The Space Between Society 2019 Conference: Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945

Carmenita Higginbotham's picture
Call for Papers
December 1, 2019
Virginia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Race Studies, American History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Literature, Modern European History / Studies


Proposals requested for the 22ndAnnual Conference of

The Space Between Society: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

June 4-6, 2020



Join the Space Between Societyin Charlottesville, June 4-6, 2020, for our 22ndannual conference, Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945. Our conference this year focuses especially on questions and problems related to race and racial formation in the years between 1914-1945. Please send abstracts (300 words) along with a short biographical statement (100 words) to conference organizer Carmenita Higginbotham at by December 1, 2019.


In the Space Between Society, scholars who study literature, history, media, art, society, and culture between 1914 and 1945, or between and during the two world wars of the twentieth-century, exchange ideas about their approaches and their objects of study. This year’s conference addresses the key roles that race—including racial formation, racial ideologies and racialist practicesplayed in creative, intellectual, ideological, and political conversations from 1914-1945. Self-consciously or not, interwar and wartime authors, artists, political figures, public intellectuals, and public officials around the world invested in the concept of race. For some, race was a means to assert social identity (white, black, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander). For others, race informed concepts of modernity and/or modernism. For still others, race shaped views of time and place, structuring how interwar and wartime cultures were interpreted, received, deployed, and exchanged. 


We invite conference participants to consider: 

- What different cultural and scientific assumptions about race shape various sites during this period and our knowledge about it?

- What methods can we utilize in our particular fields to analyze race as a component of cultural production?

- What are the challenges of thinking about race and bringing such work into conversation with scholars in the wide range of fields represented in the Space Between Society? 


We welcome paper and session proposals that engage with multiple forms, definitions, and investments in race in the space between and during the two world wars, across all disciplines and media, on research and/or pedagogy. 


Possible presentations or panel topics include


Race, place, and regionalism  

Race and memory (monuments, storytelling, recollections)

Race and art, media, sound

Racial performance, racial spectacle

Race and science (Eugenics, technology, innovation)

Racial self-fashioning (passing)

Racism and racial hierarchies 

Racial invisibility and absence 

Language (slang, racialized vernacular)

Segregation, isolation, and confinement

Intersectionality (e.g. race and gender)

International and comparative contexts of race and movement (migration, immigration, relocation)

Interracialism and cross-racial cultural production

Race and the metropolis 

International and comparative contexts of race and politics/political systems

Economies of race (labor, consumption, commercialism)

Race, violence, war, and social movements

The Holocaust


Racial genocide


Marginality and the “other”


We welcome longtime Space Between Society participants and invite new members to join us in Charlottesville in 2020. Our conference will be supplemented with tours, museum visits, performances, and walks in the greater Charlottesville area (with proposed visits including Monticello, the Fralin Museum of Art, the Jefferson African American Cultural Center, and sites at the University of Virginia). The 2020 conference seeks to offer mentoring workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions for its participants. Some travel grant funding will be available for graduate students and international and independent scholars; please indicate your interest in your cover letter. 


Contact Info: 

Carmenita Higginbotham, Associate Professor, Unversity of Virginia

Contact Email: