deadline for submissions: 
December 16, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Georgia State University Department of Africana Studies
contact email: 

Beyond the Culture II 

 In 2023, celebrate with the Department of Africana Studies at Georgia State University as we discuss the role of Black popular culture in the fight for social justice at the 2nd biennial Beyond the Culture: Black Popular Culture and Social Justice conference at Georgia State University. The conference will be held in Atlanta on February 8-10, 2023 at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.  

 The purpose of this two-day national conference is to critically examine the intersections between popular culture and social justice.  

We invite papers that explore two specific themes: 

1.   The Criminalization of Hip Hop (Day One) 

There is increasing dialogue around the use of hip hop lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. We seek submissions that critically consider how rap lyrics have been used in different arenas to criminalize and prosecute artists, individuals and activists, from a variety of perspectives that will provide attendees with a broad sense of the consequences of this particular strategy. 

 2.   Wakanda and the Black Imagination (Day Two) With the release of “Wakanda Forever,” there is yet another opportunity to consider the power and potential of Black

Imagination. We seek submissions that critically consider “Wakanda Forever,” “Black Panther,” and other popular culture productions to document, critique and imagine various realities of the African diaspora. 

For inquiries about the conference, contact the Department of African American Studies at 404-413-5135 and/or email

The Department of African American Studies at GSU is accepting abstracts for individual presentations, roundtables, and workshops that examine the relationship between Black popular culture and social justice in any area.  We are especially interested in those that focus on rap lyrics as evidence and the power of Afrofuturism and social justice. Submissions will be accepted until December 10, 2022. Submit abstracts here. 

 We will update the conference website as the program develops.