In the year 2000, veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against white minority rule started occupying white-owned farms, thereby setting in motion a process which came to be simultaneously labelled  the Third Chimurenga (Revolutionary Struggle), “Jambanja” (Chaos) or simply land repossessions by a polarized political community within the country and abroad. Prime land, which had belonged to the minority whites was being re-taken via a combination of statutes, rhetoric and militant actions involving politicians, youths, peasants, and activists buoyed by the exigent need to end the unequal distribution of land and other national historical imbalances.  Officially, Zimbabwe had entered the decolonial phase of land reform.  So much has been said and written about this period across several disciplines. Nearly two decades later, the spectra of land reform in Zimbabwe remains and there is need for a scholarly re-audit of the process.

The proposed “Beyond” the Land Reform in Zimbabwe Conference seeks to present the   latest   research   and   debates   on   developments    following    the   country’s radical re-configurations of its land and agrarian questions.  The focus is on the challenges, successes, predictions and discourses that have ensued from the program in light of the multifaceted changes obtaining in Southern Africa and beyond. These include shifts in the global political terrain, the emerging   politics of resource nationalism, increased migration, technological advances, climate    change, and   population    growth. The   conference   therefore   attracts presentations from multiple fields in the humanities and social sciences and allows for inter- and multi-disciplinary conversations.

Conference Themes

Presentations will evolve around a number of themes on the land reform. Among these include:

  • Livelihoods and land
  • Land and Migration
  • Emerging politics of land and reform in Southern Africa
  • Recent social histories of resettled lands
  • Land reform history lessons for Southern Africa
  • The historical character of land reform in Zimbabwe
  • Public-Private ownership
  • Command agriculture
  • Land reform and sustainable development
  • Conflicts among the new farmers
  • Religious perspectives on Zimbabwe’s land reform
  • Land reform and its implications on diverse cultures
  • Church beneficiaries of land
  • Political theology of Zimbabwe’s land reform
  • Religious debate on land reform
  • Land reform and Zimbabwean spirituality
  • Literary and media discourse on the land reform
  • Land reform and the dynamics of natural resource conservation and preservation
  • Land reform and archaeological sites in Zimbabwe
  • The historical con-texts of land reform
  • Linguistics and the land reform
  • Land rights, their inflections (other associated struggles) and infractions

Abstract and submission process

Abstracts of between 250 and 350 words should be submitted to msshumbam2@gmail.com &  lrczim@gmail.com by the 15th of May 2017. In addition, authors should send their full contact details (title, name, address, email-address, telephone and institutional affiliation). These should appear below the abstract.

Publication of papers

We envisage a common publication, such as a special journal issue or an edited book, using selected conference papers.

Important dates

Due date for abstracts: 30 May 2017

Feedback on abstracts: 15 June 2017

Due date for full papers: 15 August 2017

Conference date: 29 September 2017

Registration fees

The conference registration fee is $100. This will cover conference material as well as meals for the duration of the conference.

Venue: Midlands State University, Zimbabwe, Zvishavane Campus

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