FINAL WEEK: Race and Racism in an Age of Colorblindness

deadline for submissions: 
October 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Thomas Conners
contact email: 

This seminar centers the contemporary phenomenon of colorblindness to query how in times marked by police killings, Black Lives Matter activism, and the mass maiming of detained migrants, it is critical race theory that the Trump administration calls “divisive” and “un-American.” As critical race theorists Ian Haney López and Neil Gotanda respectively assert, legal colorblindness in a post-Civil Rights era renders racism “any and every use of race.” This colorblind stance “legitimates racial inequality and domination” by perpetuating a deadly contradiction between racist violence and race-free discourse. In response, we ask: What forms do race, racism, racialization, and anti-racist work take under colorblindness, and how do they relate to class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and the notion of personhood itself? How have racialized subjects, including those outside the Black-white binary like Latinx, Asian American, and Indigenous people and collectives, been affected by the advent of colorblindness and how might they resist it? What different terms, frameworks, and methods address the specific violences generated through and by colorblind racism, and what’s at stake in thinking across fields? How does colorblindness manifest beyond US borders and how do transnational, postcolonial, and hemispheric frameworks reposition it? We welcome proposals from all disciplines that contend with race and its emergent forms in a variety of media, including (for example) cinema, literature, and visual art.

See posting and link to ACLA page for submission at https://acla.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/2/sessiongallery/234

Please direct any questions to co-organizers Melanie Abeygunawardana at meeno@sas.upenn.edu and Thomas Conners at thconn@sas.upenn.edu.