Racial Violence: the American (hi)story

Despina Batziou Announcement
Subject Fields
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Human Rights, Humanities, Race / Ethnic Studies

Racial Violence: the American (hi)story

International Conference
24-25 July 2021
(Live sessions:2 days/Virtual platform:5 days)

Thematic Approach

GIRES, the Global Institute for Research Education & Scholarship and the Greenwood African American Studies Center (GAASC) explore the highly complex issue of racial violence in the United States.  

Commemorating the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma Race Massacre (May 31) we wish to re-examine the role of racially motivated violence in the shaping of American society and identity. A century after the destruction, we wish to explore the reasons that the story of Greenwood, the African American part of Tulsa, also known as the Black Wall Street (among many other similar cases) was lost in oblivion. How and why one of the most powerful and independent African American communities in history was devastated and how the city, state and federal authorities facilitated such an action? What happened in similar cases?

Revisiting the 1910s and 1920s, we wish to understand the roots of the infamous Red Summer, along with riots and unrests of the era. Reaching the 1960s and 1970s we hope we discuss about the roots, rise and fall of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and connect them with the 2010s and 2020s Black Lives Matter movement. We wish to analyze the contemporary cases of racially motivated civil unrests through the comparison of similar cases of the past in order to highlight similarities and differences. We hope to examine the role of city, state and federal authorities-including police, national guard and judicial system- in the social polarization, the formation of political and social movements and the shaping of collective memory and identity. 

We hope to answer a spectrum of questions through the exploration of their multiple aspects. What are the semantics and limitations in characterizing or labeling such cases (riots, massacres. Unrest etc)? What lessons can we learn from the past? What are the shared roots, causes and prospects? How modern American citizenship is shaped? Are equality and freedom in the 21st century only a faded dream?

GIRES, dedicated to interdisciplinarity, invites scholars from diverse fields including but not limited to philosophy, religion, theology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, art, economics, geography, cultural and political studies along with representatives from think-tanks and organizations to contribute to the discussion and to debate these issues.

Proposed Topics 

-Cases (e.g.Tulsa, Chicago,  St. Louis, 19th-21st centuries)
-Key figures (e.g. M.L. King, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, G. Floyd, M. Brown)
-Far-right ideology/politics and white supremacy
-Social injustice and polarization
-Racial violence in literature
-Cinematic and photographic depictions of racial violence
-Gentrification/ Urban landscape/Boundaries and Ghettoization
-School and University books: depicting/distorting history?
-Role of education through the decades 
-US legal system
-Armed Self-defense
–Social media, newspapers, television: shaping/manipulating public opinion?
-Racial violence against minorities (Asian Americans etc)
-The role of religion/church
-Arts and photography: portraying the unspeakable
-Racial violence and the formation of memory and identity
-Police brutality
–Ku Klux Klan
-Presidential/ State/ Federal (re)actions
–Victims and Perpetrator, The next day: Phycology and Psychiatric analysis
–Archiving the memory: Oral history and Primary sources 

Proposed Formats (Lingua franca: English)

Submissions may propose various formats, including:
*Individually submitted papers (organized into panels by the  GIRES committee)
* Panels (3-4 individual papers)
* Roundtable discussions (led by one of the presenters)
* Posters

All speakers taking part in live sessions are offered up to 30 minutes to present their work and after each panel there is plenty of time for Q&As.
Dialogue is of primary importance for GIRES.

Publication Opportunity
The Organizing Committee and GIRES Press will publish the most powerful and dynamic presentations of the conference and include them in a collective volume in the form of short articles and/or long essays. 

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION  (Please use our online application form found in the conference's webpage)
ACCREDITATION: Official Certificate Issued by GIRES 

FOR REGISTRATION FEES (Listerners and Presenters) Please visit the conference's webpage.

Generating dialogue is of primary importance for our scholarly community and thus GIRES wishes to create a friendly and welcoming environment for all of our colleagues and offer all the tools to present their work in the best possible way.

Our proposed topics & formats are not restrictive and we invite additional germane ideas.
Due to the restrictions of Corona Crisis our event (for the time being) will take place virtually


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