. Of particular interest in this regard is the examination of the perils and potentialities of the imminent total colonisation of the life world, strategies of resistance, points of breakdown, as well as cultural and natural heritage as a public good or commodity – all questions that Critical Theory is geared to address.

As part of such considerations, this conference welcomes papers that consider the question of the culture industry in relation to Critical Theory, including but not limited to:

·         What might a critical analysis of the contemporary culture industry reveal?

·         What stance should Critical Theory adopt towards the culture industry in both its modern figurations, but also historically?

·         How does the culture industry figure into contemporary education?

·         Has the coronavirus outbreak affected the contemporary culture industry, and in what ways does nature’s otherness influence the culture industry?

·         How does migration factor into the culture industry of the world today?

·         Is ‘cancel culture’ a reaction to, or expression of, the Culture Industry?

·         How is the culture industry functioning in relation to postcoloniality, and what does an "African Culture Industry" entail?

The conference welcomes approaches from all aspects of Critical Theory, broadly construed. In particular, the conference welcomes papers that address issues relating to: African Critical Theory, Digital Culture, the intersections between Critical Theory of European origin (Frankfurt School, Foucault, etc.), Black Existentialism, and Africana Critical Theory as well as contributions on any and all aspects of Critical Theory, e.g. the 3 generations of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Postcolonial Theory, De-colonial Theory, Critical Feminism, Critical Film Studies, Critical Race Theory, Critical Theory of Technology, Critical Legal Studies, Post-structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Critical Hermeneutics, Liberation Theory, Critical Pedagogy, Critical Theology, Critical Anthropology, etc. 

The Conference organisers would also appreciate papers that address thinkers whose work lies outside the “canon” of Critical Theory, but whose work can extend current research in Critical Theory or whose work in itself embodies alternative forms of Critical Theory. Whilst the organisers encourage contributions that address the conference theme, the theme itself should be viewed as merely suggestive.



Please submit a 300-word abstract to [email protected] by the 23rd of September 2022. Acceptance letters will be sent by the 30th of September at the latest. The full paper should be no more than 3500-4000 words for a 30 min. presentation. Proposals for panel discussion are also welcome.


In-person attendance at Sports Village in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Accommodation is available at the conference venue (Sports Village) – submit queries to [email protected].

A list of alternative places to stay will also be provided.  

Arrangement will be made for online attendance by international participants.

Conference fees

The fee for the three-day conference (including teas and lunches) is R800 (including VAT).

The fee for participating graduate and PhD students is R150.

International speakers who are participating online must pay an online fee of R150.


Special issue

Note also that a special issue on the theme of the conference will be published in Acta Academica: critical views on society, culture and politics, a DHET-accredited journal.

Contact us

Should you have queries regarding any aspect of the conference then please do not hesitate to contact the conference organising committee:

Jean du Toit: [email protected] (host)

Gregory Swer: [email protected]

Ewa Latecka: [email protected]

Supporting material

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