The ’hood has come to embody both the utopian and dystopian aspects of low-income urban areas. It represents a collective sense of community as well as a marginalized and often criminalized space/place. The popularity of the term “’hood” (slang for neighbourhood) is generally associated with the emergence of hip-hop culture. Today, however, the term encompasses much more than the young, predominantly black subculture from which it originated.
The concept of the ’hood is both liberating and limiting. Residents associate certain life possibilities with their surroundings. This has both real and symbolic consequences for individuals inside as well as outside this environment. Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, a “system of durable, transposable dispositions” that form “principles which generate and organize practices and representations,” is a valuable tool for analysing the ’hood. Examining the ’hood from the inside, we would expand Bourdieu through a reading of Robin Cooper’s concept of a “dwelling place” as “a kind of knowing one’s way about...[that] implies a freedom to move in some domain or other, which is more akin to sure-footedness.” We also note Cornell West’s distinction between the ’hood and the neighbourhood as a division between extreme individualism and collective identity. Finally, we would suggest the ’hood as concept à la Deleuze and Guattari, constituted as “revolutions and societies of friends, societies of resistance, because to create is to resist; pure becomings, pure events on a plane of immanence.”
Our collection explores how this space is conceived within the lived experiences of residents and within mediated representations of the ’hood in popular culture. Whether fictional or documentary, representations of one’s environment embodies potentialities. Like habitus, the ’hood is “the active presence of the whole past of which it is the product.” This relationship will be explored in our collection through various methodologies including (auto)ethnography, textual analysis, critical discourse analysis and mixed methodologies.
We are soliciting two-page (500 words) proposals for our anthology to be published by 2009. We encourage submissions from a broad range of disciplines including cultural studies, geography, history, psychology, sociology, and other arts and social sciences. Please send your submission no later than September 1, 2008 to Dr. Hans Skott-Myhre, Brock University, email@example.com and Chris Richardson, University of Western Ontario, firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach the abstract in the format of a “.doc” or “.rtf” file along with a brief biographical note (max. 250 words). Completed chapters of approximately 25-40 pages will be due in late December, 2008. For questions or comments about this collection, please contact us through the e-mail addresses above.
Dr. Hans Skott-Myhre,
University of Western Ontario,
email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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