The framing of language and speech communities within particular geographical and cultural localities, and within boundaries of tradition and heritage, always constitutes an arduous task. However, this becomes intensified in African contexts, in that language and cultural mixing and switching is highly common, if not normative practice, as vital to an African politics of identity. A continuous Bakhtinian re-stylizing of previous language practices then, mediates cultural practices of new generations, while this re-stylizing becomes complexified by new and intensified mobilities, technologies, return migration, multimodalities, (continuously) rewritten historiographies, colonized and decolonized ideologies, innovative scholarly work, and so forth.
The intertwining of the many channels of this eclectic re-stylizing can best, or maybe only, be deciphered anthropologically. And why not through a lens of cultural scapes and climates, where new communities identify with cultural patterns and cultural subjectivities? Again, this becomes an arduous task in African regions, where so much mixing and switching, as normative practice, occurs. Concurrently, the complexity of each and every society in (sub) Urban Africa makes for an infinitely fertile ethnography of language and cultural community, to inform our knowledge of the linguistic landscapes of African countries and regions.
The GLOCAL AFALA 2022 theme, “Linguistic Landscapes, Cultural Climates,” “Mazingira Ya Lugha, Hali Ya Hewa Ya Kitamaduni,” well symbolizes the complexity of the complex set of inter-subjective identities throughout African urban and suburban centres. These increasingly complex climates become a highly fertile ground for Linguistic Anthropological scholarly attention, while scholars can draw from a range of peripheral yet pertinent fields to inform work on these geographical and cultural localities.
The GLOCAL AFALA 2022 thus invites work which addresses the complexity of African Linguistic Landscapes and their Cultural Climates. Papers and posters should acknowledge and describe processes of Linguistic complexity at these cultural centres, that is, of African regions, and by those working in African regions.