The Afro-Native (Early American Borderlands Conference)

full name / name of organization: 
Mark Miller

This panel seeks to develop relationships between Native/indígena and African diasporic communities by considering the diversity of Afro-Native identities and their developments (and antecedents) in literary, scientific, visual and other texts. Beginning with immediate post-conquest Afro-Yucatecans, Afro-Native communities have variously included Central American Garífuna, Columbian Palenque, Haitian Marabou, Brazilian cafuzo, Floridian, Bahamanian and Estelusti Seminole, Dismal Swamp Maroon, African Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee, and New England Wampanoag and Montauk. Afro-Native identities deserve more sustained attention they complicate both oppositional narratives of white-other difference and optimistic readings of metissage/mestizaje that neglect the categories' historical development through tropes of whitening/blanqueamiento. In addition to the more substantial Latin American Afro-Native studies, US scholars including James Brooks, Jack Forbes, Sharon Holland, and Tiya Miles have recently begun to examine the way in which modern racial and cultural categories subsume complimentary or intertwined constructions of Native and African American identity. This panel hopes to extend these studies by considering the Afro-Native in local, transnational and hemispheric contexts. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

* Gender and the shaping or experience of Afro-Native identity
* The development of Native, African and "colored" identities
* The Afro-Native prior to/outside of modern notions of "race"
* Shared Native and African experiences of enslavement, removal and/or disposession
* The Afro-Native and inclusive notions of blackness, raça/raza negra, etc.
* Afro-Native and zamba/o identities
* European/Creole representations of Afro-Native cultural, racial, or other mixing
* Afro-Native communities and the concept of racial "degradation"
* Performative elements of the Afro-Native
* Postcolonial or other theoretical approaches to the Afro-Native
* The Afro-Native and tribal dispossession
* Afro-Native religious practices
* Early Native and African meetings in the European metropole
* Native Americans in Africa
* Hierarchies (of caste, race, family, etc.) within Afro-Native communities
* Comparative regional, tribal, or national studies

Interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

Please submit 300-word proposals with a brief CV by email attachment
by 31 AUGUST 2009
directly to Mark Miller
and copied to Ralph Bauer

Early American Borderlands Conference
Flagler College
St. Augustine, Florida, 13-16 May 2010

Apologies for cross-posting.