Race in the Humanities.

An Interdisciplinary Conference

15 - 17 November, 2001

CUniversity of Wisconsin -- La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

FCALL FOR PAPERS--PLEASE CIRCULATE RACE IN THE HUMANITIES The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will hold an interdisciplinary conference on Race in the Humanities from November 15-17, 2001. As the organizers of the conference, we seek individual paper abstracts and panel proposals related to the conference theme. We envision the conference as an interdisciplinary venue that will allow students, staff, and faculty to discuss the role of race in the humanities--both within individual disciplines and within the foundations of humanistic studies in the university. Two keynote speakers will present at the conference--Charles W. Mills, an innovative and influential African American philosopher, who has broadened the scope for examining race in the humanities and in philosophy; and Chester J. Fontenot, Jr., literary theorist, film critic, Fanon scholar, and author of pioneering work in the field of African American literary studies.

In keeping with Charles W. Mills' theoretical interrogation of philosophy as a racialized discipline, this conference will examine the constitutive role that race has played in the formation of other disciplines in the humanities, such as literary studies, women's studies, art, art history, history, and theatre. Critical discussions at the conference will not merely reflect on the opening of canons--literary, historical, artistic, philosophical--to minority writers, scholars, and thinkers (although this shift is certainly a significant one that will inform our discussions of race in the humanities), but it will also examine the very foundations of humanistic, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary studies in the humanities.

Research questions posed by the organizers of the conference, Race in the Humanities, include:

* How are literary genres racialized? How have national literatures erased ethnic and racial difference within its nationalistic parameters of definition?

* How are definitions of history and historicity predicated on notions of racial difference? (For example, Hegel's notions of world history as articulated in Philosophy of History.)

* How have the arts been constructed on racialized aesthetic foundations? How have art historians shaped research through racialized frames of enquiry and analysis? How, historically and institutionally, have the arts benefited from the institutions of slavery and colonialism?

* How has race been formative in the establishment of disciplinary boundaries? And how do the methodologies of disciplines perpetuate the racialization of knowledges?

We encourage submissions related, but not limited, to these research questions. As an interdisciplinary conference for faculty, staff, and students, the organizers also solicit papers that address the following: race and research in the humanities; teaching about race; race in the classroom; and myriad other topics related to race in the humanities. We strongly encourage submissions by faculty, graduate, and undergraduate student researchers on the conference theme. We also plan to hold a final "round table discussion" (following the panels) to allow for critical exchange of ideas generated by conference speakers and to further encourage dialogue about the formative role of race in the humanities.

A selected number of the papers presented at this conference may be published in book form by a university press. We are currently working out terms for this contract.

Please submit extended abstracts (2-3 pages) and/or panel proposals with a brief curriculum vitae by June 10, 2001 to the following address:

Dr. Joseph Young or Dr. Jana Evans Braziel,
English Department,
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,
La Crosse, WI 54601.

Email inquiries to young.jose@uwlax.edu or braziel.jana@uwlax.edu.

For more information, please visit the conference webpage at http://www.uwlax.edu/RaceConference

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Studies, the Department of English, and the Program in Ethnic and Racial Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

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