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1 September 2019
Curricular Confrontations in the Wake of Anti-Blackness and in the Break of Black Possibilities
This special issue of Curriculum Inquiry aims to give readers and curriculum workers entry points into an expansive, interdisciplinary dialogue on anti-Blackness in curriculum studies. We ask contributors to consider how the heterogeneity of Black being and becoming, which inherently encompasses the multiplicities of Blacknesses within the African Americas as well as across a diaspora inhabited by African, Caribbean, and Afro-Latinx peoples, is (mis)represented in the overall project of knowledge (re)generation as historically and currently undertaken in the west. With deference to scholars like George Dei, Cynthia Dillard, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Fred Moten, Christina Sharpe, Sylvia Wynter, and Frank B. Wilderson III, among many others, we theorize anti-Blackness as epistemic, ideological, material, and spiritual violences against Black peoples. These manifestations of anti-Black violences are contoured by a hyper-climactic obsession with and disregard for Blackness as bonded to Black bodies, experiences, and knowledges. Moreover, we understand the (mis)representations, absences, and erasures of Black peoples in curriculum studies as factors informing Blackness being imagined solely in opposition to intellectualism and humanity.
Through this Call for Papers, we invite full manuscripts that engage the specificity of anti-Black oppression and the singularity of Black repression in curriculum studies. However, although the field’s complicity in and facilitation of the enactment of violences against Black peoples is of grave concern to us, we break through the sepulchral mirage suggesting that the perniciousness of anti-Blackness necessitates perennial mourning. Hence, we also invite improvisations and bold (re)recordings that surface the affectively pleasurable tenors of Blackness—for example, Black hope, Black love, and Black joy.
As curriculum studies scholars endeavoring to unsediment anti-Blackness, the pressing questions we confront in this special issue are:
- How do curriculum workers dissect the anti-ness of anti-Blackness? How do we probe into what is devastated, disrupted, stripped from, and strangled by anti-Blackness? What do we discover or uncover?
- How do we deconstruct anti-Blackness within the field while simultaneously reconstructing means and methods for conjuring both imagined and real expansive, hopeful, and futuristic aftermaths of chattel enslavement—that is, means and methods for (curricular) un-makings of anti-Blackness and re-makings of states of former anti-Blackness?
- What and where are the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical paths away from anti-Blackness? To what and to where might these paths lead?
- How might we theoretically, methodologically, and pedagogically abolish whiteness from the field, or at the very least, banish it to the margins? How might freedom—or marronage—from anti-Blackness take shape or shapeshift in curriculum studies?
We encourage contributors to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to inquiry about anti-Blackness and to forward theoretical framings that allow for an array of interrogations and interpretations of anti-Blackness in curriculum studies. We also encourage contributors to develop manuscripts that move readers’ minds and bodies into new or enhanced understandings of – and relationships with - Blackness, in excess of those constrained by whiteness and white supremacy. Our intent is to stage encounters with what has been, is, and could be with regard to anti-Blackness in curriculum studies. We ask that contributors tackle the (literal, figurative, historical, spiritual, and embodied) overlaps of anti-Black deprivations—vis-à-vis, for instance, dis/ability, homophobia, transphobia, classism, xenophobia, Islamaphobia, and what Moya Bailey has called “misogynoir,” and delve into how these often-intersecting deprivations impress upon curriculum studies with regard to teaching, learning, educational policy and discourse, and more. We are especially interested in manuscripts that evoke aesthetics and poetics, broadly conceptualized, as creative and artistic modes of production for the purposes of eliciting other-worldly ways of being and becoming Black as well as of comprehending Blacknesses, to the extent that such a feat is realizable, for instance, as in the work of M. NourbeSe Philip.
Specific subtopics as interwoven with anti-Blackness in curriculum studies may include:
- queerness, gender-queerness, and trans*ness
- masculinities and femininities
- curricular makings (as racialized, classed, etc.) of Black peoples of all genders and sexualities
- intimacies and desires
- racism and ableism, e.g., interrogations of Black dis/ability histories, activisms, and resistances; investigations of the surveillance and policing of Black dis/abled bodies
- racism as linked to the logics of (settler) colonialism, Black and Indigenous dispossession, and rematriation of lands
- global/trans-national/trans-geographical (anti)Blackness; i.e., anti-Blackness across geographies beyond the United States and the west
- theoretical, methodological, and/or pedagogical irruptions (to anti-Blackness)
- pluralities of Black voices (e.g., Black languages and literacies), bodies, and beings
- affective tenors and tremors of Blackness, e.g., Black joy, Black pain, Black love, Black sadness, Black happiness
- politics of and (im)possibilities for the refusal of anti-Blackness
- (im)possibilities and complexities of cross-movement, cross-racial, and inter-racial coalition building
Full manuscript submissions for this special issue are expected to be between 6000 and 8000 words, including references and endnotes. Guidelines for manuscript submission along with other relevant information is available on our Instructions for Authors page. All manuscripts submitted to Curriculum Inquiry are subjected to a preliminary internal review by the Guest Editors and the editorial team, and those deemed appropriate for publication in the journal will be sent anonymously to external reviewers.
The Guest Editors welcome and encourage interested scholars from curriculum studies, Black studies, or any disciplinary perspectives who are substantively engaging these questions to contact them with queries and abstracts before the September 1st deadline for submission. Please email Esther O. Ohito, Justin A. Coles, fahima i. ife, and Michael J. Dumas. Other questions regarding submission can be addressed directly to the Curriculum Inquiry Editorial Office.