Call for Papers - Special Issue on Blackness and Disability

Theri Pickens's picture
Call for Papers
April 30, 2018 to August 31, 2018
Maine, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, African History / Studies, Race Studies, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Blackness and Disability: The Reprise
In summer 2017, African American Review published a special issue on Blackness and Disability. This issue was groundbreaking for a variety of reasons. So that it does not function as a scholarly version of a one-hit wonder, and since, without prodding, these conversations would get stagnated, we aim to create another space for scholars to have this conversation about Blackness and disability in CLAJ, entitled Blackness and Disability: The Reprise.
Blackness and Disability: The Reprise opens up several significant scholarly avenues. First, it offers continuity since the other special issue will not be the final word. Because the discussion of Blackness and disability is often thought of as limiting and limited, I find it imperative to put out a variety of high quality scholarship that demonstrates otherwise. Second, discussions about Blackness and disability require a refusal of easy narratives about intellectual lineage. To narrativize this field as though it begins or proceeds neatly from idea to idea to is to do a disservice to it. The truth is that the scholarship has had quite a few fits and starts, which means that there are a wide range of entry points. A reprisal allows us to explore these angles. Third, augmenting the body of scholarship in a different venue allows for greater dissemination of these ideas. Finally, as the music metaphor suggests, the reprise – along with the remix, and the re-up – suggest a replenishing, returning, and reinvention. The more we learn about Blackness and disability together, the more we understand that they are mercurial and complex. We need an opportunity for scholarship to self-consciously reinvest in the topics by intentionally returning to them.
We define disability as the existing social, legal, and cultural conditions that make the world un-navegable for people with impairments, drawing a distinction between material realities and the consequences of social (in)action. We recognize the historical relationship between racializing and disabling discourses as complex and dynamic. In this issue, we aim to challenge, expose, and analyze the way these discourses shape literary and cultural production. We welcome scholarship that explores the intersection of Blackness and disability across time, space, and cultures. This scholarship can provide new readings of familiar texts, where “text” is broadly defined and includes fictive and non-fiction work. Essays can also create new analytical praxis that draws from existing scholarship in the field. We are especially interested in scholarship that examines this intersection from the following perspectives:

Black Studies & embodiment
Film, and Television
Social Media
Blackness outside of the United States context
Black Queerness, Queer Disability
Blackness & STEM
Comparative Analyses between Blackness and other groups
Trans-Pacific, Trans-Indian Narratives
Medieval, Early Modern, Classical Instantiations of Blackness & Disability
Disability and Sports (ie Shaquem Griffin)

Abstracts of no more than 500 words and a brief CV should be sent to Theri' Pickens c/o Intellectual DOT Insurrection AT gmail DOT com by August 31, 2018 with the subject heading: Last Name – Abstract – CLAJ. Please also provide the names of a maximum of three reviewers and indicate whether you are willing to serve as a reviewer for others. Without the proper subject heading and information about reviewers and reviewing, your abstract may not be considered.
The invitation for full papers will be sent out on October 1, 2018 and completed essays will be expected by January 31, 2019. We expect a publication date of mid-2020.

Contact Info: 

Theri' Pickens

Associate Professor, English

Program in African American Studies, Chair

Bates College