We would like to invite you to contribute to an upcoming issue, 7(1), of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) in the South journal, an online, open-access and peer-reviewed journal dedicated to fostering dialogue and research on teaching and learning in higher education in the global South, or about the global South. This issue will be devoted to the topic of Doing Academia Differently, planned for publication in April 2023. 


Background, rationale and theme

While there have been a wide range of efforts to transform higher education in South Africa, as well as elsewhere, with more recent emphasis on decolonising the university, a groundswell of dissatisfaction continues particularly with respect to the entrenchment of global neoliberalisation in the academy. Neoliberalism and corporatisation of the university has had a major impact on practices of academia and the lives of academics, as well as student/scholars and early-stage researchers (Bauman & Doskis, 2013; Braidotti, 2013; Callinicos, 2006). Higher education discourses and practices perpetuate injustices in organisational structures, and are visible in teaching methods and assessment mechanisms, research practices and publishing norms, curricular content and design of courses (Mbembe, 2016). For example, publishing and reviewing are scholarly practices which have become problematic in these neoliberal times, precisely because of the enormous demand for academics to publish their work in accredited and prestigious academic journals. Academics find that their career trajectories, including their employment prospects at other universities and their promotion to more senior levels in academia, is primarily based on their citations in so-called ‘A’ rated international journals. In addition to this, many academics are pressurised into the unpaid labour of conducting peer reviews of manuscripts for journals and publishers. If academics do not carefully organise themselves, they could be swamped by reviewing tasks and externally moderating large quantities of postgraduate work. Teaching loads are becoming higher and teaching is becoming increasingly casualised. The pressures that these imperatives place on academics are not conducive to quality thought, collaborative and generous engagement with others, all of which matter greatly in academia. Notwithstanding social justice emphases, the project of socially valuable research is being lost in the pursuit of individualised scholarship.


Much of the scholarship directed at social justice, transformation and decolonisation in the university, in both global and local contexts, has been engaged in a critical interrogation of the historical and contemporary logics of scholarship and how they reflect and reproduce unequal access, practices and privileges and bolster larger material-discursive inequalities and injustices. While valuable and necessary, efforts may have become stuck in a repetitive moment which fails to offer useful alternatives for re-thinking, re-making, reconfiguring and re-doing scholarship by taking a further step and asking what now? Importantly, ways of engaging in alternative, experimental and affirmative social justice scholarship remain relatively undeveloped.


In this regard, recent intellectual developments in the contemporary philosophical and theoretical fields of posthumanism, new materialism, non-representationalism and affective studies are offering ground-breaking possibilities of reconceptualising everyday practices of scholarship. Drawing on contemporary theoretical and methodological advances in these areas, we are looking for contributions which envisage ways of thinking otherwise in academia. Papers which would be considered for inclusion in this special issue would be those which resist the technicist and individualised outputs necessitated by neoliberalist imperatives (see Anderson & Harrison, 2010; Barad, 2007, 2020; Barad & Gandorfer 2021; Braidotti, 2013, 2019; Stengers, 2018; Thrift, 2008; Vannini, 2015).


The proposed special issue is specifically directed at papers which document practical and processual opening up of spaces for experimentation with alternative ways of making knowledge in higher education, through engaging novel, theoretically informed methodologies of research, pedagogies, reviewing, and other practices of scholarly engagement.


The scholarly themes which this special issue will be focusing on are the following:


Main Theme

How can we do academia differently by making affirmative scholarly spaces that rupture and re-imagine ideas and practices through experimentations with inventive methodologies? (Scholarly spaces inclusive of reading, writing, reviewing, pedagogic and curricula practice, researching, mentoring, supervising etc.)



  • How could using theoretical tools such as new materialist, non-representational theories, and posthuman perspectives provide new insights for reconceptualising and conducting academic work and practice in higher education?
  • What experimental practices of doing academic work have been explored or can be invented?
  • What are the political implications of developing these practices in contexts of neoliberal higher education?
  • How might we actualise and/or disseminate these ideas and practices in different geopolitical locations and disciplines in ways that cultivate an ethos for socially just higher education?
  • What contributions might post-qualitative research methods offer the scholarship, theory and pedagogy of just academic practices in higher education?


Please indicate which of the sub-themes in relation to doing academia differently your paper will address. In addition to these sub-themes, we would be looking for papers which pertain to the focus and scope of the SOTL in the South journal for this themed issue. The journal accepts papers that pertain to its stated focus and scope, as stated on its website.


All articles will be subjected to a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions are encouraged from as many countries in the global South as possible, as well as from marginalised perspectives within the global North. Reviewers are solicited from countries across the global South. Submissions should be reviewed by individuals from more than one country in order to ensure relevance and readability for an international audience.


All submissions to SOTL in the South are subject to a plagiarism check using Turnitin.


Please submit proposed titles of your articles and an extended abstract of about 700 words to the guest editors, Professors Vivienne Bozalek ( and Denise Newfield ( by 29 April 2022.


Please use the SoTL in the South author guidelines. Articles are freely accessible and there are no processing fees.  If you have problems with the website please contact our Editor at



  • Title and extended abstracts (incorporating an abstract (150 - 200 words) and an introduction (500 words) (abstract and introduction +/- 700 words) – 29 April 2022
  • Notification of selected abstracts for themed issue –20 May 2022
  • Submission of articles to SOTL in the South (here, you must register as an author on the journal’s website and submit your article, which should be between 5 000 and 8 000 words) – 23 September 2022
  • Reviewer feedback – 23 October 2022
  • Webinar presentation of draft paper for those selected for submission to the themed issue of SoTL in the South23 November 2022
  • Reworked article – 31 December 2022
  • Approved by Guest Editors– 31 January 2023
  • Copy-editing and proofreading (February, March 2023)
  • Publication date: April 2023


We hope to publish between 5 and 18 articles in April 2023.


Guest editors

Vivienne Bozalek is an Emerita Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. She was previously a Senior Professor and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of the Western Cape. She holds a PhD from Utrecht University. Her research interests and publications include the political ethics of care and social justice, posthumanism and feminist new materialisms, innovative pedagogical practices in higher education, post-qualitative and participatory methodologies. Her most recent co-edited books include Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education with Brenda Leibowitz and Peter Kahn (Routledge, 2017), Socially Just Pedagogies: Posthumanist, Feminist and Materialist Perspectives in Higher Education with Rosi Braidotti, Tamara Shefer and Michalinos Zembylas (Routledge 2019), Nancy Fraser and Participatory Parity: Reframing Social Justice in South African Higher Education with Dorothee Hölscher and Michalinos Zembylas (Routledge, 2020), Posthuman and Political Care: Ethics for Reconfiguring Higher Education with Michalinos Zembylas and Joan Tronto (Routledge, 2021), Post-Anthropocentric Social Work: Critical Posthuman and New Materialist Perspectives, with Bob Pease (Routledge, 2021), and Higher education Hauntologies: Living with Ghosts for a Justice-to-come with Michalinos Zembylas, Siddique Motala and Dorothee Hölscher (Routledge, 2021). She is the editor-in-chief of the open-source online journal, Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning.

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Denise Newfield is a long-standing teacher educator and researcher in the fields of literacy, language and literature. She taught English and Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, for many years and is now a researcher and graduate supervisor. She holds a PhD from the University of London in the field of multimodality in education. Her research interests and publications span curricular and pedagogic innovation and transformation especially in contexts of disadvantage, multimodality, multiliteracies, poetry in society and in education, indigeneity and decoloniality. In recent years, she has been involved in posthumanist, feminist new materialist and post-qualitative approaches to research and pedagogy, both in higher education and at secondary school level. She established ZAPP (the South African Poetry Project) in 2013 and was appointed its director.  Amongst her publications are a special edition of English Studies in Africa, entitled ‘English Education in Africa’ (49.1, 2006) (co-edited with Pippa Stein), which contains her award-winning article, ‘Mobilising and modalising poetry in a Soweto classroom’; Multimodal Approaches to Research and Pedagogy (co-edited with Arlene Archer, Routledge 2014); and a special issue of Education as Change (2020, vol 24), entitled Decoloniality in/and Poetry (co-edited with Katlego Shoro and Deirdre Byrne). Recent articles include ‘Poetry as a multimodal genre’ (TESOL Quarterly) and ‘Towards Decolonising Poetry in Education: the ZAPP Project’ (Education as Change).

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