"But What Does Wonder Do?": A Conference of Emergent Black Studies

deadline for submissions: 
January 28, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
African & African American Studies at Stanford University
contact email: 

Call for Presenters

African & African American Studies’ Inaugural Emerging Scholars Conference

April 11-12, 2019

Stanford University


For half a century, Black Studies has represented a crucial continuity in thinking blackness and its meaning in the world.  It draws on the analytic imperatives set by black scholarly forebears: poets, playwrights, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, preachers, all.  As scholars like Fred Moten note, it also represents crucial epistemic and political ruptures in the institution and knowledge by/about black life.  Inasmuch as Black Studies is a project of consciousness – of wonder – we ask the question, as once asked Sylvia Wynter, “But What Does Wonder Do?”  

Wynter, a treasured former Director of Black Studies at Stanford and a philosophical driver of the field, asked the question in service of a reckoning with black humanity and subjectivity.  On the 50thAnniversary of Black Studies, we build on this question to invite the emergent exploration – the wondering – that dares cut new edges in the field.

We invite Junior Scholars (those awarded PhDs within the last five years), Postdocs, and strong ABD graduate students from all disciplines, subfields, and areas of Africana Studies to submit individual papers or creative scholarship from any discipline to a convening of emerging scholars at Stanford University.

Possible analytic, methodological, thematic directions include (but are not limited to):

-      Black Feminist Theory

-      Black Queer Theory

-      Art and Visual Culture 

-      Musicology and Sound Studies

-      Embodiment and Sexuality

-      Historical Inquiry

-      Fugitivity 

-      Critical Geography

-      The Black Atlantic

-      Affect Studies

-      Language and Literature

-      Performance Studies

-      Political Theory/Philosophy

-      Health and Medical Humanities

-      Science, Technology, Digital Studies

-      Film and Media Studies

-      Carceral Studies


Submissions: Applicants should submit a 250-word abstract to Dr. Jakeya Caruthers at jakeyac@stanford.edu by January 28, 2019.  We will inform applicants of their acceptance by mid-February.  Full drafts will be due at a later date. Please contact Dr. Caruthers with any additional questions.