Reflecting Black Symposium Call for Papers Reminder

Jonathan Chism's picture
October 24, 2019
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Humanities, Literature


Reflecting Black: 400 Hundred Years of African American Life and History


Thursday, October 24, 2019


The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of History, Humanities, and Languages, and Center for Critical Race Studies is hosting a Symposium commemorating 400 Years of African American Life and History. This year, 2019, marks the four hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first documented Africans to the North American continent. Undoubtedly, the past four centuries of African American life have been replete with trauma, struggle, and resiliency. The Symposium will examine the centrality of race and racism throughout United States history and ongoing efforts to dismantle structural systems of oppression. We will also highlight the myriad achievements and contributions African Americans have made to various sectors in the United States.


The Symposium aims to promote cutting-edge research in Africana studies produced by scholars and emerging scholars. During the symposium, we will also discuss effective transdisciplinary pedagogical strategies and creative methods that faculty might employ to enrich the educational experiences of students of color, especially transfer and first-generation college students.


2019 Call for Papers

The Symposium Committee welcomes paper proposals and abstracts on any of the following topics:


Slavery and Resistance                                        

Citizenship and Armed Forces

Race and Racial Formation/Identity                   

African American Literature and Creativity        

Black Language/Dialect                                       

African and African American Art

Entertainment (Music, Film, Dance)                  

Civil Rights Movement

Black and Brown Coalitions                                            




The African Diaspora                                          

Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities



Black Masculinity                                                

Black Feminism                                     

Queer Black Studies                                            

Race and Politics

Black Religion                                                     

Race and Sports

Black Lives Matter                                             


Including Other Related Topics



Call for Papers Timetable:

Timely submission of papers is critical to the success of the Symposium. The procedures and timetable enumerated below will apply.


Deadline for Proposals and Abstract
By September 6, 2019, authors should submit a one to two-page proposal for their papers including: 1) the title of the paper; 2) a 500-word abstract. The abstract should provide a brief summary of the paper and include the paper’s purpose, methodology and design, major interpretations, and conclusions. Proposals, along with authors’ contact information, should be submitted via the Symposium Website.


Notification of Acceptance of Proposal
The Committee will contact authors regarding their proposals and presenting their papers at the Symposium on a rolling basis, starting August 1. By September 19, 2019, the Committee will make a decision on all proposals


Symposium Registration

Registration is free, and all presenters will receive complimentary meals during the symposium. Due to budget limitations, we are not able to cover the travel and lodging expenses of presenters. 

Scholars whose proposals have been accepted should register to attend and present their papers at the Symposium by emailing the following information to Dr. Jonathan Chism ( by September 23, 2019.

  • Your Name
  • Paper Title
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Short Biography
  • I am interested in having my paper considered for publication in an edited volume. ___Yes ___No (Please check)


Publication Opportunity

The Committee will invite selected participants to include their papers in a proposal for an edited book manuscript.


Best Paper Competition

All student papers accepted for the Symposium that meet the standards established by the Committee will be included in the Reflecting Black Competition. Students with the best papers will receive the following prizes:


$1,000 Best Graduate Student Paper


$500 Best Undergraduate Student Paper


The criteria for evaluation will be based on the following: 1) Critical Engagement, Interpretation, and Analysis of Academic Sources; 2) Originality of ideas; 3) Clarity of presentation; and 4) Creativity.


Please address questions to Dr. Jonathan Chism via e-mail at

Contact Info: 

Dr. Jonathan Chism

University of Houston Downtown

One Main St.

Houston, TX 77002


Contact Email: