Emily Rutter's picture
January 31, 2021
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Teaching and Learning, Race Studies


Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference

Call for Papers

Antiracism: Centering the Voices of Black Women


The Ball State African American Studies program, Teachers College, and the Office of Inclusive Excellence are pleased to announce the 1st Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference taking place virtually March 12-13, 2021. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Irma McClaurin, founder of the Black Feminist Archive.


The program committee is accepting abstracts for individual paper presentations and panel sessions that center Black women in antiracism theory and practice, as well as within the fields and functions of Africana Studies and its continuous development and advancement. Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist has garnered much attention as the “go to” text on understanding antiracism as both an individual practice and a public policy pursuit. At the same time, White women scholars such as Robin DiAngelo have been receiving accolades for their antiracism work with less acknowledgement of the work of Black women, even as Brittney Cooper, Layla Saad, Mikki Kendall, among others have published groundbreaking antiracism texts. We pose the question: How do we center Black women within antiracism discourse?

We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels that focus on Black women in antiracism theory and practice, creative writing, and pedagogy. We also welcome papers and panels on topics within the overarching frameworks of Black life. Possible paper topics might include but are not limited to:           

Activism – old and new

Africana/Black Studies

Afrocentricity – theory and practice


Afro pessimism

Black Feminism/Womanism

Diaspora Studies

Environmental Studies

Ethical thought – ancient and modern

Gender & Sexuality

Histories of Theories of Identify and Difference

Intersectionality Studies

Literary Studies

Memory and Memorization

Pedagogical Practice

Pan-African Studies

Police Violence and Resistance


Racial Capitalism

Race, Class, and Gender

Reparations and Reparations Theory

Service Learning and Social Activism

Social Justice

White Supremacy and Empire


All abstracts must be emailed to bsuafricanamericanstudies@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021. Please submit the information below in a Word document.

Individual Paper Abstracts:
An individual paper submission is a single-present format reserved for scholars, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and non-academic professionals. Please include the following information to complete your submission:

  • Paper abstract (no more than 250 words);
  • Paper title;
  • Name and email;
  • Institution/Affiliation and designation (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, director, chair, professor, organizational role, etc.).

Panel Sessions:
A full panel submission is a multiple-presenter format that consists of a session chair and 3-4 individually titled papers that are thematically connected. A full panel of 3 individual papers can include a discussant.  Discussant comments should be limited to 10 minutes. Three paper panels should afford 20 minutes per presenter; 4 paper panels should afford 15 minutes per presenter. Please include the following information to complete your submission:

  • Panel abstract (no more than 750 words);
  • Panel title;
  • Name, affiliation, and email for session chair;
  • Name, affiliation, email, and paper title for each presenter;
  • Name, affiliation, and email for each discussant;
  • Name, affiliation, and email of primary contact.


Contact Info: 

Dr. Kiesha Warren-Gordon, Ball State University

Dr. Emily Ruth Rutter, Ball State University