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CFP: Representations of Black Motherhood and Photography

Categories: Digital Humanities, Women's Studies
Event Date: 2020-09-01 Abstract Due: 2019-09-16

Women Picturing Revolution is pleased to announce a call for papers on the topic of Representations of Black Motherhood and Photography.

The forthcoming book published by Leuven University Press and distributed by Cornell University, Representations of Black Motherhood and Photography, will curate both essays and photographs on Black motherhood.  Contemporary books on motherhood and photography often lack attention paid to Black mothers. When the topic of Black motherhood is examined in academic scholarship, it often does not address a crucial missing component - visual representation and analysis of the Black mother in pictures.  This edited collection gives voice to the intersection of photography, Black motherhood and the ways in which Black mothers have navigated gender, race, and class.  

Photography is the overriding language of visual literacy and global communication. And images, now more than ever, serve as the way in which meanings are created and transmitted. In our visually-saturated age, how is it possible that this gap exists? Why does it exist? What are the implications of this void? What role, if any, does social media play as tools for survival and protection? How are Black mothers using self-portraiture to re-write the self? 

By widening the lens of motherhood to include work made about and made by Black women and mothers while simultaneously examining the interlocking systems of race, gender and class, Representations of Black Motherhood and Photographydisrupts overriding narratives of Black mothers in our social discourse, and creates space for this important junction to occupy this terrain.

We invite essays on, yet not limited to, the following topics:

Archetypes of Black motherhood in pictures
Photography for or made by Black mothers
Rewriting the self: self-portraiture through photography
Visually speaking: Black mothers as artists 
Documenting the relationship between Black mothers and family life
The role of photo album in family archives 
Queer Black motherhood
Black motherhood collectives
Black motherhood, everyday protest
Raising Black children in America
Black motherhood and pop culture
Black motherhood, digital photographic collections, and communities: formulating, participating and social tagging
Social Media as tools for survival and protection
Everyday image: memory, place and everyday life
Photo Diary/Social Media/Photostreams as narratives
Meaning of freedom
Consuming photographic images of Black mothers
Historical memory/trauma 
Histories of state violence
Legacies of slavery 
Lost mother: the impact of incarcerated Black mothers
Relationships between Black motherhood, maternal mortality,  medicine, and justice
Black mothers and sexual agency
Black mothers, breastfeeding and public spaces 
Black mothers and self-care


Submission Guidelines: Submissions are due Monday, September 16th, 2019.  Proposals should be sent as a PDF to WomenPictruingRevolution@ gmail.com and should include a 250-300 word abstract, title, author's name, address, telephone number, email address and affiliation. Please include a 200 word biographical statement and a full CV.

While the editors will make a curated selection of photographic images based as a response from the call to papers, authors who incorporate an analysis of photography as part of the work are highly encouraged to submit.  

We will confirm the receipt of proposals. Acceptance announcements will be emailed in two weeks after the submission deadline. For questions please contact womenpicturingrevoluti on@gmail.com or visit www. womenpicturingrevolution for more information. 




Zoraida Lopez and Lesly Deschler Canossi