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2014 AAR Conference


The African Association for Rhetoric

Announces its 5th conference on the theme:

Transitions and Transformative Rhetoric(s)

One salient construct has received significant definition in most discourses on Africa: that of a continent perpetually in a state of transition. What, however, has received little attention is the supposed object of transition – that is, the transformation that transition promises. An examination of rhetoric(s) of transformation on the African continent reveals a deeply contested field. In East and some parts of West Africa, rhetoric(s) of transformation are often invoked within the context of developmental politics, specifically, political promises of infrastructural and modernist futures. In Southern Africa, calls for transformation have emerged often in emotive debates over the need to address historical racial injustices. In Northern Africa, transformation is now the site of mortal conflict over democracy, religion, and imperialism. The 5th conference of the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) seeks precisely to contribute to the current dialectic between transition and transformation.

This conference seeks to bring together eminent intellectuals, researchers, rhetoricians, government operatives, diplomats and industry professionals to contribute to the conversation on the proposed conference theme. The addressed by submissions should include but not limited to the subthemes listed below. Each paper will be considered on its own merit. Refereed papers from the conference will be considered for publication in the Association’s publication: African Journal of Rhetoric (AJR).

The organising committee would like to emphasise that the conference of the African Association for Rhetoric is a multidisciplinary, multisectoral event. We seek participation from all disciplines, sectors and scholars who seek to contribute to engagements in and around rhetoric, public communication, leadership and transformation in society.



  • Defining the Rhetoric of Transformation or transformative rhetoric within a socio- political process

  • Rhetoric, Transitions and Political complications

  • Formations and Transformations in the Uses of Rhetoric in Africa

  • Philosophical and Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Transformation in Africa

  • Political Transitions and Institutional Transformation

  • Transition, transformation and Presidential Rhetoric

  • Transitions and Institutional Agency: Changes in Media and the Economic Sector

  • Impact of Transitions in North Africa on Other African Countries

  • Imagining a New Africa: The Rhetoric of Transformation in Literature and Oratory

  • Political Operatives as Agents of Change: Transformational Leadership and Transformational Change

  • Rhetoric and the Notion of Transitional Justice

  • Rhetoric, Transformation and Economic Development in Africa

  • Transition, Transformation and Civil Society

  • The Intellectual and the Political Process: Rhetoric of Transformation in Knowledge Production



Cape Town (Actual Venue to be announced)


2-4 July 2014


Proposed Registration Fees:

Faculty R2500

Students: R1500

Deadline of Abstract:

January 30, 2014

Submission of papers:

April 30 2014


International Organising Committee

Dr Segun Ige (JOI Consulting)

Professor Kermit Campbell (Colgate University)

Professor Omedi Ochieng (Westmont College)

Adviser: Professor Mike Masemola (UNISA)

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