[URBANTH-L]Call for Papers--Special Issue of African and Black Diaspora

Robert Adams radams9 at depaul.edu
Wed Feb 27 11:25:33 EST 2008

Call for Papers
Reframing the African Diaspora
in the Americas 
The Editors of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal announce
a Call for Papers for a special issue on Reframing the African Diaspora in
the Americas.
Over a half century after Melville Herskovits published his Myth of the
Negro Past (1941), James Clifford in his 1994 article ³Diasporas² posed the
probing question, ³What is at stake, politically and intellectually, in
contemporary invocations of diaspora?² It is a pivotal question today as
scholars explore the link among and between African transnational
The concept of diaspora has been associated with historical events of forced
migration or dispersal whose profound effects have become to be inscribed in
narratives of dislocation.  As a specific historical and contested process
embedded in a set of cultural and social relations  across time and space,
the concept of diaspora as James Clifford (1994) and sociologist Avtar Brah
(1996) remind us, is not limited to a historical experience.  Rather, it
functions both as a theoretical concept and a complex analytic discourse
that ³invites a kind of theorizing that is always embedded in particular
maps and histories.²  Indeed, Brah contends that we conceive of diasporas as
³an ensemble of investigative technologies that historicise trajectories of
different diasporas, and analyse  their relationality across fields of
social relations, subjectivity and identity.²
The study of the African diaspora in the Americas has been reinvigorated in
recent decades by a robust debate as scholars shift their inquiry from the
explicit study of cultural ³survival² or ³creolization², towards an emphasis
on placing Africans and their descendants at the center of their own
histories.  Going beyond the notion of cultural ³survival² or
³creolization², scholars now explore different sites of power, resistance
and the various social and cultural networks and institutions that Africans
and their descendants have created and developed in an array of cultural
richness and diversity.
The African diaspora in the Americas first took root in the hemisphere¹s
Portuguese and Spanish colonies. The Iberian colonial regimes¹ extensive
dependency on African labor created numerous Afro-Latin American communities
across the Americas. Afro-Latin Americans played crucial roles in building
their respective nation-states, while being denied full equal rights.
Afro-Latin Americans actively used diaspora as an important historical
reference as well as a tool for political mobilization.
The special issue is seeking contributions that demonstrate how the renewed
debates are reshaping the theorization and investigation of Afro-Latin
communities and cultures in the Americas. Using diaspora as an organizing
framework, we invite contributions to illuminate the linkages, networks,
disjunctions, sense of collective consciousness, memory and cultural
imagination among the peoples of African descent in the Spanish and
Portuguese speaking communities of the Americas.
Prospective contributors are invited to send proposals for articles in the
form of a 200-word abstract by June 30, 2008. Authors of accepted proposals
will be asked to submit articles in final form (in English) by December 30,
All communications regarding the special edition should be directed to the
Guest Editor, Professor Robert Adams (International Studies, DePaul
University), by e-mail: radams at depaul.edu.  Informal enquiries are most
welcome, and the Guest Editor will be happy to discuss individual questions.
African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal is devoted to a
critical interrogation of the trans/national movements, locations and
intersections of subjectivity within the African diaspora in the context of
globalization as well as in different discourses, practices and political
contexts. The journal maps and navigates the theoretical and political
shifts imposed by the nation-state to provide a counter-narrative of subject
positions of people of the African diaspora, grounded in cultural and
political responses.
General Question about the journal should be directed to:
Fassil Demissie 
Public Policy Studies
DePaul University 
2352 N. Clifton Ave Chicago, IL 60614
fdemissi at depaul.edu

Sandra Jackson Center for Black Diaspora
DePaul University 
2320 N. Kenmore Ave Chicago, IL 60614
sjackson at depaul.edu

Abebe  Zegeye, 
The School for Graduate Studies,
University of South Africa
PO Box 392, Pretoria 0003
South Africa 
zegeya at unisa.ac.za 

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