Richard H. King, Professor of American History at the University of Nottingham, will guest edit a special double issue of Patterns of Prejudice to be published in late 2010 that will explore what effect the election of the first black American president might have on how we understand ‘race’, racism and the processes of racialization generally.
Most observers have been extremely cautious about making claims about the significance of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Indeed, it sometimes seems as though that groundbreaking event was merely an isolated incident, betokening little or nothing about the present meaning of ‘race’ in the United States, about American race relations and about the relationship of ‘race’ to contemporary American politics, culture and society.
This special issue of Patterns of Prejudice will be devoted to exploring these themes. Submissions might, for example, address one of the following questions:
• How does Obama’s election relate to the narrative of American history proposed by those who are identified with Whiteness Studies?
• Is Obama’s election as much a cultural as a political event? That is, is it the culmination of a longer history of cultural transformation or is it due to more immediate political, social and economic factors?
• What has been happening in and to the social, economic and cultural life of African Americans that might illuminate Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency?
• What does the marginalization of the South, both white and black, during and after the election signify for the future importance of the region in national politics? What are the sources of Obama’s support geographically and socially?
• Does Obama’s election herald, as some commentators have claimed, a ‘post-racial’ era? And what would the ‘post-racial’ look like?
• What does Obama's election mean for and to the rest of the world?
Abstracts of 300 words addressing these or related questions should be sent, along with a short (no longer than one page) CV, as email attachments by 15 May 2009. The final versions of those papers selected will be due on 1 December 2009. Submissions must be the original work of the author/s and must not be under consideration by any other journal. All submissions will be subject to peer review.
Abstracts or enquiries should be sent to Barbara Rosenbaum, Patterns of Prejudice, PO Box 52456, London NW3 9BE, firstname.lastname@example.org
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