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CFP: Black Disability Studies Conference

October 18

In association with the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies and the University of Virginia, we invite abstracts for a conference on “Black Disability Studies” to be hosted at the Carter G. Woodson Institute on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event will be fully hybrid. Conference papers have the potential to be published in an edited collection through the Carter G. Woodson Institute Series: Black Studies at Work in the World.

Papers are welcome which explore the lived experiences and representations of Black disabled people across all time periods, in Africa and the Diaspora. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to submit papers which approach the topic of Black disability. We also welcome papers considering the relationship between racism and ableism. Ideal papers will point toward new directions in both Black Studies and Disability Studies.

Since Christopher Bell’s incisive indictment of white disability studies in 2006, work on Black Disability Studies has grown steadily, but there are so many stories to be told. Submissions which explore the complexities of disability in Africa are welcomed, as much of the scholarship in this field has thus far centered diasporic experiences. This conference is also particularly interested in work which locates Black disability in the exchanges between the Black diaspora and the continent of Africa.

We seek to make this conference accessible and look forward to meeting the access needs of participants as fully as possible. We value the well-being and safety of all attendees; with the ongoing pandemic, we will center the needs of disabled and ill colleagues as well as others who are particularly vulnerable. All sessions will be hybrid (virtual and in-person) with ASL interpretation. Graduate students, people who are precariously employed, and non-university affiliated scholars are encouraged to participate.

Complete panels are encouraged, but individual paper submissions are also welcome. Panels should include three presenters and one chair/commentator. Submitted abstracts should represent original scholarship not already published or in production and be written in English.

The conference will feature a keynote panel on the state of the field featuring Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy, Keith Mayes, Rezenet Moges-Riedel, Therí Pickens, and Dennis Tyler.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted with a concise bio (150 words) as a Word document or PDF. Panel submissions should include the same for each paper as well as a bio for the chair/commentator and an abstract for the panel. Submissions should submitted by October 18, 2024, Applicants will be notified by January 15th, 2025. Submissions and questions should be sent to conference organizer G. Jasper Conner (gjconner@wm.edu).

Conference Date: April 2025

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States / Hybrid

Subject Fields: Black History/Studies, African History/Studies, African Diaspora History/Studies