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### 2024 Graduate Student Symposium: Proposals Invited for (Re)envisioning Black Futures


The graduate students from the Department of Afro-American Studies at W.E.B. Du Bois cordially invite undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and independent scholars to submit proposals for the upcoming Spring 2024 Graduate Student Symposium themed “(Re)imagining Black Futures: Intersectionality and Coalition-Building for Reshaping Black Realities.” The symposium is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 27, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The deadline for proposal submissions is set for Friday, February 2. Interested parties should prepare a 150-250 word abstract. Notifications regarding the acceptance of proposals will be communicated via email by Thursday, March 4.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to delve into the intricate connections among politics, history, literature, and culture while envisioning the future of Black communities and Black Studies. The objective is to unpack the complexities that have shaped our past, comprehend their present-day implications, and leverage this understanding to mold our future trajectories. Embracing the principles of intersectionality grounded in Black Feminist theory, submissions should acknowledge and tackle the intersections of identity, power dynamics, and lived experiences that mold Black realities and aspirations. Emphasizing coalition-building, the symposium seeks to explore collaborative endeavors that surpass individual viewpoints, cultivating an awareness of how collective initiatives can propel enduring transformations. In line with our interdisciplinary ethos, proposals spanning a diverse array of genres, encompassing both critical analyses and creative works, are welcomed.

Potential proposal topics encompass, but are not restricted to, the following themes:

  • Afrofuturism and Speculative Futures: Literary, Visual, and Sonic Explorations
  • Black Political Thought: Past, Present, and Future(s)
  • Civil Rights, Public Policy, and Social Justice
  • Activism, Black Resistance, and Community Organizing
  • Education: Foundational Future Building
  • Physical and Mental Well-being
  • Black Joy
  • Reparations & Visions for Justice
  • Black Feminist and Queer Visions
  • Black Internationalism: Africa, Its Diaspora, and Visions of a Black World
  • Sustainable Futures: Environmental Justice in Black Communities

For inquiries, please reach out to the organizing committee at AZBrooks [at] UMass [dot] edu