Call for Papers
Intermedial Sites of Resistance Online: From YouTube to Instapoetry and Beyond
Stream 4. Afropean Literature and Arts: Aesthetics & Politics
8th Biennial Afroeuropeans Network Conference: “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities” in Brussels (Belgium), 22.-24. September 2022
Submission deadline: March 14, 2022
This panel wants to think through various new forms of Afroeuropean creative and artistic self-representation on and through social media, be that on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, TikTok or Twitter. Paying close attention to the complex, often fraught intersections of black self-expression online – entangling the potential of platforms such as Instagram to perform acts of authorship and self-expression, the possibility of bypassing certain gatekeeping practices of the publishing industry, social media’s affordances for audiences who relate intimately to lived Afroeuropean experiences, but also the fault lines of online spaces (including racist market logics, racial capitalism and commodification, cf. Mehri 2018) –, this panel sets out to examine the aesthetic, collaborative and socio-economic practices involved in such intermedial sites of (possible) resistance and collaboration (cf. Sobande 2021 and 2020; Brownlie et al. 2019; Curtis 2015).
Through conjoining different media and textualities, as well as through extending their works beyond their genre conventions (online and offline), many contemporary Afroeuropean artists, writers and poets activate multi-layered and fraught intimacies in a space decidedly marked by notions of communality and new, updated modes of conviviality (cf. Vadde 2017; Gilroy 2006). Stemming from multiple points of geographical, historical and cultural origin, and speaking to multiple audiences, their intermedial art creates concrete and imaginary worldly convergences. This panel looks for papers that critically engage with Afroeuropean media practices in a variety of ways – practices that employ the space of the internet and social media as a productive, generative playground for testing out new modes of being in the world, of being-together in the world, or of critically existing counter to the world.
Possible themes to be explored in this panel include, but are not limited to:
Instapoetry and Twit Lit
Literary Spaces and Book Clubs Online
Digital Aesthetics and Affect
Media Fandoms, Fanfiction, Fanart, Fanvids
YouTube formats and web series
Visual Cultures of the Internet (Instagram, photography and other visual media online)
Online Activism and #BlackLivesMatter in Media, Literature and Art
Contemporary Black Feminism and Social Media
Art and Afro(european)futurism
Music and Social Media
Digital Collectivity and Community
Please send your abstract of 300 words and a short bio note to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by Monday, March 14th, 2022.
Brownlie, Douglas, Anne Fearfull and Francesca Sobande. 2019. “Resisting Media Marginalisation: Black Women’s Digital Content and Collectivity.” Consumption Markets & Culture. 23:5, 413–428.
Curtis, Tracy. 2015. New Media in Black Women’s Autobiography: Intrepid Embodiment and Narrative Innovation. London: Palgrave.
Gilroy, Paul. 2006. “Multiculture in Times of War: An Inaugural Lecture Given at the London School of Economics”. Critical Quarterly. 48:4, 27–45.
Mehri, Momtaza. 2018. “Letters from a Young (Female) Poet.” The Millions. Web. 31 January 2018. https://themillions.com/2018/01/letters-from-a-young-female-poet.html
Sobande, Francesca. 2021. “Spectacularized and Branded Digital (Re)presentations of Black People and Blackness.” Television & New Media. 22:2, 131–146.
Sobande, Francesca. 2020. The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain. London: Palgrave.
Vadde, Arthi. 2017. “Amateur Creativity: Contemporary Literature and the Digital Publishing Scene.” New Literary History. 48:1, 27–51.
Dr. Jennifer Leetsch is a postdoctoral researcher at Bonn University. Her research foregrounds literature’s ability to engage with the harmful as well as the reparative results that come to be produced at the intersections of affect, migration and globalization. Her monograph on Love and Space in Contemporary African Diasporic Women’s Writing came out with Palgrave in 2021; an article on Yrsa Daley-Ward’s Instapoetry is forthcoming with Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature in 2022.
Dr. Mariam Muwanga is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of British and American Studies, Wuppertal University. She wrote her PhD thesis on the topic of Modelling the African Diaspora: Representations of Diasporic Blackness in Black British Fiction and is interested in formations of Black Europe, the relevance of diaspora literature in 21st-century Europe, and intersectionality in contemporary black literature, non-fiction and online media.
Conference website: https://www.afroeuropeans2022.com/en/