New Perspectives on Violence and Revolution in the African Diaspora, April 4-5, 2014

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Pennsylvania State University
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The past several years have seen an explosion of exciting new perspectives on the subjects of race, gender, transnationalism, revolution, modernity, and colonialism. All of these themes have provided launching points for discussions and research about the lives and cultures of African-descended peoples in the diaspora. Some of the best new work on these topics is being done by advanced graduate students and scholars in the early stages of their careers. To highlight and encourage this work by these emerging scholars, the Richards Civil War Era Center at The Pennsylvania State University, in conjunction with the Africana Research Center, invites proposals from early career scholars within three years of having received their PhD and advanced graduate students who are writing their dissertations for the second annual emerging scholars workshop. Taking place April 4-5, 2014, at Penn State, the workshop will provide a forum for innovative young scholars to discuss new projects on the breadth and impact of the African Diaspora with faculty and graduate students from the Departments of History, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, English, and African and African American Studies.

Workshop papers should be no more than ten pages in length and pertain to works-in-progress rather than dissertation projects or book manuscripts nearing completion. Submissions will be pre-circulated to registered attendees and Penn State faculty, including select scholars chosen to provide detailed commentary on the papers. Presenters will therefore have the benefit, not only of expert faculty feedback, but informed audience commentary and questions - extending from the immediate context of their papers to broader conversations around the issues of violence and revolution in the diaspora. Presenters can and should assume that commenters and audience members will have a basic level of familiarity and comfort with theoretical and historical literature on various aspects of the African diaspora.

Potential Paper Topics Include:
- Africa, empire, and the Atlantic World: imagining unconventional Atlantic (and hemispheric) narratives.
- Black politics and white allies: the long freedom struggle of African-descended peoples and its complex links to white political and social organizations.
- Masculinity, femininity, and gender performativity: the gendered politics of revolution, challenges to the common perception of revolutionaries as male, gendered representations of violence or revolution.
- Sex, slavery, and intimate relations: the gendered and sexualized nature of resistance, gendered and/or sexual violence.
- Resistance and Revolutions: the causes, processes, and impacts of struggle.
- Labor, bodies, and objects: scholarship on race and gender and the extraction of labor from diasporic bodies.

Interested parties should submit a complete CV and a proposal of no more than 500 words to Antwain K.Hunter ( or Susan Cooke Weeber ( by Nov. 30, 2013. Travel funding is available, courtesy of the Richards Civil War Era Center.