EVENT Mar 25
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Imagining African and African-diaspora Futures

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Organization: Central Pennsylvania Consortium / Franklin & Marshall College
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Women's Studies, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2023-03-25 Abstract Due: 2022-12-31

Imagining African and African-diaspora Futures:  A Conference in Africana Studies and 
Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Consortium
March 25, 2023, Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Proposal submission deadline: December 31, 2022
The programs in Africana Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, Dickinson College, and Gettysburg College invite proposals from students, scholars, and teachers for the 2023 Central Pennsylvania Consortium conference on "Imagining African and African-diaspora Futures." The conference is planned for Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Franklin & Marshall College.

 Border emergencies, humanitarian catastrophes, climate crises, a global pandemic, reassertions of patriarchy, sexual and reproductive violence, and racial unrest are defining features of our present. Africa, as “one of the most vulnerable continents due to its high exposure and low adaptive capacity" (IPCC), is particularly susceptible to climate-driven food insecurity, with the attendant political uncertainty, gendered economic hardships, and female-majority migration movements. The African diaspora faces similar challenges due to unequal access to health care, housing, education, career opportunities, to policing, and the racist, gendered, and heteronormative ideologies that underpin these discriminatory practices.

In the face of these crises, what futures can be imagined for Africa and the African diaspora? We think about the concept of futurity in dialogue with Black feminist artist Alisha B. Wormsley whose work boldly insists that “there are Black people in the future” while imagining “safe places for Black people to exist abundantly on this planet and beyond.” So too are we inspired by Arjun Appadurai’s notion of a “politics of hope” animated by the human “capacity to aspire” (2013) as well as José Esteban Muñoz’s invitation to infuse a “utopian function” in Queer criticism (2009). 

We welcome contributions from students, scholars, and teachers whose work examines the ways in which African and diaspora cultures have critically imagined and constructed alternative futures for themselves, from Afro-futurism and Black Panther to the global Black Lives Matter movement to Renina Jarmon’s claim that “Black Girls are from the Future.” Central to our concerns are the interplay of race, religion, class, sexuality, and gender in African and diaspora societies. We welcome a diversity of approaches and disciplinary perspectives, including literary studies, media, art, political science, history, environmental studies, public health, migration studies, Queer and feminist studies, and critical race studies. 

Proposals can be for entire panels or individual papers, digital projects, and multi-media presentations (music, photos, poster displays, etc.) that provide a range of interpretations of the subjects explored. 

Please send submissions (300-word abstract including a title, a brief bibliographical note, and — if a student — the name of a faculty advisor for the project) to Doug Anthony (danthony@fandm.edu) and Giovanna Faleschini Lerner (glerner@fandm.edu) by December 31, 2022. Please include "CPC 2023" in the subject heading.



Douglas Anthony