We are pleased to solicit proposals for concurrent workshops for the 5th Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium: Race and Sovereignty. Sovereignty, like race, has been invoked, understood and deployed in contradictory ways. Historically, sovereignty has been an important vehicle through which hegemonic power has been enforced, for example, by articulating citizenship as a racial project rooted in the power to exclude. Sovereignty has also been an important tool of anti-colonial resistance crucial to liberatory struggles of people of color in the U.S. and worldwide. Race shares this complex dimension, serving as both a technology of oppression and a vehicle for resistance to that oppression.
Despite these parallels, race and sovereignty have largely been engaged as separate and mutually exclusive projects, for example, sovereignty has primarily been linked to the struggles of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples, while the struggles of other people of color have been cast through a standard anti-racist narrative of citizenship and inclusion. The symposium proposes, instead, to examine how race and sovereignty intersect and are mutually constitutive – roughly, how race enters sovereignty and how sovereignty enters race – even as important distinctions remain.
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