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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Arts and Humanities II - Department of English and American Studies

Race, Power and Privilege in Academia

Call for Papers: Race, Power, and Privilege in Academia

 

[July 27-28, 2017, American Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin]

 

With the rise of right-wing populism in the USA and Europe and the increased attention to the vulnerability of racialized populations (in part by the activist efforts of such groups as Black Lives Matter and indigenous activism around the Dakota Access Pipeline), it is necessary to engage with questions of race and racism in our respective fields. In doing so, it is imperative that we reassess the basic epistemological categories we work with as well as our own positionality in dealing with those categories. As such, it is important that we not only direct our critical attention to the problematics of race in the USA, which very often serves as a frame of reference when talking about race, but also look at our own cultural context since German academia is part of German society.

This conference provides a platform for scholars concerned with the processes and the politics of race and racialization as they are understood in the current German research landscape. Basic questions need to be revisited and honestly assessed during the planned 2-day gathering. Among them the following will be of import: What is race as we understand it today? What are race, racism and racialization? What is power? How do we understand privilege? What is Critical Race Theory and what is Critical Whiteness Studies? What are some of the other disciplinary areas (e.g. Critical University Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies) that are connected with the theories and critical scholarship around that elusive, and yet very real, phenomenon known as race?

Five proposed panels will form the substance of the conference. In order to facilitate the conversation that we hope to initiate, we encourage you to respond to one of the questions listed in the panel suggestions below and to incorporate one of the two quotes provided for each panel heading as a leitmotif in your contribution.

Panel 1:   Articulating Race: Racialized Subjects Making Sense of German Society

Panel 2:   Germanness and Citizenship

Panel 3:   The Objectivity Myth in Academic Practice

Panel 4:   Bloodlines and the Racialization of the ‘Human’

Panel 5:   Queering the Racialization of Citizenship

 

  • For further information on the panels please click here.

 

In addition to the regular panels, the conference will include two workshops, namely a PoC-only empowerment workshop and a Critical Whiteness workshop that will run parallel to each other. The workshops are open to everyone. If you wish to join a workshop without participating in the conference, however, we encourage you to sign up via email (see address below).

 

We welcome papers with a balanced mix of experiential (anecdotal narratives) and theoretical reflections, dealing in literary and cultural productions, sociological, philosophical, political, psychological and legal subject matter, activist and academic perspectives, where Critical Race, Critical Whiteness and intersectional approaches are foregrounded.

 

Please submit your abstracts (300 words max.) and a short bio by March 31, 2017 via racepowerandprivilege@googlemail.com.