“Imagined Blackness in Imagined Communities”

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
DeLisa Hawkes/ U of Maryland, College Park
contact email: 

Afrofuturism has become increasingly central to critical conversations about Afro-pessimism, race relations, and cultural histories. This proposed panel draws from Benedict Anderson’s conception of “nation” in his pivotal text Imagined Communities as a generative starting point for thinking about black community formations, black futurity, and cultural histories represented in literature. Anderson claims that “since World War II every successful revolution has defined itself in national terms” (2). However, nations are merely “imagined political communities… as both inherently limited and sovereign” (6). Drawing on the CLA 2020 theme of “diasporic visions,” this proposed panel is interested in the following questions: within these already limited entities (nations), where does blackness fit in? How is black futurity represented in literature that already depicts “nationality” in jeopardy? 

Please send proposals of 300-words to DeLisa Hawkes (dhawkes@umd.edu) by August 31, 2019. Accepted panelists will need to become members of the College Language Association. 

See more details about the convention and organization here: https://www.clascholars.org