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Ed. Shona N. Jackson and Mikko Tuhkanen

All of our pasts are therefore futural in orientation. They help us make the unavoidable journey into the future. There is, in this sense, no "desire for going back," no "pathological" nostalgia that is also not futural as well.
- Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe

In a time when the notion of an efficacious black internationalism seems but the pipe dream of a few haggard lobbyists and scattered radicals, [one] attempts to hear the border of another future of black internationalism in the archive of its past.
- Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora

Callaloo seeks creative and multi-disciplinary critical submissions for the special issue "Postcoloniality and Blackness: Risking the Moment," to be published in 2012.

The issue brings together essays that share the ambition of recent contributors to postcolonial, transnational, and diasporic studies—such as Dipesh Chakrabarty (Provincializing Europe), David Scott (Conscripts of Modernity), and Brent Hayes Edwards (The Practice of Diaspora)—to rethink our present through an involutionary return to the archives of the past. Edwards, Chakrabarty, and Scott revisit moments in black internationalism, diasporic modernity, and postcolonial Enlightenment that might undo the contemporary consensus on—and stagnancy of—what it means to be "postcolonial," "diasporic," and "black." As Scott observes, "from a particular present, a certain past [might be] reconstructed and deployed in the service of imagining the direction in which an alternative future might be sought." At a time when postcolonial and diasporic thought seems to have been fully assimilated into the circuits of academic production and consumption of knowledge, this issue takes up the involutionary work of Scott and others. Our goal is to explore the potential in those moments of "risk" and "unexpectedness" that have characterized anticolonial and independence struggles in the black diasporic world. For example, what remains of Haiti's revolutionary past that might transform the mourning for lost possibilities into an affirmation of unused potential? Similarly, the current political-economic efforts to scale back or eradicate black and ethnic studies programs in the United States invoke the political contestation around the institutional emergence of Black Studies in the 1960s and 1970s. How might this moment of risk nevertheless revisit and revise the productive momentum of the latter? We seek to exert the pressure of "risk" on the present by turning to historical moments whose unfinished potential may not have been played out.

Creative Submissions:
Previously unpublished work in all genres, including interviews.

Critical Submissions:
Investigations may address some of the following questions:

• As two of the most visible examples of risk and unexpectedness in the black diaspora in the last decade, what do Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and New Orleans after Katrina in 2005, as well as the national and global responses to these crises, tell us about the futures and pasts of the black diaspora?
• How do the present-day religious and political conflicts in Sudan necessitate a rethinking of the dominant conceptual centers that inform our discourses of diaspora and postcolonialism?
• How do circuits of black diasporic movement and internationalism, for which the modern city or metropole is not Paris or Berlin but Lagos and Dakar, materially and conceptually "provincialize" Europe?
• How has the paradigmatic frame of contemporary critical theory rendered black diasporic ontologies inadmissible or "precritical"? How are the philosophical legacies of the diaspora alive and proliferative? How might these legacies—especially the thought of being—necessitate a rethinking of the deconstruction of metaphysics?
• What has the establishment of "postcolonial" as the prevailing term for critical approaches to the experiences of formerly colonized subjects meant for other modes of conceptualizing the black experience?
• Has the "postcolonial" created an artificial separation among African and African diasporic people who exist along a continuum of post/neo/colonial and other third- and first-world experiences? How useful has the "postcolonial" been in conceptualizing, for example, Zimbabwe's independence, the brief Ethiopian occupation, Martinique's move from colony to department, or the political status of the British and U.S. Virgin Islands? Are there other, more productive genealogies according to which the histories, experiences, and politics—past, present, and future—of African diasporic peoples can be conceptualized?
• Further areas of investigation may include consumerism, nationalism, language, class, labor, migration, globalization, gender, sexuality, and aesthetics.

Callaloo Submission Guidelines:
Submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2011.

CALLALOO has switched to an online manuscript tracking system. For submission guidelines, please visit To submit your manuscript, please go to and follow the instructions.
Please direct questions or other correspondence to the Guest Editors for this issue: Shona N. Jackson ( and Mikko Tuhkanen (