Journal of Economics, Culture and Society
Call for Papers, a Special Issue
The Black Imagination and Science Fiction
The Editors of African Identities and the Center for Black Diaspora, DePaul University are pleased to announce a special issue of the journal devoted to exploring Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Black Imagination, focusing on literature and film. The special issue will explore works – speculative, fantasy, as well as hybrid -- of Black and African writers and film
makers, their visions of the future, alternative pasts -- critiques of the present as well as other
While the genre of science fiction has a long history of social commentary, it has not given much attention to issues of race and ethnicity in the context of imagined futures. Historically, the focus has been on social and political commentary, as well as fantasy, growing out of Western experiences, geo-politics, and conflict between nation-states as well as those between governments and their citizens, and responses to social, cultural and technological changes. It was not until the mid-20th century that science fiction by Black writers emerged. At times, such works were not explicitly defined as science fiction; yet the conventions of the genre, often embedded in a multiplicity of narrative forms, using a variety of tropes, indicate clearly that social commentary --- initially regarding the state of the race – have been at the heart of works produced by Black writers since the early 20h century. Contemporary works by writers and film-makers in the Black and African Diaspora have extended the boundaries, explicitly embracing the genre, envisioning different times, places, and social arrangements – addressing not only issues of race, ethnicity, and color, the presence of Black individuals or being coded as black, and also examining issues of gender, politics, and technology. Science and speculative fiction by Black writers is a genre that is growing, expanding the boundaries, presenting perspectives and posing questions not addressed in canonical works.
We are seeking articles that critically examine works of contemporary voices of the Black and African Diaspora that engage us in thinking about imagined futures – those in which African descendant people and people of color are neither conspicuously absent, or marginalized as background or expendable characters, but are instead are not only present, but rather are active agents in events which take place here on the planet Earth, or elsewhere in the universe. These are the issues that the special edition seeks to address.
Three complete copies of each manuscript should be submitted in hard-copy. Articles should be
between 6500 and 8000 words in length, inclusive of notes and references, and be double-spaced, on one side of the paper, with one-inch margins, and paginated. Footnotes should be avoided. In
addition, a copy of the document on a 3.5 inch disk or CD in ASCII text, Word Perfect, Word for DOS, Word for Windows, Microsoft Word, or RFT format. Because manuscripts are blind-reviewed, the
author's name, affiliation, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address should only
appear on a separate title page. In addition, the full postal address of the author who will check proofs and receive correspondence should be included.
The deadline for submission is May 30, 2008.
African Identities is a peer reviewed international academic journal that provides a critical forum for examination of African and diasporic expressions, representations and identities. The aim of the journal is to open up various horizons of the field through multidisciplinary approaches: to encourage the development of theory and practice on the wider spread of disciplinary approach: to promote conceptual innovation and to provide a venue for entry of new perspectives. The journal focuses on the myriad of ways in which cultural productions create zones of profound expressive possibilities by continually generating texts and contexts of reflective import.
With an emphasis on gender, class, nation, marginalization, ‘otherness’ and difference, the journal explore how African identities, either by force or contingency, create terrains of (ex)change, decenter dominant meanings, paradigms and certainties.
Women’s and Gender Studies
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African and Black Diaspora Studies Program
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