Call for Chapters: Reimagining the Arts for Black, Indigenous & Racialized Children & Youth

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Call for Papers
April 30, 2022 to June 6, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Black History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Childhood and Education

We are seeking submissions for an edited collection tentatively entitled:

Memory, Struggle, Joy: Reimagining the Arts for Black, Indigenous & Racialized Children & Youth
Co-Editors: Dr. Stephanie Fearon (Toronto District School Board) & Jennifer Matsalla (Toronto District School Board)

Deadline for Abstracts (300 words) + Bio (75 words): June 6, 2022

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There exists a burgeoning body of research dedicated to the schooling and educational experiences of Black, Indigenous, and racialized children and youth. Such literature elucidates pedagogical processes that place relationships and connections with students at the core of teaching and learning (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Love, 2019; Cote-Meek & Moeke-Pickering, 2020). Yet, the explicit reimagining and rewriting of arts curricula for Black, Indigenous, and racialized students have received less attention within the field of education. We draw from celebrated thinkers like Archibald (2008), Gloria Ladson-Billings (2014), and Bettina L. Love (2019) to illuminate the possibilities of a renewed arts curriculum grounded in liberatory and Indigenized educational praxis. For children and youth on the margins, as Love (2019) explains, “art is where they find a voice that feels authentic” (p. 111).

The aim of this edited collection of pedagogical narratives is to center the stories of Black, Indigenous, and racialized children and youth (kindergarten to grade 12) and their communities in arts education. Guided by Indigenous and Black storywork structures, this text presupposes
stories and storytelling as conduits for healing, affirmation, truth-telling, and future-dreaming (Archibald, 2008; Toliver, 2021). Each chapter will reveal the processes, both pedagogical and personal, undertaken by contributors to establish art as a homeplace for children and youth. The proposed text, accordingly, honors art as a space of possibilities where Black, Indigenous, and racialized children and youth use dance, drama, music and visual arts to “make sense of this unjust world and a way to sustain who they are, as they recall and (re)member in the midst of
chaos what it means to thrive” (Love, 2019, p. 111).

Suggested Inquiries
We invite contributors to consider questions and sub-themes such as:

Critical Transformation in Classroom Climate and Instruction

  • How is liberatory and Indigenized educational praxis defined and realized in arts learning spaces? 
  • What role does storywork play in the reimagining of classroom climate and arts instruction for Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized children and youth?
  • What are the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized students in these renewed arts sites?

Relationships with Children/Youth, Families, and Communities

  • How do arts educators form authentic relationships with Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized young people, families, artists, and communities?
  • How do Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized children and youth participate in the pedagogical decision-making process?
  • What roles do Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized families and communities play in arts learning spaces?

Culture of Professional Learning

  • How is professional learning redefined to facilitate the reimagining of arts curricula for Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized children and youth?
  • What policies are needed to sustain the redefining of professional learning for arts educators? 
  • How does storywork help educators develop the skills and competencies needed to establish liberatory and Indigenized arts spaces?
  • What possibilities do the arts offer for research into the teaching and learning experiences of Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized children and youth?


Submission Guidelines
We welcome submissions from arts educators, arts leaders, and arts scholars who work in classrooms, cultural institutions, community arts spaces and beyond. Submissions might include: personal essay/reflection, academic essay, memoir, creative non-fiction, diary style, poetry, visual arts, interview, and hybrid genres. Contributors are encouraged to include visuals (e.g., samples of student work) in their final manuscripts.

Abstracts (300 words) and bio (75 words) should be formatted in APA 7 style. Confirmed contributors will be invited to submit full manuscripts at the following lengths:

  • Personal essay (1000-2500 words) 
  • Arts activity with accompanying reflection (1500-3500 words)
  • Interview (1500-3500 words) 
  • Scholarly essay (2000-4000 words)


We are in discussions with a prominent North American publisher of educational material for teachers, parents, and school leaders.


June 6, 2022: Deadline to submit abstracts;
July 15, 2022: The editorial team notifies potential contributors of their accepted abstracts;
July 23, 2022: The editorial team provides resources/guidelines for writing their chapters;
September 30, 2022: Deadline to submit draft one of full manuscript;
November 30, 2022: Submission of draft two; and
December 30, 2022: Submission of final draft.
** The editorial team provides feedback to authors following each submission.

Contact Info: 

For initial queries and questions contact Dr. Stephanie Fearon and Jennifer Matsalla (