British Association for American Studies


CfP: Scholar-Activism in the Twenty-first Century (British Library)

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CfP: Scholar-Activism in the Twenty-first Century (British Library)

April 25, 2018

Scholar-Activism in the Twenty-first Century British Library, London, 22-23 June 2018 

The topic of scholar-activism has seen a recent resurgence in our contemporary political moment. To explore this topic, a transatlantic, scholar-activist conference will be held at the British Library on Friday June 22 and Saturday June 23. The conference will put scholars into conversation with activists to discuss how scholars and activists can work together, put recent social movements such as The Black Lives Matter Movement into scholarly and historical perspective, and highlight some ways in which scholars and activists in the US and UK are currently working together and engaging in efforts for social justice. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who will speak on “The Black Lives Matter movement in the Age of Trump.” Professor Heather Thompson, the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer prize, will also speak at the conference.

We welcome individual proposals from scholars, activists, and scholar-activists to participate in this conference. In particular, we welcome proposals from scholars and scholar- activists whose research helps to put current social activism in the US and the UK (including the Black Lives Matter movement, Justice for Grenfell, Decolonizing Education, the Poor People’s Campaign, and #MeToo among others) and challenges to this activism in scholarly and/or historical perspective. Papers and roundtables could, for instance, consider past social movements and historical developments in relation to present-day movements or put various aspects of current-day movements or challenges to these movements in a scholarly perspective. We welcome proposals for papers on these topics as well as proposals to serve on a discussion-based roundtable on these topics.

We also welcome proposals from scholars and activists who would like to present or discuss on a roundtable some of the ways that they are working together or working for social change. Finally, we welcome proposals from activists who would like to be part of roundtables to discuss the possibilities and potential pitfalls of scholarly involvement in their movements and the topic of scholar-activism more generally.

If you are interested in participating in this conference, please submit an abstract of up to 150 words on what you might like to present or be part of as well as a short (max 75-word) biographical summary to mlm29@sussex.ac.uk by 25 April 2018. Individual submissions are very welcome and panels will be created by the conference organizers once all the individual submissions are received. Scholars and activists who are already working together or scholars who are working on a larger project together are also welcome to submit proposals together. Feel free to email Melissa Milewski at mlm29@sussex.ac.uk with any inquiries.

Please note that all participants at the conference will be required to register for the conference via Eventbrite in order to attend. This conference is supported by the Sussex Centre for American Studies, the British Library, the British Association for American Studies and the US Embassy in the UK.


April 25, 2018
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