CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Habitus of the âHood

full name / name of organization: 
Chris Richardson
contact email: 

The ’hood has come to embody both the utopian and dystopian aspects of
low-income urban areas. It represents a collective sense of community as
well as a marginalized and often criminalized space/place. The popularity
of the term “’hood” (slang for neighbourhood) is generally associated with
the emergence of hip-hop culture. Today, however, the term encompasses much
more than the young, predominantly black subculture from which it originated.

The concept of the ’hood is both liberating and limiting. Residents
associate certain life possibilities with their surroundings. This has both
real and symbolic consequences for individuals inside as well as outside
this environment. Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, a “system of durable,
transposable dispositions” that form “principles which generate and
organize practices and representations,” is a valuable tool for analysing
the ’hood. Examining the ’hood from the inside, we would expand Bourdieu
through a reading of Robin Cooper’s concept of a “dwelling place” as “a
kind of knowing one’s way about...[that] implies a freedom to move in some
domain or other, which is more akin to sure-footedness.” We also note
Cornell West’s distinction between the ’hood and the neighbourhood as a
division between extreme individualism and collective identity. Finally, we
would suggest the ’hood as concept à la Deleuze and Guattari, constituted
as “revolutions and societies of friends, societies of resistance, because
to create is to resist; pure becomings, pure events on a plane of immanence.”

Our collection explores how this space is conceived within the lived
experiences of residents and within mediated representations of the ’hood
in popular culture. Whether fictional or documentary, representations of
one’s environment embodies potentialities. Like habitus, the ’hood is “the
active presence of the whole past of which it is the product.” This
relationship will be explored in our collection through various
methodologies including (auto)ethnography, textual analysis, critical
discourse analysis and mixed methodologies.
We are soliciting two-page (500 words) proposals for our anthology to be
published by 2009. We encourage submissions from a broad range of
disciplines including cultural studies, geography, history, psychology,
sociology, and other arts and social sciences. Please send your submission
no later than September 1, 2008 to Dr. Hans Skott-Myhre, Brock University, and Chris Richardson, University of Western Ontario, Attach the abstract in the format of a “.doc” or “.rtf”
file along with a brief biographical note (max. 250 words). Completed
chapters of approximately 25-40 pages will be due in late December, 2008.
For questions or comments about this collection, please contact us through
the e-mail addresses above.

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Received on Mon Jun 02 2008 - 18:08:04 EDT