Culture Industry 2.0: Africa, Global South, World

Potchefstroom, South Africa / ONLINE (17.-19.11.2022), 23. September 2022.

SASCT (South African Society for Critical Theory) - 4th Annual Conference

Culture Industry 2.0: Africa, Global South, World

17 – 19 November 2022 (North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa)

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?
•    In what way, if any, has the coronavirus outbreak affected the contemporary culture industry?
•    In what ways does nature’s otherness influence the culture industry?
•    How is the culture industry functioning in relation to postcoloniality?
•    What does an "African Culture Industry" entail?
•    How does migration factor into the culture industry of the world today?

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, Critical Phenomenology, 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 abstracts to by the 23rd of September 2022. Acceptance letters will be sent by the 30th of September at the latest.

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.

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

Jean du Toit: (host)
Gregory Swer:
Ewa Latecka: