<[log in to unmask]>
From: Sara Lennox <[log in to unmask]>
CFP: Black European Studies
BEST - Black European Studies
Johann-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz / University of Massachusetts,
Sara Lennox (Amherst)
Fatima El-Tayeb (San Diego)
Peggy Piesche (Mainz/Berlin)
CALL FOR PAPERS
= Black European Studies =
Johann-Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany
10-13 November 2005
This interdisciplinary conference is the first scholarly investigation
of the African Diaspora as an aspect of intra-European history.
Organized in connection with a multi year, international research
project on Black Europeans co-sponsored the Universities of Mainz and
Massachusetts and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, the
conference will endeavor to further scholarly exchange on the
centuries-old history of Black Europeans, to encourage
interdisciplinary contacts among scholars hitherto working in
isolation, and to advance the development of new theoretical and
methodological tools to understand the African Diaspora within
Since the nineteen-eighties newly-emergent Black movements in Great
Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have inspired scholarly
investigations into the unknown history of Black Europeans
particularly within the humanities. However, such research has
taken place in scholarly and discursive isolation. Scarcely any
European country is aware of the existence of indigenous Black
minorities, and academic exchange has been possible only in connection
with U.S. Diaspora Studies. Yet seen from the perspective of
studies, the European experience is often represented as a deviation
from the central question of the transatlantic slave trade central to
the U.S. experience. However, from a Black European vantage
point, the Black diasporic experience reveals both differences, a
consequence of differing national histories, and also important
commonalities, drawing into question the conceptualization of the
Black European experience as "deviation" and also defining
colonialism as central to intra-European history.
This interdisciplinary conference will facilitate cross-disciplinary
discussion of previous scholarly research but will above all promote
the development of new theoretical perspectives on Black Europe that
might potentially also inform both academic and political discourse.
The conference organizers also plan to initiate subsequent
working groups focused on participants‚ thematic, regional, and
conference will have three important functions. It will enable
direct exchange among scholars working in the area of Black European
history; it will encourage the formation of on-going scholarly
networks focused on particular research questions; and it will also
help to make Black Europeans and their history visible beyond the
bounds of academic discourse.
conference is explicitly intended for scholars who work on the
relatively new topic „Black Europe,š the organizers of the
conference especially call upon young scholars to present their work
for discussion within this forum.
course of the conference participants will decide upon research
emphases that will inform subsequent collaboration. Conference
participants will be asked to submit position papers outlining their
research areas and emphases. Those position papers will be
collected in a reader that will be distributed before the conference
in order to facilitate intensive discussion of the topics
1. Representing Black
2. Networking strategies:
international (political) organizations
3. Racism and the
4. Black European Studies
5. Empirical research:
subjects and objects
potential research questions:
* How have
Black Europeans conceived themselves historically?
* Do they
understand themselves as black, de-localized Africans and/or as part
of an international community?
* What is
their relationship to Africa and to other parts of the African
* What is
their relationship to other ethnic minorities in Europe?
* What is
the relationship of categories like nation, gender, class, and
racialization to the category Black Europe?
unity and its expansionųEuropean creation myths
(Self)Representation of Black Europeans as indigenous or
European self-articulation in political and other forms of
* A Black
European Research perspective: counter-history and/or academic
Possibilities and limitations of the appropriation of transatlantic
papers may address Europe as a whole or specific European countries.
All disciplines are welcome at this interdisciplinary
submit a one to two page abstract on your specific research project
that also explains its relationship to your larger research
interests. You should also submit potential questions for the
workshop of your choice. Please send a short CV as well.
The deadline for proposals is 15 May 2005. Please send your
proposal to [log in to unmask].
You will receive a written confirmation of your
participation after 30 May 2005. A three to five page position
paper for the reader will be due on 4 September 2005 at the latest.
The complete reader will be mailed to you after 30 September.
BEST will pay travel costs as well as room and board.