The 8th Annual Literature & Ecology Colloquium

24 Mar 2011 - 07:45

“Coastlines & Littoral Zones”
12-14 August 2011
Cape Town, South Africa
Kleinmond, Grail Centre

Southern African and African literatures are rich in representations and explorations of our extensive coastlines, their associated waters and denizens.  Yet this zone and its symbolisms are thus far almost entirely absent from our literary critical studies.  This colloquium seeks to begin to fill this gap.  While the emphasis is on the Southern African region, coastal studies of other regions, especially with African and comparative perspectives, are welcome.  “Literature” is to be regarded as including all genres, including non-fiction.  The colloquium also seeks to draw in the scientific community, to begin an environmentally fruitful conversation between ecology, literature, and related disciplines.

The following topics are suggestions only:

  • The sea as presence and motif in Southern African literatures
  • Littoral zones and bioregional theory
  • Incoming and outgoing sea journeys as motif
  • Coastal journeys in early travel literature
  • The role of islands in our literatures
  • Adamastor revisited: Camoens to the present
  • Ships, shipwrecks and the ecology of shipwreck narratives
  • The beach and swimming as locale and metaphor
  • Fishing, fishermen/women and fishing literature
  • Littoral animals as presence and metaphor (both marine and landbased)
  • Seabirds as poetic motif
  • Littoral communities in literature
  • Estuaries as locale and metaphor in SA poetry and fiction
  • Coastal urbanisation and ports as presence and motif
  • Littoral zones and literary tourism
  • Littoral science, archaeology and ecology in and out of literature
  • The South African coast as integral to both the Atlantic seaboard and Indian Ocean littoral systems

Deadline for 250-word abstracts: 1 April, 2011.

Please submit as an e-mail attachment to

For further information, please contact the convener, Prof Dan Wylie at Rhodes University: