Call for Essays
Tentative Title: Freedom on the Margins: Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Citizenship Struggles in North America, 1780-1900
This state-of-the-field edited essay collection will feature analyses of black emancipation and migration throughout and between mainland North America and the Caribbean, 1780-1900. Recent scholarship has challenged the binding notions of nationality and national borders in the study of North American and Atlantic history. Between 1780-1900, African Americans and Africans crisscrossed the Atlantic World and, as Paul Gilroy has noted, “engaged in various struggles towards emancipation, autonomy, and citizenship.” As peoples of African descent insistently re-imagined the relationship between themselves and the evolving state, they collectively redrew the boundaries of politics, household, place, and economic possibility.
The editors seek both empirical and theoretical work that analyzes the ways in which African and African-American individuals, households, or communities grappled with issues of self-definition or representation (including sexual, social, or national identity), control of space, political inclusion, or economic/social justice through migration and resettlement, We wish to highlight the trans-national character of freedom struggles; we are particularly interested in contributions that study African-American life outside the United States. We also seek work from historians interrogating the relationship between race, emancipation, and empire, whether in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean. Finally, we encourage comparative scholarship on African-American migration throughout the Atlantic world – especially that which examines the enduring connections between rural and urban African-American workers and families in diaspora. Previously published work may be submitted for consideration.
Please submit a two-page abstract of the proposed essay and a curriculum vitae to the addresses listed by October 10th, 2004.
Harvey Amani Whitfield, Assistant Professor
Department of History
University of Vermont
310 Wheeler House
133 South Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Bridgett Williams-Searle, Assistant Professor
Department of History and Political Science
College of St. Rose
432 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
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