Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora

Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora
The African-American Studies Collective
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
February 8-9, 2013

CFP Deadline for abstracts: October 7, 2012

From CFP:

Was it why I sometimes felt as weary of America as if I too had landed in what was now South Carolina in 1526 or in Jamestown in 1619? Was it the tug of all the lost mothers and orphaned children? Or was it that each generation felt anew the yoke of a damaged life and the distress of being a native stranger, an eternal alien?
–Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother

We are not the same. I am an alien.
–Lil’ Wayne, “Phone Home”

Born out of a desire to articulate the position of Black bodies in the Americas as well as the African Diaspora writ large, “Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora” continues conversations initiated among members of the African American Studies Collective at Emory University.  Of particular concern are the ways in which the African Diaspora–as climactic environments, biological/zoological/botanical/geographical subjectivities, or colonized economies–has been made alien from within as well as without, and the ways that the major discursive trajectories of race, space, and sex have contributed to this mapping.  The conference explores such questions as: how do we begin to understand the ways in which race, space, and sex configure “the alien” within spaces allegedly “beyond” markers of difference? What are some ways in which the “alien from within as well as without” can be overcome, and how do we make them sustainable? In doing so, this conference also seeks to provide a forum for discussion on what Afro-Diaspora Studies as a field and as a network of analytical approaches can further contribute to the examination of the positions of Blacks around the world.

The AASC is accepting proposals for individual papers, posters, panels, sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops, and visual and artistic representations that explore the Black experience locally, nationally, and/or globally across interdisciplinary boundaries. We are especially interested in work that broadens and reimagines current configurations of African-American Studies.  We welcome participation from senior and junior faculty, graduate students, and voices outside the academy such as activists, DJs, artists, and independent scholars.

Possible topics/areas of inquiry may consist of but are not limited to:

  • Film, Photography, and Visual Culture
  • Music, Soundscapes and Social noise
  • Incarceration, Law, and Governmentality
  • Performance and Performativity
  • Geography and Space
  • Environmental Justice
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Class
  • Disability Justice
  • Ethnicity and National Identity
  • Digital Humanities and New Media
  • Afrofuturism
  • Black Nihilism
  • Queer Theory
  • Film, Photography, and Visual Culture
  • Speculative Fiction

Please send 250-300 word abstracts to by October 7, 2012. Send a 150-400 word abstract for a panel (one for the panel subject and one for each panelist), and/or individual paper and poster presentations. For roundtable discussions, submit a 500 word abstract that explores the discussion topic.

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