Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cfp: "Geographies of Black Internationalism," Institute of British Geographers, Royal Geographical Society, London, September 1-3, 2010.

The study of black internationalism examines the critical historical engagement of black thinkers and actors with global politics, and the often international channels through which such engagements have taken place. Scholarship has explored how black internationalism has functioned through movements as diverse as pan-Africanism, Négritude, Communism, Surrealism, Liberalism and differing religious movements, to name only some examples (Patterson and Kelley, 2000). We can thus conceptualise multiple black internationalisms, articulated in diverse historical and geographical settings (West, Martin and Wilkins, 2009). Particular attention has been given both to the constructed nature of racial communities and identities within black internationalism, and also the gendered and class-stratified nature such constructions have taken (Edwards, 2003; Stephens: 2005). Such work has opened a space for debate over the meanings of both 'blackness' and 'internationalism' within global cultures and politics. The study of black internationalism offers considerable opportunities for geographers working on the spatialities of anticolonialism, political activism, the (historical) geographies of social movements, and the relationship between space and politics. However, at present it remains the terrain primarily of historians and literary critics. Indeed, debates around political geography and nationalism have been accused of remaining 'woefully ignorant of . . . African diasporic movements' (Tyner, 2004: 343). This session will explore the historical and political geographies of these movements in order to think more deeply about the relationship between space and the heterogeneous politics of black internationalism. Topics for discussion might include, but are not restricted to, the following: · The 'imaginative geographies' of black internationalism; · Black internationalism and the spaces of print or public culture; · Place-based articulations of black internationalism; · The relationship between black internationalism and other political or cultural movements; · The gendering of black internationalist discourse and practice; · Geographical conceptualisations and contestations of 'black' and/or 'internationalism'; · Black internationalism's historical geographies; · Spatialities of black internationalism today; · Methodological reflections on researching black internationalisms. Proposed papers, in the form of an abstract (max. 250 words), should be submitted to Daniel Whittall at by Friday 12 February 2010.

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