Race at the Juncture

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London

Race at the Juncture


A Colloquium hosted by the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London


11 June 2018


Keynote Speaker: Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, author of Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism (2002), Colonialism/Postcolonialism (1998), and Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama (1992)


The language of race remains at the centre of many of the most pressing political and social issues of the day, as a selection of recent headlines from the UK, USA, India, and South Africa attest:


‘Institutional racism is still alive and kicking in the workplace’ (Mail & Guardian)

‘A mixed-race Harry Potter, warriors in dupattas, hijabi fashionistas’ (Hindustan Times)

‘With Blackface and Monkey Suit, Chinese Gala on Africa Causes Uproar’ (New York Times)

‘Racially motivated crimes now exceed sectarian ones in Northern Ireland’ (Guardian)

‘Cheddar Man enrages people who just won’t accept that first Brits had black skin’ (Sun)

‘Can a white child dress as a Halloween character from another race?’ (Washington Post)

‘Facebook pauses ability to exclude ad targets based on race, ethnicity’ (Silicon Beat)

‘Republicans wear the ugly face of ethno-nationalists’ (Salt Lake Tribune)

‘Voters…torn over issues of race, loyalty and economic inequality’ (Los Angeles Times)

‘Tackling racism in the Gayborhood’ (Philadelphia Inquirer).


If the centrality of race has ever been thus, what might be new in the hyper-visibility of the discourse of race and in its imbrication with discourses of class, caste, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, language, and culture, in what to many seems a new age of populist ethno-nationalism and of the polarization of left and right in the political field? How does race signify—and is it articulated differently in public discourse—in the present? How has this affected the engagement with race in contemporary culture—in relation to production, circulation, and consumption? How and under what circumstances does anti-racist activism operate transnationally? How might intersectional consciousness forge new or unlikely anti-racist alliances?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that attend to any of these questions. Approaches that engage with the following areas would be especially welcome:

-intersections between and among race and any combinations of: caste, class, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, ethnicity, age



-police and other forms of state violence

-Black Lives Matter

-#RhodesMustFall and other academic decolonization movements

-race and the institutions of cultural production

-race in / and popular culture, social and news media

-global anti-racist activism / race and anti-fascism

-race and the alt-right / alt-left

-cultural representation / cultural appropriation

-race and slow violence: environment, climate change, resource poverty.


Please send 250-word proposals and a short (100-word) bio by 31 March 2018 to: Professors Patrick Flanery and Andrew van der Vlies, Queen Mary University of London, at: raceatthejuncture@gmail.com