What is our response to the fact of premature Black death? The recent string of police murders has renewed not only an active conversation about race, racism and racialized disparities, but has also sparked a new era of civil disobedience. Since January 1, 2015, eighteen hundred and more have been killed by police - six hundred and ninety six black. At this pace, by the time of our conference, one hundred and forty seven more black lives will have been cut short. But police brutality is only the tip of the iceberg. Water. Education. Housing. Prisons. The systematic devaluing of Black life has been and continues to be foundational to the socio-political ordering of the United States.
How then does mourning premature Black death open spaces for re-memory and resistance?
The story of one’s life doesn’t end with their death. Collective mourning raises communities, if even for a moment, enabling them to tell stories and connect the personal with the political. Since Mike Brown’s shooting death, activists, organizers, and everyday people from across the country have come together to mourn the dead, to protest police brutality, and to organize for a new world. Black death matters.
We invite graduate students working in the humanities and social sciences, artists, political prisoners, organizers and intellectuals (broadly conceived) to submit papers on topics including - but not limited to - the relationship between death and mourning, and:
- The Carceral State
- Funeral Homes and Burial Traditions
- Music and the Arts
- Lynching and Racialized Terror
- White Supremacy and White Nationalism
- Gender and Sexuality
- Black Freedom Struggle
- Black Radical Tradition
- Electoral Politics
- Religion and Spirituality
- Capitalism and Economic Inequalities
- Philosophy and Critical Theory
- Storytelling and Literature
- Defining premature Black death
Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words, a short biographical description, and your contact information by December 10, 2016. Proposals and questions should be sent to conference organizers Nyle Fort and Heath Pearson.
PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY.