Great Black North: Study, Resistance and Existence in Black
Call for Proposals: Strategies of Critique XXXII, 2018
Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought, Annual Conference, York University
May 11th -12th, 2018
“Black Canada exists. More to the point, Black Canada matters. It matters historically. For while Canada is often reduced to a static, one-dimensional geography (as the last stop on the Underground Railroad, as the promised land under the North Star), […] Black Canada also matters politically. For despite Black Canada’s apparent marginality—indeed, because of Black Canada’s apparent marginality—the contemporary political and social landscape of Black Canada offers lessons not limited to its national confines: as a minority population in a white settler colony, as a marginal population within the African Diaspora, and as a racialized population under a regime of neoliberal multiculturalism that affirms culture while it denies race and that fêtes diversity while it despises Blackness.”
On Black Canadian Thought, Peter James Hudson and Aaron Kamugisha
York University’s Social & Political Thought Graduate Program is pleased to invite papers and creative works for presentation at its 32nd annual conference, Strategies of Critique: Great Black North: Study, Resistance and Existence in Black. We organize this conference with an aim to understand and affirm Black experience in/of Canadian contexts where ideas of a Great White North too often prevail. Intending a scholarly intervention within an academic landscape shaped by neoliberal governance and racial capitalism, we know that we must look to challenge the academic industrial complex’s entanglements with white supremacy, settler-colonialism, enslavement, patriarchy and neoliberal logics of domination, as well as other regimes and instances of violence to understand its own “underground” constituted by Black Canadian experiences. Such modalities function to pacify or make invisible anti-racist and anti-colonial resistances within the academy. This year’s Strategies of Critique responds to the absence of a Black Canadian Studies stream as one such instance of invisibility and pacification, which must be interrogated and denaturalized. Thus it asks: what is at stake in the ongoing production of new forms of collectivity and struggle, the making and re-making of a Great Black North that exceeds the idea of Canadian experience? Under what constraints do anti-racist and anti-colonial resistances labour within the academy over questions of justice and collective liberation, and what are the various forms of intervention, academic or otherwise, through which people take up these political struggles?
The organizing committee welcomes individual and panel proposals critically engaged with Canadian experiences of Blackness, both in and outside the university contexts. We also welcome proposals from activists and community members. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Black Canadian Studies; Black Studies; Cultural Studies; Black Feminist Thought; History of Social and Political Thought; Critical University Studies; Diaspora Studies; Interdisciplinary Scholarship; Theories of Black Collectivity and Resistance; Critical Pedagogy; Queering Blackness; Carceral Studies; Afro-Indigenous Struggles and Contestations; Caribbean Studies; Anticolonial Thought ;Afropessimism; Youth Studies, Black Canadian Literatures, Theatre and Art; Security and Surveillance Studies.
The organizing committee pays credit to Lewis R. Gordon, Stefano Harney, and Fred Moten for their scholarship, around which these conference theme coheres. Strategies of Critique: Great Black North will be held on May 11-12, 2018 at York University in present-day Toronto, Canada on the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. We acknowledge other Indigenous nations who have long-standing relationships with this territory, such as the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis nations, and welcome suggestions for unsettling the coloniality of our academic conference practices.
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submission Deadline: March 22nd, 2018
Individual submissions (2 attachments):
1) abstract (max. 300 words)
2) brief bio (max. 50 words)
Panel submissions (2 attachments):
1) panel rationale & individual proposal abstracts (max. 1000 words)
2) bios for each presenter (max 150 words)
Please specify if your presentation will require special equipment or venue specifications. For those coming from out of town and needing overnight accommodations, please let us know. We may be able to arrange for you to stay with someone in the program.
Accessibility is a priority at our conference; venue, audio-visual equipment, written information, and food provided have all been chosen so as to facilitate all conference-goers’ full participation. If you require further accommodation, please let us know.
Inquiries can be directed to the organizing committee at:
Please visit our website for more information: