Digital Blackness Conference - Rutgers University - April 2016

Marshanda Smith's picture
Call for Papers
November 15, 2015
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Digital Humanities


New Brunswick, New Jersey
Friday & Saturday:  APRIL 22 – 23, 2016


The 21st century has been marked by the proliferation of access to digital platforms and social media sites that have completely refigured the terms and terrain of racial representation, politics, cultural expression and scholarly research.

Whether we are speaking of the explosion of web-based series that are distributed through YouTube, the formation of a the broad social media community known as Black Twitter, the #BlackLivesMatter movement,  or the on-line Queering Slavery Working Group, profoundly new questions have emerged concerning how the digital has reshaped the meaning, understanding, performance, representation, and reception of Blackness.

What we might call the digital turn also has significant implications for how we study Blackness within and across fields and disciplines. What does Digital Black Studies mean? What are its methodological proclivities and its analytic investments? What are the possibilities of Digital Blackness? What are its limits? This two-day conference Digital Blackness will bring together scholars, students, activists, and artists from a range of fields and disciplines to interrogate the many new modes, customs, and arrangements of racial identity as they are mediated through digital technologies.

We invite proposals for individual papers, and complete panel proposals that addresses a broad range of areas. Suggestions include but are not limited to:

1.    Digital Blackness and Social Media

2.    Digital Blackness on Film

3.    Black Television in the Digital Age

4.    Digital Black Histories

5.    Digital Archives

6.    Digital Black Studies

7.    Digital Black Feminisms

8.    Digital Diasporas

9.    Digital Black Politics and Social Movements

10.  Digital Blackness and Musical Cultures

11.  Digital Blackness and Visual Culture

12.  Blackness in the Digital Humanities

13.  Black Code Studies



Proposals can take one of two forms: (A) an individual or (B) a complete panel.

A proposal for an individual paper should consist of a title and summary of the topic; if accepted, this paper and others related to it will be combined into a complete session. An individual-paper proposal should be single-spaced and no more than two pages long. Please include institutional affiliation and email address for an individual paper.

A proposal for a complete panel provides a prospectus for a coherent collection of 3-4 papers, including a title for the session, a title and summary of each paper, and a chair, if possible. A complete panel proposal should be single-spaced and no more than three pages long. Please include institutional affiliations and email addresses for all participants.


Please submit proposals to:   
Proposals are due by Sunday, November 15, 2015.


Have questions??? Or need information, please email us at

Contact Info: 

Digital Blackness Conference Coordinator
Rutgers University 
Department of History
111 Van Dyck Hall
16 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901