Call for Papers

“Racial Formation, Racial Blindness”
Alliance of History Graduate Students Conference on Racial History

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
February 14 & 15, 2014
Submission of Paper Proposals by December 1, 2013

The Alliance of History Graduate Students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its inaugural conference on racial history, “Racial Formation, Racial Blindness,” on February 14 & 15, 2014. This conference will provide a congenial setting for developing scholars to present their research, gain experience in public speaking, network with fellow graduate students across a variety of fields and disciplines, and receive feedback to help with future research. We especially encourage first-time presenters and those working in underrepresented areas to apply.

Conference Theme: In their classic work, Racial Formation in the United States, Michael Omi and Howard Winant describe race as an “arbitrarily chosen human attribute” that “shapes politics and policy, love and hate, life and death.” As they note, “All of the powers of the intellect – artistic, religious, scientific, political – are pressed into service to explain racial distinctions, and to suggest how they may be maintained, changed, or abolished.” Many scholars have since expanded on and exposed the various meanings historically attributed to race, as well as the roles racial “blindness” and privilege played in the formation of racial identity and injustice. This conference hopes to advance, critique, and suggest new directions for the study of these historical meanings of racial identity and privilege that Omi and Winant and others suggest, and the conference organizers are particularly interested in papers from graduate students across a spectrum of disciplines and a broad range of genres that help illuminate these themes. Despite these specific focuses, however, the conference organizers also hope to solicit a broad range of scholarship from graduate students and welcome submissions not explicitly related to these themes that might expand our discussion into creative new areas.

How to Submit: Please direct paper proposals and questions regarding the conference, travel, and lodging accommodations to:

Topics: We are seeking a broad range of topics related to racial history broadly conceived. This includes any discipline, national context, or period. Examples of possible topics include but are not limited to:

– Race and Labor
– Causes and sources Racism
– Notions of Race in Early American History
– Racial dynamics in Health And Wellbeing
– Anti-Racism and activism
– Ethnographic approaches to Race
– Race and Indigenous Populations
– Media and Racism
– Racial dynamics outside of the U.S.
– Race and Empire
– Race and Education
– Race and Gender
– Race and Immigration
– Race and Law
– Minority Cultural Practices
– Notions of Colorblindness
– Race and Urban Geography
– Whiteness and Ethnicity

Format: The conference will be comprised of a series of moderated panel discussions centered on themes developed from relationships between the submitted papers. Papers will be distributed well in advance of the colloquium, allowing attendees to become familiar with the scholarship of each grouped session. Each presenter will be allowed several minutes to talk about their paper in any manner they deem appropriate, after which the moderator and other group participants will interact with the author to discuss, critique, and make suggestions for further development.

All events will be open to the public, and we encourage attendance from a wide array of scholars, activists, teachers, students, and community members.