cfp 32(1) Joan

As part of an alternative series of publications – to be read parallel to the SA Academy for Science and Art’s ongoing series of published tributes to Hertzog Prize winners – Stilet is soliciting abstracts for a special issue entitled Joan Hambidge: Iconoclast(ic).

Despite her iconoclastic irreverence of Afrikaans traditional views, Joan Hambidge is arguably one of the most important living Afrikaans poets/authors/academics. In many ways, she can be said to be the Kathy Acker of Afrikaans – as she writes against the grain of language, disrupting the hierarchy of texts and salient novelistic structures through a number of stylistic, thematic and linguistic devices. Her work engages with the boundaries of body-mind-text-culture assemblages and situates her as in a queer frame in that her oeuvre not only works against narrativity, the generic pressure of narrative toward closure and the fulfilment of meaning, but also disrupts the referentiality of language and the language of reality. Her work invites the reader, pointedly, to participate in this iconoclasm.

Although she has not been awarded the Hertzog Prize for Literature – perhaps because of her iconoclastic orientation toward the institutions of Afrikaans – she has won the coveted Marais Prize for Literature, the Litera Prize and the Poetry Institute of Africa Prize.

An issue dedicated to Hambidge promises to be a valuable – and queer – addition to the existing list of writers, poets and playwrights in the Academy’s tribute series, and may lend further nuance to the existing Afrikaans canon.

Final articles (between 6,000 and 8,000 words) and shorter pieces (800 to 2,500 words) are due by end of the middle of July 2020. Submissions may be in any language.

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(Photo credit: Henk Serfontein.