SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Zoe Wicomb and the Translocal: Scotland and South Africa

Keynote: Dorothy Driver (Adelaide)

Date: 13 September 2012Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 14 September 2012Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: University of York

Type of Event: Conference

This unique author-focussed conference series, begun at SOAS in 2008 with "Zoë Wicomb: Texts and Histories" and followed up at Stellenbosch University in 2010 with "The Cape & the Cosmopolitan: Reading Zoë Wicomb", will be rounded off with "Zoë Wicomb & the Translocal" at the University of York in 2012.

The conference will ask how the different sites of Wicomb's life and work illustrate and challenge notions of the 'translocal' in her fiction and criticism, and in new and emerging scholarship about her writing. Straddling the local and the global, South Africa and Scotland, or the Cape and Glasgow (though not necessarily in that order), Wicomb's work reveals a consistent interest in and interrogation of home and belonging, space and place. Her writing is at once regional, national, and cosmopolitan, making a distinctive contribution to the international literature on migrancy. Focusing on the visual and the geographical, this final colloquium in the series considers the cross-disciplinary and translocal dialogue on Wicomb's work in these multiple and intersecting sites. Our interest is precisely in the 'loose ends': the ongoing conversations, remaining questions, resonant locations.

Early Bird Registration


Derek Attridge (York), David Attwell (York), Kai Easton (SOAS), Meg Samuelson (Stellenbosch)

Public readings

Elleke Boehmer, Brian Chikwava, JM Coetzee, Patrick Flanery, Michael Cawood Green, Abdulrazak Gurnah, & Zoë Wicomb


Derek Attridge, David Attwell, Carrol Clarkson, Nadia Davids, Sam Durrant, Kai Easton, Shaun Irlam & Meg Samuelson

Previous Conferences and Publications

1. SOAS  - 2008: Zoë Wicomb:Texts & Histories, David Attwell and Kai Easton co-edited the first cluster on Wicomb's work, 'Zoë Wicomb: Texts & Histories', for the Journal of Southern African Studies (September 2010),

2. Stellenbosch - 2010: The Cape and the Cosmopolitan: Reading Zoë Wicomb.  There are two substantial outputs, also published by Routledge: a special double issue of Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, co-edited by Kai Easton and Andrew van der Vlies (July – Oct. 2011), and a full special issue of Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, co-edited by Margaret Daymond and Meg Samuelson