Association for Ethnic Studies/Department of Ethnic Studies 2020 Conference

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Bowling Green State University Department of Ethnic Studies
contact email: 

The Department of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, is excited to host the 2020 Association for Ethnic Studies conference. In conjunction with the department’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of BGSU’s Ethnic Studies program, the conference will be an opportunity to look back upon the history of the scholarly field of ethnic studies and the social movements that forced the academy to accommodate it. In celebrating our history, we are also mindful of assessing our contemporary moment and the challenges of struggles for justice and equality in the future. We will meet soon after either the beginning of the post-Trump era or its continuation. Either way, the moment will reveal much about the underlying dynamics of American culture and society and be long recognized as a critical turning point in the nation’s history.

Beyond the immediacy of national politics in November of 2020, this is also a moment to think about and understand the changing nature of activism in the 21st century. Nearly a decade will have passed since the days of Occupy, seven years since the murder of Trayvon Martin and the uprising of Black Lives Matter, six years since Michael Brown and Ferguson, five years since Freddie Grey and Baltimore, four years since Standing Rock, three years since Charlottesville, two years since Occupy ICE began in Portland. Where will these movements stand at the crossroads of November 2020? How do we assess the nature of civil organization and social change in a social media environment in which much organizing happens outside of public view? What are the linkages and disconnections between academic and civic activism at this juncture?

We invite proposals for papers and panels on all topics related to ethnic studies and social justice activism. All proposals will be reviewed by a committee including AES board members, BGSU Ethnic Studies faculty, and editors of the Ethnic Studies Review.  This committee also will select a number of papers for publication in a special edition of Ethnic Studies Review (Univ. of California Press).

Deadline for Proposals: March 15, 2020.

Proposals (500 words max.) should be submitted to

Acceptance notifications will be announced by Apr. 15, 2020.

About the Department of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio: In 1970, amid vigorous student protests at BGSU, a Black Studies Committee  was organized, “to bring students into direct creative contact with non-white experiences...”  The committee won approval for the founding of an Ethnic Studies Center and the appointment of its director, Dr. Robert Perry, making Bowling Green one of the first Midwestern institutions to have such a program. In 1978 and 1979, James Baldwin was a resident scholar and his legacy continues to leave its mark on the pedagogical, intellectual, and activist strengths of the department. In 1979 the program successfully petitioned the university for department status. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ethnic studies program at BGSU.

Bowling Green, Ohio is about a 75 minute drive from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.  Reduced conference hotel rates at the Hampton Inn, located near the BGSU campus, have been arranged. Call (419) 353-3464 before Oct. 8, 2020 and mention Ethnic Studies or AES conference to receive the discounted rate. For other questions about accommodations in Bowling Green, please contact Amy Davidson, Administrative Assistant in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, (419) 372-6525 or

Conference registration fees are based on a sliding scale with no fees for student participants. For questions about the conference contact Timothy Messer-Kruse,