Verge Issue 10.1 CfP

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Verge: Studies in Global Asias Issue 10.1

Special Issue: brown/ness(es)

Edited by Neelofer Qadir (University of North Carolina Greensboro), Naveen Minai (University of Toronto), and Tina Chen (Penn State)

Deadline: August 15, 2022

Feeling brown, feeling down. Feeling down, being brown. A name for law, a name for affect, a name for ontology, a name for relation, a name for not relation, a name for antagonism, a name for empire(s), a name for capital, a name for an accusation, a name that can be convenient, a name that does not work, a name that can stop working, a name for shades, a name for fantasy.

This proposed special issue considers both when brown might be useful and may be used to do the work of relation, inquiry, theory—and when brown does not work (Macharia 2013, 2016, 2019). Crucially, we reorient questions about brown and brownness away from frames centered in the continental northern Americas (Prashad 2000, Bald 2013) — and the American academy, and borders thereof in particular. We turn towards sites, relations, and geohistories imagined through terms such as (but not limited to) Indigenous, Afro-Asia, Asian- and/or African Latin America (Kim 2017, Kantor 2018), Indian Ocean, Global Asias, Inter-Asia, and more (Chen 2010). We think through how brown is shaped and weighted by different cartographic modes, for example, the Levant, Latin America, Africa, and archipelagos across Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. 

We consider race and ethnicity as co-constitutive logics and forms of difference across different geohistories, including the ways in which these logics form, transform, transfer, congeal -- or not. We ask after brownblackyellowred, and white (and bright) as codes for difference, as metaphors of color made to matter through the matter of different bodies. We prompt reflection on how race, religion, ethnicity, and caste overlap and congeal into one another, troubling normative vocabularies of difference and relation.

We invite critical perspectives from scholars working in and across multiple languages, and provocations of brown as rubric, methodology, disorientation device (Ahmed 2006). Submissions might explore the politics that brown/ness(es) are heavy with, and their attendant contradictions, confusions, and frictions, including those between. Writers may think through these terms as names for cartographies of intimacy, violence, capital, memory, labor, culture are shaped by multiple empires — Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Dutch, American, Russian, Safavid, Mughal, Ottoman, Qing, Byzantine.

Essays (between 6,000-10,000 words) and abstracts (125 words) should be submitted electronically to and prepared according to the author-date + bibliography format of the Chicago Manual of Style. See section 2.38 of the University of Minnesota Press style guide or chapter 15 of the Chicago Manual of Style Online for additional formatting information.

Authors' names should not appear on manuscripts; instead, please include a separate document with the author's name, address, institutional affiliations, and the title of the article with your electronic submission. Authors should not refer to themselves in the first person in the submitted text or notes if such references would identify them; any necessary references to the author's previous work, for example, should be in the third person.