[URBANTH-L] CFP (AAA Panel): Sighting Memory/Performing History: Historicity and Belonging in the Black Atlantic

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Fri Mar 18 10:34:07 EST 2005

Proposed Panel for 2005 American Anthropological 
Association (please forward).

CFP: Sighting Memory/Performing History: Historicity and 
Belonging in the Black Atlantic

Just outside the boundaries of formal historical 
narratives, people produce and perform meanings of the 
past in their everyday lives. Some think and talk about 
the past in hushed voices beyond the earshot of government 
officials. Some articulate them as dynamic and unfolding 
keys for understanding the present. Some enact them in 
hymns that bespeak "the wisdom of our fathers." These 
histories do not look like (nor are they intended to be) 
'histories' in the conventional sense of the term, but 
they speak of the complex relationship people have with 
the past, and the profound ways this relationship informs 
and is informed by their sense of identity.

We seek papers that take examples from across the Black 
Atlantic (broadly conceived) to examine the kinds of 
relationships to the past--and the kinds of identity 
formation--people produce in their historical narratives. 
Drawing on ethnographic research, the panel will explore 
not a single 'Black-Atlantic historicity,' but, on the 
contrary, the vast diversity by which people come to think 
about and perform history and the past in the present: 
different versions of "that which is said to have 
happened" (Trouillot 1997), different meanings given to 
single events--and subsequently different forms of 
belonging that emerge from these histories. We are looking 
for papers that explore not only how histories figures 
into people's lives, but the extent to which such 
histories are a product of ongoing unfolding identities in 
the present.

Interested panelists should email abstracts (maximum 250 
words) no later than March 25, 2005 to session organizers 
Mieka Brand (University of Virginia) or Vicki Brennan 
(University of Chicago). Be sure to include in your email 
your name, affiliation and the title of your paper.

Mieka Brand: mb3wx at virginia.edu
Vicki Brennan: vlb8n at virginia.edu

Mieka Brand
University of Virginia
Department of Anthropology, 
Carter Woodson Institute for
   African American & African Studies
mb3wx at virginia.edu

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