people of color caucus -- call for proposals

Theory and Activism: Translating Divides

This call for papers and presentations urges a reflection on the theory/activism binary with special attention to people of color. Some posit the binary as an opposition between elite theory and ground-level activism. Others question the implications of working with theory/activism as binary terms in opposition: can we engage in responsible action without understanding the frame of the present? And, what are the implications in insulating theory as only in the purview of a few? Who gets to decide the parameters for theory and action? Grappling with definitions and conceptualizations of theory and activism, this call looks towards widening scopes and deepening inclusivity in our conceptualizations of theory and activism. Moving with and against understandings of high and low theory, local and global action, this panel questions the power equations which create these hierarchies and values one at the expense of the other in selective appropriation of real lives and issues. How do we engage holistically with theory, action, struggles, anger, joy, fears, vulnerabilities, noting how they spill onto each other and render conceptual binaries a strategy to divide and rule?  In the translation battle about what constitutes real theory or true activism, oftentimes, people lowest in the power hierarchy still remain invisible and homeless in theories and activisms.

The People of Color Caucus at SEWSA invites papers and presentations on the following topics understood creatively and generatively, and which pay attention to people of color:

  • Theories/ Activisms on Transnational Solidarity
  • Theories/ Activisms of Black Lives Matter
  • Theories/Activisms of Nationalisms and Internationalism
  • Theories/Activisms engaging with Intersectionality and/or Assemblages
  • Theories/Activisms on Climate Change and Environmental Politics
  • Theories/Activisms in relation to the State
  • Theories/Activisms on Globalization

Please email abstracts of 200 words with author’s name and institutional affiliation to Sushmita Chatterjee, POC Caucus Chair, at by November 15, 2017 with "SEWSA People of Color Caucus 2018" in the subject line. CFPs not selected for the caucus will be automatically considered for the General CFP.