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CFP: Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference (New Orleans, Louisiana)

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CFP: Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference (New Orleans, Louisiana)

December 1, 2014

The Caribbean Studies Association hereby issues a call for papers for its 40th Annual Conference, set for May 25-29, 2015, at the Hilton Hotel (Riverside) in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The theme for 2015 is “The Caribbean in an Age of Global Apartheid: Fences, Boundaries, and Borders—Literal and Imagined.”  The deadline for abstract submissions is December 1, 2014.


Our theme for this year’s conference reflects the unfortunate fact that today’s 21st century Planet Earth is experiencing a steady growth in global inequality.  The term “global apartheid” refers to the fact that throughout the world, fences, boundaries, borders and barriers confront all aspects of human endeavor and are protected by a minority with power over and control of most of the world’s land, labor and capital.  Yet at the same time, globalization is producing population movements across all these obstacles on an unprecedented planetary scale.  Our week-long meeting provides an opportunity from a variety of perspectives to analyze, understand, and address the contradictions—pushes and pulls—of this new global reality as it impacts the Caribbean and its diasporas.

The designated conference site is New Orleans, often referred to as the “northernmost point of the Caribbean.”  Before the “Anglo-American” takeover and Civil War, it was a majority-black city with an implicitly African Creole culture.  Like many Caribbean nations, its unique history is comprised of three distinct colonial eras entailing almost three centuries of contact and synthesis among African slaves (the last to be imported legally into the U.S.), French and Spanish colonists, gens de couleur libres (free people of color), native peoples and Cajuns.

The influence of both Haiti and Cuba on New Orleans is palpable, especially in the French Quarter and Faubourg Tremé (the site of Congo Square).  In the early 19th century, refugees from revolutionary Saint-Dominque transformed Louisiana, many by way of eastern Cuba, providing inspiration for the largest slave revolt in U.S. history (1811) that ended with a tribunal held at Destrehan plantation near New Orleans (a planned CSA tour).  Perhaps less well known is the fact that New Orleans was a port city that enjoyed an almost 200-year long trading relationship with Havana, ending with the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

Today, New Orleans (and Southwest Louisiana/East Texas) is home to a robust and distinctive subculture comprised of black Catholic speakers of Creole (also known as Afro-French, Black Creoles, Black French, Creoles, Créoles, Créoles Noirs, Creoles of Color).  Plenaries, round-tables and featured panels will connect these unique Creole cultures of the U.S. with those of Africa and the Caribbean, especially those of Cuba and Haiti.  A CSA conference exhibition will show these historical connections visually by featuring strikingly similar beadwork created by the Yoruba, Haitians, and Mardi Gras Indians (Black Indians).

The organisers welcome papers and presentations on subthemes that relate to the overall conference theme, such as:

1) borders as one of the great contradictions in the era of capitalist globalization, the question of national sovereignty, responses to economic superfluity (joblessness) in the Caribbean and Circum-Caribbean; demands for slavery reparations;
2) Creole identity, history, language, migration, cuisine, literature, music, dance, festival arts, art and architecture, religious and spiritual traditions;
3) global climate change, environmental sustainability and urban geography, “toxic tourism” and disaster sites, abandoned populations, emigration and immigration policies, “nations without borders,” transnational citizenship; and
4) efforts in the region to overcome the barriers of race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, class status, gender and sexual orientation.

The organisers provide a setting where multi- and inter-disciplinary views are encouraged, where the arts and humanities meet the social sciences, and where different ways of seeing and communicating about the world are presented by a diverse array of participants.

Guidelines for Panel/Paper Submissions

● All proposals must be submitted electronically via the CSA website.  The deadline for individual and panel submissions is 1 December 2014
● Abstracts must not exceed 125 words for individual papers or 250 words for panels
● Titles for individual papers and for panels must not exceed 70 characters (we reserve the right to edit for brevity)
● Proposed panels should contain at least 3 and no more than 4 presenters, and panel chairperson must be named in the proposal
● Paper titles (and abstracts if possible) should be submitted in at least one other language besides English (Spanish, French or Haitian Kreyol); multilingual abstracts will be published in the electronic version of the program.
● Panels should strive to represent a diversity of languages, rank, affiliations and disciplines (i.e., inclusion of graduate students and junior scholars on panels with senior scholars, activists, and/or practitioners; panels composed of social science, arts and humanities scholars)
● Papers/presentations that require special equipment, installation space, rooms, translation services, etc., must be indicated on the submission form
● Presentations of films and visual and performing arts, as well as related panels, are welcome. Please see the 2015 Film and Visual & Performing Arts Committee Call for Proposals (below) for information and submission instructions.
Membership dues and conference registration must be paid by April 15, 2015, or papers/panels will not appear in the conference program.  Membership and registration details are available on the CSA website.

For help with translation or information on suggested topics, CSA travel grants, visas, submissions forms, author celebration, literary salon and executive council email addresses, contact secretariat@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org.

CSA 2015 Film and Visual & Performing Arts Committee Call for Proposals

The CSA 2015 Film and Visual & Performing Arts Committee invites proposals from filmmakers, visual and performing artists, and scholars and graduate students to submit proposals for films and other visual modes of expression—as well as papers about films and the visual arts—that engage the CSA 2015 conference theme of The Caribbean in an Age of Global Apartheid: Fences, Boundaries, and Borders – Literal and Imagined, when the 40th conference of the CSA convenes in New Orleans 25-29 May 2015.  New Orleans provides an ideal cultural and dialogical space for exploring how arts and culture relate to issues facing the African diaspora and the Caribbean today.

The organisers seek proposals that explore the intersections of historical and current artistic expressions of Caribbean and U.S. creole identities, and they encourage proposals from filmmakers and artists who have illustrated the intersection of the cultures of the Caribbean Basin and New Orleans to create unique expressions that critically filter our perceptions of socio-cultural identity. The organisers hope to create a platform for a profound discourse involving identity, religion, the arts and culture, political economy, media and communication, such artistic forms being historical and contemporary forays into the region’s politics and economies.

Some questions that are likely to be raised in accordance with this Call for Proposals include, but are not restricted to the following:  How do the arts and culture related to the Caribbean function in the political economy of communication? How do they influence, and interject in Caribbean politics and interpolate Caribbean subjects, and enter into a political economy of communication? What gaps exist in the political economy of communication concerning the Caribbean that the arts and culture can begin to fill? How do they contribute to the negotiation of a social totality, an individual totality or a discursive totality?  In what ways do they assist in the directing of a social imaginary toward nationalist or regional thought?

The organisers welcome submissions that not only challenge the harmony implied by previous paradigms of plurality but speak to the cleavages created by hierarchies of race, class, gender, sexuality and language, as well as new contradictory syntheses that defy the hierarchies. Equally, we seek proposals addressing the role of film and art in reflecting, shaping/defining, complicating and/or integrating plural environments in the Caribbean, its diasporas and the New Orleans area.

We invite 250 word abstracts; please use the guidelines for panel/paper proposals listed in the general Call for Papers.  Send proposals for films or film-related panels no later than December 1, 2015, to Terry-Ann Jones at tjones@fairfield.edu and those related to visual or performing arts to Jan DeCosmo at jandecosmo@comcast.net.


December 1, 2014
Event Category:


Caribbean Studies Association
jandecosmo@comcast.net; tjones@fairfield.edu; secretariat@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org


Hilton Hotel (Riverside)
Two Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130 United States
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