Alternation Book Publication Call for Papers: Humanities Curriculum in the Time of COVID-19

Alternation Book Publication Call for Papers

Humanities Curriculum in the Time of COVID-19

(Sponsored by Alternation, Humanities Institute, UKZN, and the National Institute of the Human and Social Sciences)

COVID-19 has become a threat to the health and wellbeing of the world population. Its global pandemic nature has the potential to destabilise systems and processes that have defined human existence, epistemology and knowledge up to now.  New ways of thinking, new responses to systems and processes, and new boundaries are being formed as a result of this rapidly spreading disease.  Many nations across the globe have taken drastic steps, including long periods of lockdown to prevent transmission, and imposed social distancing and basic health care as part of various strategies to stem the tide of this dreadful disease. 

More specifically, the education systems in South Africa, Africa, and indeed, globally, have come to a standstill by extended closures of educational institutions. These institutional closures pose serious risk to the academic year from a curriculum perspective, and has the potential to disrupt school and tertiary education systems substantially. 

In responding to the disruption to higher education we ask, in this call for papers, (i) how have institutions responded to the institutional closures and the protection of integrity of what is being taught, learnt and assessed across programmes in the Humanities; and (ii) what might the curriculum within the Humanities programmes look like in the immediate and longer term, post this pandemic disease period.

For this issue of Alternation, we request that scholars critically and constructively reflect from within their home disciplines and programmes, as well as interdisciplinary health, human and social sciences perspectives, on the problematisations, opportunities for new insights and responses to infectious diseases, especially COVID-19, that confront the Humanities curriculum within undergraduate and post-graduate programmes.

Proposed papers may include thematisations related to any of the following:

  1. a direct curriculum response to the COVID-19 disease;
  2. programme delivery and assessment in the context of institutional closures; and
  3. curriculum conceptualisations and innovations (short and long term).

Papers should be between 4000 to 6000 words

Expected date of publication:  30 June 2020

Abstracts and full papers to be sent to any of the following editors: 

  • Prof Labby Ramrathan:
  • Prof Nobuhle Ndimande-Hlongwa:
  • Prof JA Smit:

Timeframes (02 April – 30 June 2020)

  • 08 April 2020: Deadline for submission of topics and abstracts
  • 10 April 2020: Final date for acceptance of topics and abstracts
  • 30 April 2020: Submission of accepted papers
  • 1 May to 30 May 2020:  Peer review process
  • 30 June 2020: Publication

Full author guidelines are available at:

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