Conference language

The conference language is English and sign language interpreters will be available.

We encourage you to check out the related International Congress of Linguists conference also in Cape Town.

Call for Papers

The first conference on gesture on the African continent will focus on the rich diversity of human gestural communication. Gestures and gestural behaviour are dynamic and changing –  varying not only across languages and cultures but also within cultural groups according to social levels, age, gender and situation.e comments section, the title of the symposium must be repeated. Each contributor to the symposium submits his or her contribution and must specify that it is for a symposium. He or she also indicates the title of the symposium in the comments section.

Conference theme

The main aim of this conference will be to examine the wide range of linguistic and cultural phenomena and other factors that influence and shape gestural diversity. Special emphasis will be on comparative work looking at, but not limited to:

  1. Studies on gestural form, meaning and function;
  2. The relationship of gesture to language, whether spoken or signed;
  3. Gesture in language development and learning among children in different cultures and multilingual contexts;
  4. Gesture in language learning and conceptual development;
  5. Individual variation in gesture use and comprehension;
  6. The link between gesture and cognitive, cultural and linguistic diversity;
  7. Studies of gestural forms and practices across languages and cultures;
  8. Gesture and its role in sign language variation.

The conference will also welcome all topics on bodily communication, studied in all settings, and from all theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.

Important dates

  • Abstracts submission opens on 1 September 2017
  • Abstracts submission deadline is 14 December 2017
  • Abstracts final acceptance date is 29 January 2018
  • Final date for registration is 15 June 2018

Abstract submission

We invite abstracts (450 words maximum, excluding references) of unpublished work for individual papers, posters, and theme panels. You can upload your abstract but it must remain anonymous. Remove any reference to the author(s).


Abstracts should be in English.
Abstracts should be in Arial font, single line spacing.
Abstracts should not exceed 450 words.
Abstracts should be in editable Microsoft Word format.

Each author must submit his/her abstract in the abstract section. If you want to add references, tables, graphs, illustrations, you can ATTACH a word or pdf document at the end of the submission. We recommend you indicate that you have added a document and what it contains in the comments section of the submission interface.

Paper presentation slots will be 30 minutes, with 20 minutes for presentations, 5 minutes for discussion, 5 minutes to change rooms and presenters. The chair person will be in charge of making sure the timing is respected.

Panel proposal

Theme panels are welcome. They should focus on a well-defined research topic. Each panel will be allocated 2 hours, which should include opening and closing remarks, individual papers, discussants and general discussion. Panels should consist of four talks. If a theme panel is not accepted as a whole, individual submissions will be considered for standard paper presentations.


Panel proposal should not exceed 800 words.
Panel chair must submit full panel proposal and all abstracts.
There may be a maximum of 4 individual member abstracts, to be clearly marked as part of the panel.
Authors abstracts should not exceed 450 words.
Abstracts should be submitted by 14 December 2017.
Final confirmation of acceptance by 29th January 2018.

The panel chair must submit a general summary describing the panel and its research aims as well as the titles of all the presentations to be included and the name of the discussant (if there is one). The panel chair should submit the panel proposal and all the abstracts and details of authors under panel submissions. Panel chairs and participants will get notification of submission. Panel chairs and all participants will be individually notified of panel’s acceptance.

Posters are intended as a format for reports on work in progress, and are an opportunity for more extended interaction. Posters will be displayed during poster sessions, with ample opportunity for discussion.

Each author may submit no more than three abstracts and no more than two abstract as first author.