2nd Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference

deadline for submissions: 
January 19, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Ball State African American Studies

2nd Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference

Conference theme: Love Ethic

The Ball State African American Studies program and the Honors College are pleased to announce the hybrid 2nd Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference taking place on February 22-23, 2024. The conference will be virtual with an opportunity to present face-to-face in Muncie, Indiana.

Love ethic is a concept that originates with bell hooks (1952-2021) which emphasizes the importance of utilizing all the dimensions of love (care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect, and knowledge) to foster a sense urgency in our intrapersonal relationships as well as our relationships to our communities at large. Centering love ethic within our classrooms has become more urgent now so than ever in our current moment of conservative backlash to the teaching of African American Studies and race and gender studies more generally. As hooks noted in Teaching to Transgress (1994), “As a classroom community, our capacity to generate excitement is deeply affected by our interest in one another, in hearing one another’s voices, in recognizing one another’s presence.” As we attempt to navigate this challenging time, we turn to hooks and other Black visionaries to remind us that our classrooms must be guided by a love ethic, ensuring that all are heard and that education achieves its transformative possibilities for students and scholars alike.

Our program committee is accepting abstracts from scholars, students, and community members for individual paper presentations and panel sessions that center these and other related themes and questions. We welcome proposals related to theory and practice, creative writing, and pedagogy. We also welcome papers and panels on topics within the overarching frameworks of Black life. Possible paper topics might include but are not limited to:                


Activism – old and new

Africana/Black Studies

Afrocentricity – theory and practice



Beloved community

Black Feminism/Womanism

Black love

Diaspora Studies

Environmental Studies

Ethical thought – ancient and modern

Gender & Sexuality

Histories of Theories of Identity and Difference

Intersectionality Studies

Literary Studies

Memory and Memorization

Pedagogical praxis

Pan-African Studies

Police Violence and Resistance

Queer Studies


Racial Capitalism

Race, Class, and Gender

Reparations and Reparations Theory

Service Learning and Social Activism

Social Justice

White Supremacy and Empire


All abstracts must be submitted online(https://forms.gle/T76jcDarEqcDmhUFA). The deadline for submissions is January 19, 2024.  Please submit abstracts in a Word document. Acceptance notification will be on a rolling basis. There will be no conference registration fee.  


Individual Paper Abstracts:
An individual paper submission is a single-present format reserved for scholars, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and non-academic professionals. Please include the following information to complete your submission:

· Paper abstract (no more than 250 words);

· Paper title;

· Name and email;

· Institution/Affiliation and designation (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, director, chair, professor, organizational role, etc.).

· Modality in which you plan to present (i.e. virtually or in-person)

Panel Sessions:
A full panel submission is a multiple-presenter format that consists of a session chair and 3-4 individually titled papers that are thematically connected. A full panel of 3 individual papers can include a discussant. Discussant comments should be limited to 10 minutes. Three paper panels should afford 20 minutes per presenter; 4 paper panels should afford 15 minutes per presenter. Please include the following information to complete your submission:

· Panel abstract (no more than 750 words);

· Panel title;

· Name, affiliation, and email for session chair;

· Name, affiliation, email, and paper title for each presenter;

· Name, affiliation, and email for each discussant;

· Name, affiliation, and email of primary contact;

  • Modality in which you plan to present (i.e. virtually or in-person)



Contact Information


Contact Emailballstateafamstudies@gmail.com