CFP: Chapters Solicited for Activism in the Name of God: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.

Jami Carlacio's picture
Call for Papers
May 21, 2019
United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Intellectual History, Religious Studies and Theology, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Chapters are solicited for inclusion in an edited volume titled Activism in the Name of God: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.

Please send inquiries to to pitch your idea.

The volume’s goal is to present an historical and rhetorical trajectory of black female religious public intellectuals from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century and thus seeks papers that will demonstrate these women’s efficacy in calling for and effecting social change. The editor welcomes proposals from scholars in various fields whose interests are aligned with the issues outlined above. These primarily include African American Studies (and history),  religious studies; and disicplinary fields such as feminist, gender, and sexuality studies and rhetorical history


Read on.


Since the nineteenth century, religious or spiritual black female public intellectuals have called attention to and protested against the discrimination of African American women and men on the basis of their race, class, and gender, and particularly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, their sexual orientation. Drawing on their spiritual authority, many of these proto-black feminists--including Jarena Lee, Nancy Prince, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Madame Azalia Hackley, bell hooks, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Michelle Alexander, and more--have attempted to dislodge the normative thinking that has occluded the presence of these injustices. Whether marching, writing, preaching, singing, or speaking, their goal has been to challenge and undermine discriminatory practices in all areas of social and political life and spur the public into into action.


Specifically, these activists  have relied on either/both their scriptural knowledge and spiritual strength to build alliances and forge partnerships with others dedicated to social justice in the public sphere. Not simply confined to the academy, these religious (or spiritualist) feminist activists have made a space for themselves in the public eye to reach multiple audiences, not only those who have perpetuated or are complicit in this system but also those who have been subjected to discrimination and abuse in a system designed to maintain their oppressed status.


Successful proposed chapters will do the following:

  • Approach the subject from a black feminist and/or womanist critical framework

  • Focus the discussion on the intersection of their activism, their religious identity, and their role as public intellectuals

  • Analyze their oral and/or written work (sermons, speeches, songs, essays, blogs [no analyses of fictional characters or personae]

  • Explain how your proposed chapter intervenes in or adds to existing scholarship on the subject, or makes inroads on a subject not fully articulated (yet).

  • If your proposed subject has attracted significant scholarly interest already, especially take care to explain how your approach is different/new


Edited chapters should be a minimum of 20 pages in length (5,000 words), though chapters may be longer than this. Submit typed, double-spaced papers using 12-point Times New Roman font, using CMS endnotes and bibliography style.


Interested authors should submit to the following for consideration, by May 20, 2019

·    A 250- to 300-word abstract with working title

·    A 100-word biography

·    A two-page version of their CV (graduate program, employment, relevant recent

·    A sample of no more than five pages of a published book chapter or


Proposers will be notified about whether their submissions are accepted for the book on or before May 31st, 2019. For accepted proposals, full chapters are due by July 31,  2019, and final edited versions are due one month after edited chapters are returned to you. (If the deadlines change, all contributors will be notified immediately.)

The book will be divided into three major sections, organized chronologically by century: 19th, 20th, and 21st.



  • Nancy Gardner Prince

  • Jarena Lee

  • SEEKING ONE MORE. Possibilities include but are not limited to

    • Frances Harper

    • Hallie Quinn Brown

    • Fannie Barrier Williams



  • Nannie Helen Burroughs

  • Anna Arnold Hedgeman

  • Madame E. Azalia Hackley

  • Betty Jean Thompson

  • Coretta Scott King

  • Theressa Hoover


  • SEEKING ONE MORE, later 20th century. Possibilities include but are not limited to

    • Alice Walker



  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors


I am particularly interested in a chapter on one of the following:

    • An ecowomanist (or ecofeminist) activist and public intellectual such as Melanie Harris

    • bell hooks

    • Michelle Alexander

Contact Info: 

Jami Carlacio, PhD

Yale Divinity School
New Haven, CT


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