Call for Papers
We invite papers that explore the impact of the Iron Curtain on alliances forged by black intellectuals after World War II for a Journal of Postcolonial Writing special issue on Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances During the Cold War. The aim of the volume is to explore the intersection between diaspora studies (especially Black Atlantic research), postcolonial criticism, and Cold War theory.
During the past two decades, much valuable scholarship has focused on cultural exchanges between intellectuals in Africa, the Americas, and Western Europe leading to the establishment of Black Atlantic studies (starting from Paul Gilroy’s seminal book The Black Atlantic and developed in valuable recent contributions by Brent Hayes Edwards and Yogita Goyal). This volume aims to expand the scope of black diaspora studies, by moving the focus beyond African and West Indian diasporas in London, Paris or New York and beyond a reverse movement of African-American and Caribbean intellectuals who traveled to Africa in search of cultural roots. After World War II, black intellectuals also traveled to Eastern Europe and East Asia on state business or for intellectual training, they established cultural and diplomatic links across the Indian Ocean, or worked within Lusophone and Spanish speaking communities across the Southern part of the Atlantic. Studying these often-neglected cultural alliances will respond to new directions in both postcolonial studies and Cold War research. For instance, Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih in the introduction to their 2005 volume Minor Transnationalism have criticized binary models of postcolonial analysis and have made an appeal for scholarship that transcends interactions between the First and the Third Worlds. Similarly, in the field of Cold War research, recent work by Odd Arne Westad (The Global Cold War) and Andrew Hammond (the edited collection of essays Cold War Literature: Writing the Global Conflict) moves away from the two-world structure that focused on the USA and the USSR, which has long dominated traditional Cold War research.
We invite contributions that engage with but are not limited to the following issues:
The conjunction of diaspora studies, postcolonialism, and the Cold War: How does exploring the black diasporas’ contribution to the global Cold War both expand the corpus of literary texts and geographical areas under consideration and bring new questions to established research?
Possible examples include
--black intellectuals in the Eastern Bloc
--black diasporas within the Indian Ocean World
--tricontinental relations (between Africa, Latin America and Asia)
Class and gender discourse during the Cold War: How did black intellectuals like Frantz Fanon, Claudia Jones, Richard Wright, Michelle Cliff, or Kwame Nkrumah meditate on the conjunction between race, gender, class, and ideological affiliation with the West or the East? How do we offer a nuanced account of the solidarity and tensions between elite intellectuals and the oppressed masses?
Decolonization: How did the age of decolonization change the dynamics between countries in Africa and the Caribbean on the one hand and the two Cold War superpowers on the other hand? Did this transition elicit an awareness of the USA and the USSR as neocolonial powers?
Representation (literary, cinematic, etc): What literary forms and genres did black intellectuals inaugurate or adopt during the Cold War? How do they interact with established Cold War genres from the West (e.g. detective novel, science fiction) or the East (e.g. socialist realist novel)? On what aspects of the diasporic experience do they focus? How do writers and other intellectuals navigate the multicultural and multilingual experience of diaspora?
Texts and institutions: What forgotten stories does the history of material texts and of cultural institutions generated by these diasporas reveal? How did publication, funding, censorship, and political affiliation with the Western world or the Eastern Bloc affect the visibility of black intellectuals and their works?
Abstract deadline (350-500 words)
→ 1 February 2012
Submission of articles
→ 1 June 2012
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