The Afro-Americas [CFP]

Jennifer  Gomez Menjivar 's picture
Call for Publications
Minnesota, United States
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, Intellectual History, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies



The Afro-Americas



The United Nations declared 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent and designated 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent. Most recently, 2019 was named the Year of Indigenous Languages, drawing public and scholarly attention to the Creole and Afro-Indigenous languages spoken by many Afrodescendants across the Americas. In academic circles, there has been an “explosion of work on Afro-Latin America” in the last forty years, as indicated by Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews in Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Meanwhile, #blacklivesmatter used virtual and analog platforms as it developed from a Facebook post, to a hashtag, to a US-based activism, to a transnational call for attention to systemic violence inflicted on Black communities around the globe. This historical moment is allowing Black peoples and scholars of Afrodescendance to establish trans-American continuities, and produce timely discussions of narratives about blackness, languages, and ideas across cybernetic and national spaces.


Networks, both virtual and analog, have been fundamental in bringing political, cultural, and scholarly agendas to fruition. The Afro-Americas is the product of the growing attention to Black social and political movements across the Americas, as examined in texts such as Black Social Movements in Latin America: From Monocultural Mestizaje to Multiculturalism (Palgrave, 2012), Afro-Latin@s in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americias (Palgrave, 2016), Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil (Princeton UP, 2016), and Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (Routledge, 2018), and Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería and Vodou (Duke UP, 2019). Twenty-first century scholarship on blackness has found traction in a manner unseen since the US Civil Rights Movement first propelled it in the 1960s and 1970s. In the cultural sphere, Black intellectuals have given rise to a scholarly and literary movement that took Black writing in Latin America out of the annals of marginalized history and into national landscapes.


Recent studies, such as African Slavery in Latin America (Oxford UP 2007), The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, Black in Latin America (New York UP, 2012), Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600-2000 (Harvard UP, 2016), Mujeres Africanas y Afrodescendientes: Experiencias de Esclavitud y Libertad en América Latina y África, Siglos XVI al XIX (INAEH, 2018), The Politics of Blackness: Racial Identity and Political Behavior in Contemporary Brazil (Cambridge UP, 2018), and The Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2018), among many others, have examined the historical exclusion of Black peoples and the contemporary forces that have led to greater visibility of Black peoples in the Americas. This volume, seeks to move beyond the focus on inclusion/exclusion to examine, instead, autonomy within Black communities in Latin America since 1959. We aim to underscore the dynamic reality of multilingual Afro-descendants in the Americas with varying degrees of association to the Hispanic and Lusophone domain, thereby disassembling one-dimensional linguistic understandings of Black communities in the region.  We envision this as a necessarily interdisciplinary inquiry, and thus invite contributions that navigate literary, cultural, political, economic, and theoretical spheres. We welcome contributions that examine transnational and transhistorical Black experiences, and we especially seek work with a South-to-North approach.


Possible topics, all invited to be interpreted through an intersectional lens, might include:


- Hair and gender

- Music and sound

- Black queer theory

- Blackness and Indigeneity

- Black media/communications theory

- Grassroots movements

- Cultural sustainability

- Cultural tourism/eco-tourism

- Youth cultures

- Blackness and the body

- Oral histories and literary traditions

- Experimental film/blockbuster film

- Fiber arts and visual arts

- Languages in contact and language shift

- Black entrepreneurship and/or late capitalism

- Black performance on virtual and/or analog platforms

- Leisure and social class

- Black homelands

- Circuits of intellectual production and distribution

- Blackness in Francophone, Anglophone and/or Dutch Caribbean contexts

- Blackness across national contexts in the Americas


SUBMISSIONS: Please email your proposal (Title, 200-300-word abstract in English), and author's CV as electronic attachment to both and by June 1, 2019. You will receive a confirmation of receipt within one week of submission. If accepted, your first draft (5000 to 6000 words, including footnotes and bibliographical references) will be due on November 1, 2019 and will then undergo peer review. The final version of your chapter will be due on April 1, 2019.



Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar,

Héctor Nicolás Ramos Flores,