Thursday, December 18, 2014


It's so difficult to change the narrative. We become content and comfortable with the stories we hear and know. How long was the US going to have no relations with Cuba?  Until Fidel died?  There are going to be a number of old Cuban Americans who will probably begin to hate Obama as much as they hated Kennedy. But one person's grief should not bury a village. Policies die just like people do.

There is no way we can move into the future telling the same stories over and over. Cuba, was like the Middle East. How long can we watch the Israel/ Palestine conflict? I'm also tired of Islamic terrorist book clubs spreading violence around the world. From schools to chocolate shops we need to turn the page. Violence and hatred is getting old and very medieval. What's next - New Crusades?

I'm happy to see Obama and Pope Francis trying to teach us a new scripture.
Yet, how long will it take African Americans to accept the fact that Obama is not a Civil Rights leader but a president? Too many of us keep wanting the fairy tales. A sweet narrative. It's silly to expect Obama to wave a wand or sign a bill that's going to make racism vanish. Why do African American still need bedtime stories? Are we only a race of beautiful dreamers? And after all the "dreaming" will a new generation ever rise and take control?  I know that I might sound like Margaret Walker but who is reading her these days?  Please tell me about the new believers that must come naked into this world. Tell me a story in which everything changes. Don't put me to sleep - put me to work.

Cuba Si!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A people-powered department relies on...people. Together, we can take the USDAC to the next level in 2015!
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Dear Friends & Allies,
Despite being allocated exactly $0 of the government’s recent $1.1 trillion spending bill, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is entering 2015 with momentum, possibility, and significant nationwide participation. We like to say that the USDAC isn’t an outside agency coming in, it’s our inside agency coming out. But the deepest truth the USDAC embodies is this: we are all in it together.
For the first and only time in 2014, we’re turning to you, our founding Citizen Artists, with a simple request: if you believe in the work we're doing, please consider making a tax-deductible donation as part of your year-end giving. Here’s why:
Nine months since posting our first call for Cultural Agents, we’ve:
  • Trained a founding cohort of Agents.
  • Engaged more than 2,500 participants at Imaginings in 11 different cities.
  • Issued creative action calls for climate justice and police demilitarization.
  • Appointed the first 23 members of a National Cabinet.
  • Created 6 video PSAs.
  • Launched Field Offices that are already taking on local projects in multiple states.
And more...
Next week, the USDAC will announce a second cohort of Cultural Agents, and next month, we’ll host thePeople’s State of the Union, a national creative action with hundreds of participants from across the country.
We’ve done all of this with the entirely volunteer energy of a passionate, multigenerational team. 
The USDAC defies easy categorization. Is it a performance? An organizing strategy? A movement? A community of practice? A love poem to the world we wish to inhabit? The answer, in short, is: yes. We’ve already built significant momentum and begun to demonstrate what we’re capable of creating together. Help us take the next steps.
Yes, I believe in the USDAC and can help!
On behalf of our passionate volunteer team of dreamers, schemers, movers, and shakers here at the USDAC, thank you for your vision and generosity. We look forward to the journey ahead!

Adam Horowitz
Chief Instigator
Take part in the
People's State of the Union!

Extended Deadline: Jan 8

What if the annual State of The Union was not a speech spoken by one, but a poem created by many? Take part in this exciting national action by hosting a story circle in your community! Learn more and register to host:

Statement of Values Poster

Just in time for the gift-giving season, check out new USDAC swag in our gift shop! Our Statement of Values brochure folds out into this awesome poster designed by Angela Miles:

Call for Equity and Justice

The USDAC continues to call on artists to join in the movement to demilitarize the police and bring justice to victims of publicly funded racism. #DearFerguson gif by Jeremy Oberstein.  Read the Call and find/share more work here.

Copyright © 2014 USDAC, All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Falta de Ar by E. Ethelbert MillerTranslated into Portuguese by Manual A. Domigos, Medulla Press. 59 pages.
Love is sweet in any language — twice as sweet in two. Ethelbert Miller, poet and historian, becomes the balladeer of romance in this small but potent book. It fits in your pocket to read on the subway, or in church (choose the back pew, please).

It’s about one man’s sensuality and reminds me of an updated version of the popular 1950s book This Is My Belovedthat topped the bestseller list and left the Eisenhower era unsettled by its publication. Perhaps this book is needed now because there is no existing book- length love letter in 2014. The book has aphorisms that I like very much — some existential, such as in "Life": "There is a ladder in the room / that goes nowhere." Some are philosophical, as in "Affairs": "All affairs begin in fiction / and end in fiction." Then a page is punctuated by Haiku, in “Alone”:"No moon tonight / Empty bed / Pillow on the floor."

Miller is a political poet and a social activist, so it’s not surprising that we have poems of liberation, one about Tubman with an epigraph by Amiri Baraka (“Arm yourself, or harm yourself”), and poems of sanctuary — “The Kirti Monastery” — by a poet who becomes observer and capturer of love’s spectrum.
The appeal of the book is in its combined interests, man and woman — yes, but also man and politics — man and faith — the poet in love with the natural.


I will be 65 next year. It seems as if I've been talking about "race" my entire life. Much of it started when I majored in African American Studies at Howard University. There I was introduced to authors and books that would change my life. I also became a writer and in a small way made my own contribution to the narrative of African Americans in the United States. I continue to have many  conversations about race and racism with students, friends, intellectuals and activists.What I've noticed is that there are certain periods of African American history we prefer to talk about more than others.

Below is a checklist you can use. What periods of African American history do you spend considerable time talking about?

1.   Africa
2.   Middle Passage
3.   Slavery
4.   Civil War
5.   Reconstruction
6.   The Great Migration
7.   Harlem Renaissance
8.   Great Depression
9.   Civil Rights Movement
10. Black Power Movement

I suspect # 5 Reconstruction is the buffet. How many of us keep looking at the same menu year after year?

Sunday, December 21, 2014
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Eatonville Restaurant
Food & Folklore Series


Drop in from the shopping.  Spend Sunday evening with dessert, wine and conversation as it was in the 1920s on Saturday nights inside the S Street, NW home of Georgia Douglas Johnson host of the Saturday Nighters literary salon...where the Harlem Renaissance was born.

Saturday Nighter members included Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, May Miller, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Jessie Redmon Fauset. Richard Bruce Nugent, W.E.B. DuBois

Speakers for Food & Folklore
Kim Roberts
literary historian, poet, and co-author of

Michon Boston
writer/producer and "foodlorist"

Dana Ellyn
painter (painting above).  See more from Dana'sHeritage Trail Project

Door prizes

$20 Admission includes dessert and drink.  
Additional food and drinks may be ordered separately from the menu.

Eatonville Restaurant is located
at 2121 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009.
Reservations and Information
Call 202-332-ZORA (9672)
mention "Food & Folklore"

Georgia Douglas Johnson, a charming woman poet, who had two sons in college, turned her house into a salon for us on Saturday nights...[we] used to come there to eat Mrs. Johnson's cake and drink her wine and talk poetry and books and plays.  

From The Big Sea by Langston Hughes

photo of Georgia Douglas Johnson on the cover of The Crisis magazine, March 1920

 Creative Cultural Solutions
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Last week I came across 20 slides of the work of sculptor Ed Love. They capture his work between the years 1988-1995. This would come after his big exhibit - SOUNDINGS held at the Gallery of Art, Howard University in 1986. Robert Farris Thompson wrote the text for the SOUNDINGS catalog. That's something worth going back and reading. Do you remember when everyone had a copy of Thompson's FLASH OF THE SPIRIT? Might be good in 2015 to take another sip from that and get drunk on knowledge.

Here is a link to a Thompson lecture:

Monday, December 15, 2014



I must confess I didn't know all the things people were protesting for until I went to this website.
Much of it seems to echo the old back pages of Muhammad Speaks and the Black Panther Newspaper. The only thing might be missing is the demand for 5 States in the Black Belt South.

Is this the Ferguson Manifesto?  Should I memorize what's on the website and reduce it down to talking points?
None of this is new if you've been an activist the last several years.

Prison reform is needed. How many of us remember the recent protests of inmates in the Georgia System?  Nothing has really changed except there are new books out on the subject. We talk about a New Jim Crow which is clever but it's no different than replacing the word segregation with that of apartheid. At the end of the day it's still the same old struggle with a new set of clothes.

I keep telling people we need to focus more on the period of Reconstruction in America.
Much of our time is spent studying slavery. But let's look at what happened after Emancipation.
How did we try to rise up and seize control of a new black future on the horizon?
What was the promise?  What turned into failure?
How did we define the role of government during this period?  What did we want the government to do for us?  What did we expect from the vote?

Black men in prison has always been a problem in the US.
Do we need Attica T-shirts and George Jackson mugs to remind us?
X will always mark the spot and time. Thanks Malcolm...

I look to 2015 and it seems as if something "wicked" might this way come.
There is too much rage in the air and a descending darkness.

What do we want?  Is the word Freedom still in the air?
How come - we can't breathe?

Folks need to remember - YOU CAN'T CHOKE HISTORY OR CHANGE.
People have to breathe or die.


The Nation:

The Hill Rag

The Hill Rag

The Hill Rag

The Hill Rag



Here is a good example of the media begging for a narrative to write.

Quote by Jason Gay:

There are two games left in Cleveland’s season—still a sliver of opportunity for Johnny Football to lift himself into confident Johnny Football and begin this promised story line properly. It can’t end like this. It shouldn’t end like this. As Manziel began his slow walk out the stadium, he tucked his ears behind a pair of shiny gold-colored headphones. It was his only trace of flash on a very long day.
Place your heart in your hands and blow gently.
Spread love like seeds.

   - E. Ethelbert Miller

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Excerpt from a letter written to my friend Manuel...
I see grace as the opening of the door to God's presence. Those of us who are activists too often look out the window and believe we can quickly change the world. We prepare to go outside without spiritual preparation or resources. There is a hunger often fueled by discontent and anger.

If we turn the knob to the door, we must be prepared to embrace the light. The light which guides our moral compass. The path of struggle is a difficult one. It has its bends, its ups and down - disappointment and despair. The path however is one which spirals upwards. The hand of hope is one that lifts the soul. To protest is to tear down walls - to love is to build bridges. There is much to be done - let us do our heavy-lifting with dignity.
E. Ethelbert Miller

Difficult at the Beginning, Easy at the End | December 14, 2014

Worldly life is easy at the beginning and difficult at the end. A spiritual life is difficult at the beginning and easy at the end.

- Ani Chudrun, "Unusual Choices"

Saturday, December 13, 2014



For Men and Women Who Have Been Incarcerated and Are Preparing to Return to the Community

During my first class a participant told me, “I only have a third grade education, I can’t spell, I can’t write and I sure as hell can’t write poetry.” By the end of that class he had written his first poem and proudly read it aloud. It was evident how pleased he was. The next week he told me he had shared his poem with everyone in his jailblock.  On the day he was to be released, he shared that he was going to sign up for classes at the junior college because he had learned that it was okay to try doing things even if he didn’t think he would be any good at them. His gratitude was humbling. I didn’t tell him that I had been sure I wouldn’t be any good at teaching.
                                                --Nancy Gomez-Miller, teacher at R.I.S.E.
Dear Writers,

As part of my term as Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate, I am excited about establishing poetry workshops for women and men who have been incarcerated and now want to re-enter our community as healthy, contributing members.
We’ve just completed the first ten-week session and now we are looking for a few poets who would like to make a meaningful contribution to some people who are eager for a chance to change their lives. If you might be interested in teaching in this program, please let me know! You don’t have to have teaching experience to volunteer--just a genuine desire to bring the power of poetry to people to whom it will make a big difference.

There are two organizations in Santa Cruz County that we are collaborating with--Gemma and R.I.S.E.--both operating under the auspices of Encompass(formerly The Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center):
Gemma is a non-profit program whose purpose is to assist women to successfully reintegrate and become contributing members of the community. Gemma educates and empowers women in the transformation of their lives through safe, structured, skill-building support to help stop the “revolving door” cycle of incarceration.

The R.I.S.E. program is an in-custody treatment program whose primary purpose is to reduce recidivism by providing structure, services and support to men returning to the community. The RISE program targets high-risk behaviors by building the foundation, providing education and supporting men to practice the skills necessary to safely reenter the community.

Over the past year, I started and taught in a poetry program at Salinas Valley State Prison which is now an ongoing program with three poet-teachers. This work has been deeply gratifying and inspiring and in the near future we would like to expand this program as well, so if you’re interested in working here, please contact me too.

Teaching men and women who have a deep need for poetry is a profoundly gratifying experience. The participants in these workshops are hungry for meaningful intellectual conversation and they are eager to study the craft, as well as delve into the emotion of poetry. If you’ve been thinking you’d like to share your passion and knowledge of poetry, I hope you’ll join us.

If you have interest in teaching with this project, please email me at  and include a little information about yourself, your experience, and what draws you to this work. Also, feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Thank you!
Copyright © 2014 Ellen Bass, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to Ellen's email list.

Our mailing address is:
Ellen Bass
c/o Jen Petras
249 West Park Boulevard
Medina, OH 44256

   Women's Research & Resource Center

Women's Research & Resource Center
at Spelman College 
NEWSNOTES                                        December 2014
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
DMIS Student Showcase
Int'l Journal of Gender & Women's Studies
New Book by Barbara Smith
Gender, Race and Politics

Quick Links...
WRRC website

As the semester and year come to a close, it is difficult to think about "happy holidays".  The events surrounding police brutality, starting with Ferguson, and the continuing senseless murders of black people---women and men, boys and girls--leave us nearly speechless.

So, the Women's Center would like to simply say, have a peaceful, reflective, holiday season.

We are hopeful that 2015 will bring some measure of justice with peace.
In gratitude,
Beverly Guy-Sheftall    
 The Women's Research & Resource Center (WRRC) continues to make bold strides, creatively and distinctively connecting education with advocacy and activism. The WRRC is the first women's research center at a historically Black college and the first one to offer a women's studies major.    Give your gift today!     
 The Women's Research and Resource Center
at Spelman College will host the
Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activist Annual Conference
MARCH 20 - 21, 2015
Stay tuned for more detailed information in late January
on the Spelman College webpage:
Additionally, the Women's Center webpage will include a list of sponsored and co-sponsored events on campus for the Spring 2015 semester including the 5th Annual Kenyetta: A Festival of Women in Jazz on March 27 and 28 in Sisters Chapel.



The Women's Research and Resource Center's Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS) program at Spelman College will host the Annual Student Showcase in April 2015 (date TBA). This event is open to the public and will be held at the Midtown Art Cinema, Atlanta, GA. 

More information will be available on the Spelman College webpage during the Spring semester.   View previous Spelman students films on the DMIS webpage at:  

39th Annual Conference
The Foundation and Future of Black Studies:   
Reaffirming Our Emancipatory Mission & Value 
March 11 - 14, 2015
39th NCBS Annual Conference 
 The Westin Los Angeles Airport
Los Angeles, CA

The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) announces its 39th annual conference.

Theme: We welcome presentations for our upcoming annual meeting on all topics pertinent to Africana/Black Studies. In addition to topics from all disciplinary, inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives, we especially call for papers that explore the foundations and future of our work of cultural grounding, academic excellence, and social responsibility. In the diverse, international metropolis of Los Angeles, CA, we invite papers that examine the emancipatory mission of our discipline/field from local to global spaces. As a special feature, we will host a legislative hearing in partnership with members of the California Legislature who are engaged in a statewide effort to save and build Africana Studies in our state universities. The session will hear from leaders in higher education, discuss recent and pending legislation as well as efforts to get the state chancellor to put a moratorium on all program reductions and elimination, and to engage in a statewide study on the value of ethnic studies to California and beyond.

General Guidelines: Submit a 150-400 word abstract for a panel (one for the panel subject and one for each panelist), individual presenter, and poster presentation. For a roundtable discussion submit a 500-word abstract for the discussion topic. Panels, presentations, posters, and roundtables should explore the experiences and perspectives of African people, locally, nationally, globally or comparatively from interdisciplinary frameworks rooted in the agency of African people. Of particular interest are presentations that approach the discipline of Africana/Black Studies using multi-layered frameworks and mixed methodologies that incorporate various combinations of class, gender, race, and sexuality, through the lens of Afrocentric, cross and multicultural, postmodernist, post-colonial, transnational, comparative, and diasporic interpretative schemes.

Call for Papers Submission Deadline:  December 31, 2014 
Hotel reservations phone number:  
 5400 West Century Boulevard  
Los Angeles, California 90045 
Call for Papers Deadline: December 19, 2014  

For more information: 

We are excited to announce our 39th Annual conference in the great city ofLos Angeles, California.  As we celebrate our 39th conference, we invite you to share this moment with us and create new memories. 
Please feel free to share with your colleagues.  

The 2015 Local Host Committee:
Department of Africana Studies, California State University-Northridge
Department of African American Studies, University of California - Los Angeles
Department of African American Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Africana Studies Department, California State University-Dominguez Hills
Department of African American Studies, California State University - Long Beach
Department of Pan-African Studies, California State University - Los Angeles
University of Cincinnati | P.O. Box 210370 | Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0370
 Call for Papers 
International Journal of Gender & Women's Studies 
ISSN: 2333-6021 (Print) 2333-603X (Online)

International Journal of Gender and Women's Studies  is an interdisciplinary international journal which publishes articles relating to gender and sex from a feminist perspective covering a wide range of subject areas including the social and natural sciences, the arts, the humanities and popular culture. The journal seeks articles from around the world that examine gender and the social construction of relationships among genders. In drafting papers authors should consider the readability of their paper for readers outside of their discipline. Articles appearing in Journal of Gender and Women's Studies analyze gender and gendered processes in interactions, organizations, societies, and global and transnational spaces. The journal primarily publishes empirical articles, which are both theoretically engaged and methodologically rigorous, including qualitative, quantitative, and comparative methodologies. The journal also publishes reviews of books from a diverse array of social science disciplines.

The journal is published by the American Research Institute for Policy Development that serves as a focal point for academicians, professionals, graduate and undergraduate students, fellows, and associates pursuing research throughout the world.
The interested contributors are highly encouraged to submit their manuscripts/papers to the executive editor via e-mail at Please indicate the name of the journal (International Journal of Gender & Women's Studies) in the cover letter or simply put 'International Journal of Gender & Women's Studies ' in the subject box during submission via e-mail.  

The journal is Abstracted/Indexed in CrossRef, CrossCheck, Cabell's, Ulrich's, Griffith Research Online, Google Scholar,, Informatics, Universe Digital Library, Standard Periodical Directory, Gale, Open J-Gate, EBSCO, Journal Seek, DRJI, ProQuest, BASE, InfoBase Index, OCLC, IBSS, Academic Journal Databases, Scientific Index.

E-Publication FirstTM
E-Publication FirstTM is a feature offered through our journal platform. It allows PDF version of manuscripts that have been peer reviewed and accepted, to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final printed journal. Readers can freely access or cite the article. The accepted papers are published online within one week after the completion of all necessary publishing steps.

DOI® number
Each paper published in International Journal of Gender & Women's Studies is assigned a DOI® number, which appears beneath the author's affiliation in the published paper.

The online publication date is March 31, 2015. Submission Deadline: February 15, 2015. You may view the complete list of the journals of the institute.  For any additional information, please contact with the executive editor at

Dr. Michael O. Akintayo, Metropolitan College of New York, USA.
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Gender & Women's Studies


National Summer Institute on Learning Communities

This is one of the best conferences I have ever attended. It was well organized beyond belief and, unlike some others, the information was so focused to our team's needs that I don't feel like we wasted even one minute on information we won't use.- Institute participant

Visit our website to get an application:

The National Summer Institute on Learning Communities is designed to help two-year and four-year campuses that are starting or expanding learning community programs, as well as institutions that are just beginning to explore the potential for learning communities on their campus. It draws on the wisdom of experienced learning community practitioners as well as the growing research on what makes learning communities an effective institutional change strategy for improving student learning, persistence, and graduation rates.

The institute has been held annually since the mid-1990's at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Teams from both public and independent institutions have found the institute invaluable in creating, expanding, and improving their learning community programs.
Colleges and universities selected for the institute are matched with resource faculty who are leaders in learning community work and other reform movements in higher education. The work of each team at the institute varies, depending on their institutional and program needs. Institutions starting or expanding their programs will leave the institute with a two-year action plan. Those considering learning communities will create a well--developed program proposal. Workshops and consultations are designed to support teams' work on proposals and plans relevant to their institution.

Teams generally range in size from five to ten members.
The 2015 institute will be held July 13-17, 2015 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

We begin accepting applications in September of each year. First consideration will be given to applications received by Jan. 15, 2015.

New Book Reflects on Barbara Smith and Her Contributions to Movement Building.  Contact:  Cathy Renna,, (917) 757-6123

 Book Facts:
November 2014 / 324 pages / Trim size 7 x 10 / 12 b/w photographs, 1 map, $29.95 paperback / ISBN 978-1-4384-5114-5

About the Editors:
Alethia Jones is Director of Education and Leadership Development at 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and a former professor of public policy and politics. Virginia Eubanks is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York and author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.

Barbara Smith is Public Service Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She served two terms as a member of the City of Albany's Common Council, and is the author of The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race,Gender, and Freedom


REPARATIONS: What is owed to whom and how?

EDITOR:  Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago

In 2015 Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society will be joining with the Journal of African American History, The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Psychology, The Journal of Pan African Studies, African American Learnerand Review of Black Political Economy to produce special issues devoted to the discussion and analysis of what reparations might look like for African Americans in the United States. This collaboration is informed by CARICOM's Ten point program, a call for reparations issued by 14 Caribbean nations earlier this year. Souls would like to invite papers that take up the issues of reparations for blacks in the Americas. Writers are encouraged to identify what demands might form the centerpiece of a reparations agenda for the 21st century. There is no simple formula and we want to invite treatments of the reparations argument with depth and nuance. At the same time we want essays that can provoke debate and discussion among popular and academic audiences.

Black people in the African Diaspora are in a painful place. From Haiti to Brazil to U.S. cities like Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis, poor people of African descent are enduring poverty, abandoned schools and cities, poor health outcomes, police violence and incarceration in disproportionate numbers. At the other end of the spectrum there is a growing stratum of Black billionaires, politicians, and celebrities who enjoy great wealth and wield considerable power. Nevertheless success for the few has not translated into justice for the many. The legacy of slavery, marginalization, colonization and repression, compounded by the effects of the prison industry and neoliberal policies worldwide have left Black communities, in all corners of the globe bereft and suffering. Can reparations help to remedy some of this suffering? If so, how shall we account for what was loss?

The dilemma of historical memory, and more importantly, historical reckoning is inescapable in movements for social justice. In the U.S. context Black nationalist organizations like N'COBRA (National Coalition of Black for Reparations in America) have made the case for reparations for years. The case has also been made in the Halls of Congress and most recently in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly magazine by Black journalist, Ta Nehisi Coates. There are also examples of other oppressed groups that have received reparations for past injustices.

Borrowing from the vibrant and growing restorative justice movement and various Truth and Reconciliation projects (in Post Apartheid South Africa and Greensboro, NC to name a few), we invite writers to weigh in on what reparations would look like for African slavery and the centuries of institutional racism that followed. There are precedents in the United States and beyond for reparations. Since many calls for reparations have been singularly American (that is U.S. focused), some have focused on rebuilding traditional (i.e. patriarchal) Black families, and others have implicitly called for integration into existing economic structures, we are particularly eager to publish visions of reparations that apply a queer of color, Black feminist and/or internationalist lens that offer a critique of, and imagine alternatives to, existing capitalist economic constructs.

Final Submission Deadline is Midnight December 30, 2014

To submit to this special issue:

For general questions please contact 

SOULS only accepts unsolicited manuscripts by electronic submission. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by members of our Editorial Working Group (EWG) and our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), as well as other affiliated scholars.
All submissions must include author's full mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers, and professional, organizational or academic affiliation. Authors will be asked to indicate that the manuscript contains original content, has not previously been published, and is not under review by another publication. Authors are responsible for securing permission to use copyrighted tables or materials from a copyrighted work in excess of 500 words. Authors must contact original authors or copyright holders to request the use of such material in their articles. Authors are required to submit a three to five sentence bio, an abstract of their article of not more than 100 words, and a brief list of key words or significant concepts in the article.
Upload submissions here:

DCP: In the pattern of the critical black intellectual tradition of W.E.B. DuBois, Souls articles should include the elements of "description," "correction," and/or "prescription": thickly, richly detailed descriptions of contemporary black life and culture; corrective and analytical engagements with theories and concepts that reproduce racial inequality in all of its forms; and/or an analysis that presents clear alternatives or possibilities for social change.
Originality: Articles should make an original contribution to the literature. We do not consider manuscripts that are under review elsewhere.
FORM OF ARTICLES:Length: Articles published in Soulsgenerally are a minimum of 2,500 words in length, but not longer than 8,500 words, excluding endnotes and scholarly references.
CMS and Clarity: All articles should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. Scholarly references and citations usually should not be embedded in the text of the article, but arranged as endnotes in CMS form. Souls favors clearly written articles free of excessive academic jargon and readily accessible to a broad audience.
Critical: Souls aspires to produce scholarship representing a critical black studies - analytical and theoretical works in the living tradition of scholar/activist W.E.B. Du Bois. Souls is an intellectual intervention that seeks to inform and transform black life and history.

Any additional questions, please contact:
Prudence Browne, Managing Editor
Professor Barbara Ransby, Editor

Rutgers Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Student
Conference 2015

Department of Women's and Gender Studies
at Rutgers University
Friday, April 24, 2015
Rutgers, New Brunswick

 Keynote Speaker: Alexander Weheliye
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Northwestern University

Author of Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black
Feminist Theories of the Human
Duke University Press, 2014

Proposals Due: January 5, 2015 at:
In confronting futurity within global conditions of increasing economic stratification and distress, the social and the political are traditionally viewed through an anthropocentric lens that takes human agency and voice as its central determinants. In this context, emergent work in posthumanism, sciences studies, disability studies, animal studies, new materialisms, and affect theory seeks to de-exceptionalize human experience as the dominant force that impels global change by challenging conventional understandings of what constitutes agency and the political in relation to more-than-human entities.

At the same time, fields including critical race studies, queer of color critique, decolonial and postcolonial studies, trans studies, disabilitystudies, and feminist critique raise questions regarding the privileged parameters of some of these other-than-human approaches; many argue for re-centering analyses of the axes of race, gender, sexuality and
ability in discussions of politics and the future, given that multiple marginalized and underrepresented peoples have yet to acquire human status in the framework of European Humanism and Western Modernity.

What does it mean to turn to the other-than-human precisely when the human is being made extinct along lines of gender, race, class and location by capitalism and coloniality?

We invite graduate students from all departments and fields to take a convivial approach to these debates:

How might we reflect on the impact of more-than-human biological and earthly forces on subjectivity, sexuality, ability and race?
Can we theorize through a non-anthropocentric vision of ecology, politics, and the social while keeping in mind the axes of differentiation that subjectivize the human today?
What futures can we collectively imagine that both de-center the liberal Human subject and provide ways of understanding human experience beyond the violent confines of Western Modernity?
What subjugated knowledges and practices already view the world and the future through a non-anthropocentric lens?
How are the humanities and the social sciences particularly equipped to mediate the oppositional approaches to the human, futurity, posthumanism(s), and antifuturity?
How can different ways of knowing other academic disciplines, spiritual practices, collective knowledges bring new insights to these questions?
We welcome papers that broadly relate to these issues. We also invite you to interpret these themes loosely, offer alternative frames for the discourse, or critique them.

Artist Presentation: Brief 15 to 20-minute presentations will be made available to artists, poets, performers, and curators who wish to present original work related to the conference topic.

Submissions will be evaluated by standard conference review process; a group of graduate students not presenting at the conference will make decisions regarding proposals and panels. We are dedicated to demystifying
this process by attempting to make it as transparent as possible. If you have any questions before or after submitting a proposal, please contact us
We welcome you to join us in these conversations, and we look forward to your contributions! Staying in touch with Rutgers WGS, email: ru.wgs.phds@gmail.
The Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race and Politics in the South at Wake Forest University invites applications for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship on gender, race, and politics.

Part of the mission of the Anna Julia Cooper Center is to create a hub for intellectual collaboration, collegial interaction and scholarly support focused around interdisciplinary research on the intersectional identities of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. We invite scholars engaged in research on intersectional questions of gender and race to apply.
Applicants are welcome from a broad range of social science disciplines with the expectation of ability to teach courses for the Department of Politics and International Affairs. Applicant's teaching should parallel their research interests, and applicants must have the ability to teach in one or more areas engaged with any of the following: political theory, political history, political institutions, political behavior, or human and civil rights and law in the U.S. and/or international contexts. The postdoctoral fellow will have a close mentoring relationship with the AJC Center director, Melissa Harris-Perry.
The AJC Center Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to teach two courses each semester in the Department of Politics and International Affairs; to be involved with and present at AJC Center events; to present annually and participate monthly in the AJC Center faculty research seminars; and to host, along with the AJC Center director, at least four meetings each semester with the AJC Center undergraduate research fellows to discuss research; and to undertake additional responsibilities associated with the AJC Center.
Candidates must have completed all requirements for their Ph.D. by August 1, 2015. Applicants should submit the following materials in one PDF file through the online site identified below by January 1, 2015: 
  • A cover letter directed to Melissa Harris-Perry, director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Graduate transcripts
  • A statement of research program
  • A statement of teaching philosophy
  • Writing sample or publication
  • Course outlines
  • Teaching evaluation summaries
Applicants must make arrangements to have three confidential letters of recommendation sent to Otherwise, letters and additional documents can be uploaded in OpenHire.
For complete details and to apply, go to The submission of an online application for Wake Forest University is required for this position. Questions about the application process may be addressed to or (336) 758-4700.

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invites submissions for a special issue titled "Pleasure and Danger: Sexual Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century," slated for publication in the Autumn 2016 issue. Please circulate widely.

At the heart of the feminist project is a persistent concern with thinking through the "powers of desire" (Snitow, Stansell, and Thompson 1983) and expanding the potential for sexual and gender freedom and self-determination at the same time that we combat sadly persistent forms of sexual danger and violence. Exemplified in the US context by Carole Vance's landmark collection, Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, feminist debates over sex, gender, and society have been incendiary. First published in 1984, as proceedings of the infamous "Scholar and the Feminist" conference at Barnard, which initiated the equally infamous "sex wars," this volume reproduced intense dialogue while also contributing to a much broader investigation of the politics (and pleasures, and dangers) of sexuality within feminist theory and culture. Articles that threw down gauntlets were subsequently canonized and celebrated. Much has changed since that explosive conference and book. Even the subtitle - "exploring female sexuality" - would now be more deeply interrogated (biologically female? presumptively heterosexual?) and certainly pluralized. But however reframed, the paradoxical joining that is "pleasure and danger" remains poignantly relevant.

For this special issue, we invite transdisciplinary and transnational submissions that address questions and debates provoked by the "pleasure and danger" couplet. Submissions may engage with the historical (how different is our moment from that formative "sex wars" era? have the sex wars moved to new terrain such as trafficking and slut-shaming?); the representational (how does the digital era transform our sexual lives? what does "livestreaming" sexual assault do to/for feminist organizing? what possibilities are there for feminist and queer imagery in an era of prolific porn, commodified otherness, and everyday inclusion?); the structural (how do race, ethnicity, religion, and national cultures enable and constrain sexual freedoms? how do carceral and governance feminisms frame and perhaps contain earlier liberatory impulses?); and/or the intersectional (how do we analyze the mutually constituting relations of sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, ability, age, and so on?). There are local and global questions to be asked and strategic arguments to be resolved. And the very terms are themselves constantly debated (whose pleasure are we speaking of and for? who is the "we" doing that speaking? who is imagined to be "in danger?" how does "gender" signify differently in that couplet from "sexuality?")

We particularly encourage analyses from all regions of the globe that address pressing concerns and that do so in a way that is accessible and, well, passionate! We encourage bold and big thinking that seeks to reckon with the conundrum still signaled by the pleasure/danger frame. We especially seek submissions that attend to the couplet itself, to the centrality of pleasure/danger within the project of making feminism matter and resonate in ways both intimate and structural, deeply sensual and liberatory, simultaneously championing multiplicities of pleasures and a lasting freedom from violence and abuse.

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2015.

Manuscripts may be submitted electronically through Signs Editorial Manager system at Please choose the article type "Pleasure and Danger - Special Issue Article." Guidelines for submission are available at ttp://

This call is available online at or for download as a PDF at

The deadline to submit a proposal is:  December 15, 2015

SEWSA 2015 Call For Papers
(This information has been updated on 11/25/2014 at 10:11AM)

The Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University is proud to host SEWSA 2015: "Trafficking in Gender: Feminist Dialogues on Embodiment." The 2015 Southeastern Women's Studies Association conference will be held at the Wyndham Hotel in Boca Raton on March 26-29, 2015. We look forward to welcoming you to South Florida!

We invite paper abstracts and complete panel, workshop, and roundtable proposals on all aspects of gender and embodiment. We especially encourage those that engage the conference theme to discuss feminism in relation to the themes of (im)mobility, trafficking, and movement. Gayle Rubin's landmark essay, "The Traffic in Women: Notes on the 'Political Economy' of Sex," provides a touchstone for SEWSA 2015 conference theme.

Suggested topics/approaches for proposals:
  • theories of sex and gender and "modes of reproduction"
  • sexual subcultures and sexual minorities 
  • routes of transnational feminist politics
  • sex and profit (prostitution, domestic labor, etc.)
  • body trafficking, displaced and misplaced bodies
  • various forms of illicit trafficking (organs, cultural objects, drugs)
  • anti-trafficking movements and activism
  • kinship systems, gift exchange, the politics of marriage, and the relationship of social systems to political and economic arrangements
  • engendering health
  • narratives of activism
  • pedagogical meditations on teaching gender and embodiment
  • circulations of cultural production (music, film, literature, visual arts)

The conference topic is inspired by our Center's current initiative to raise awareness about sex trafficking, particularly in South Florida. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center found that the state of Florida ranked 3rd in the number of phone calls amassed by their human trafficking hotline in 2011. Our keynote speaker, Carrie N. Baker, an Associate Professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College, has published The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment (Cambridge UP, 2004), and her current research is on sex trafficking.

We invite you to submit individual proposals of 250 words in a Word document for this general call for papers and the deadline general conference submissions has been extended to January 9th. (The LGBTQ, People of Color, and Student caucus panels have already selected their presenters.) Submissions should detail requests for specific audiovisual equipment, if needed. We also ask that a proposal for a complete panel, roundtable, or workshop include a short description of the central topic, supplemented by brief abstracts of individual speakers' contributions. Please e-mail abstracts to: 

All presenters, chairs, and respondents must be members of SEWSA. Please visit the SEWSA 2015 Conference Registration site for information about SEWSA Membership Fees and Conference Registration, as well as to access the payment portal. 

Hotel rooms have been set aside at the Wyndham Hotel located at 1950 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Visit this link SEWSA Conference 2015 - Wyndham Boca Raton or call 1-888-404-6880 for reservations and mention the SEWSA group rate, which is for a Single Room ($169/night) and Double Room ($179/night). The room rate includes complimentary continental breakfast, WiFi, self-parking, special discounted rate for a Yoga Class at Yoga Journey. More information about other hotels near the conference site will be forthcoming.

Elena Machado, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

On behalf of Middle Tennessee State University's Women's and Gender Studies Program, I cordially invite you to participate in our 11th biennial conference: Global Discourses in Women's and Gender Studies, March 26-28, 2015. Our conference theme reflects our interest in promoting feminist perspectives that foreground the influence of global forces on women's and/or gendered existence and in examining connections between local/national and global issues that relate to women's and/or gendered existence. We welcome scholars, activists, non-profit professionals, students, and others who engage issues of social justice, particularly those related to women and gender. 

The 2015 conference highlights gender and education and provides an opportunity for participants to explore and critically analyze issues such as:
  • Girls' access to education
  • Educating boys
  • Gender in STEM education
  • Bullying and homophobia in schools
  • Education and development
  • Transnational feminist activism and pedagogies of empowerment
We aim to make this conference a very satisfying experience for all participants; consequently, we offer the following:
  • Very reasonable conference costs. (Please see registration information.)
  • Single panel per session conference format. This format provides the opportunity for larger audiences at sessions, substantive audience engagement with material presented, and sustained exchange of ideas among presenters and conference participants. This format also promotes interaction among conference participants that can contribute to a positive conference experience.
  • Professional development workshop. This workshop is free and open to all registered participants.
  • Film screening and discussion.

We hope you will seriously consider attending the conference. We strive to make our conference a safe and comfortable space for sharing perspectives, ideas, and experiences. 

Please feel free to email or call us if you have any questions. 

Newtona (Tina) Johnson 
Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Conference Co-Chair

Contact Information:
Women's and Gender Studies Program
Box 498
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN   37132
Phone:  615-898-5910
Fax: 615-898-5289
Call for Submissions
On the Politics of Ugliness
Deadline 15 January 2015
Ugliness is a pejorative marker for bodies, things, and feelings that fall beyond or outside the limits of acceptability. Ugliness has long been indirectly deployed in order to mark, collect, and exclude that which is determined to be aesthetically intolerable (Garland-Thomson; Grealy; Schweik), disgusting (Meagher), dirty (Douglas), abject (Kristeva), monstrous (Braidotti; Haraway; Rai & Puar; Schildrick; Sharpe), revolting (Lebesco), grotesque (Russo), or even simply plain and unaltered (Bartky; Bordo; Morgan; Wolf). While aesthetically ugliness has been positioned both against beauty and as a distinct category for art and art-making (Adorno; Ranciere), there has been little sustained engagement with the ways that ugliness operates alongside identities, bodies, intimacies, practices, and spaces (exceptions include Danticat; Kincaid; Athanassoglou-Kallmyer). Part of the reason for this absence might be that ugliness is at once too broad and too diffuse, serving, as art historian Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer has pointed out, as "an all-purpose repository for everything that [does] not quite fit," a marker of "mundane reality, the irrational, evil, disorder, dissonance, irregularity, excess, deformity, the marginal" (281).
A repository for many socio-cultural feelings and attitudes, ugliness operates in ways that have dangerous and deadly consequences for bodies and those who inhabit them. When a body is labeled or understood as "ugly," it is subsequently positioned as up for expunging, destruction, and affectively motivated terror (Fanon). For example, the "ugly laws" of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America demonstrate the visceral discomfort that "ugly" bodies evoke, justifying their exclusion from public spaces on account of their "polluting" effects (Schweik). This demarcation of ugliness is inextricably bound with taken-for-granted ethical, epistemological, and ontological assumptions about the value of bodies. Further, ugliness is infused with dominant discourses of ability, race, heterosexuality, gender, body size, health, and age. At the level of ideas, relations and institutions, deployments of ugliness can have lethal effects on a body's horizons and the possibilities for visibility, intimacy, and thick life.
On the Politics of Ugliness seeks to provide the first anthology that centralizes ugliness as a political category. It explores the various ways in which ugliness is deployed against those whose bodies, habits, gestures, feelings, expressions, or ways of being deviate from social norms. It argues that ugliness is politicalin at least two ways: (1) it denotes inequalities and hierarchies, often serving as a repository for all that is "other;" and (2) it is contingent and relational, taking shape through the comparison and evaluation of bodies. This collection asserts that it is only in facing ugliness as a political category that we can agitate routinely harmful ways of seeing, understanding and relating.
We are seeking an array of contributions that will center the politics of ugliness as it relates to bodies, feelings, gestures, habits, things, spaces, sounds, intimacies and their operations alongside ability, race, gender, class, sexuality, body size, age, health, or animality. Specifically, we invite submissions of academic papers;however, we will also consider art-based work, memoirs, cultural commentaries, and creative pieces (short stories, poetry, photo essays) from scholars, writers, and artists. We welcome approaches informed by (but not limited to) critical disability studies, critical race and postcolonial studies, feminist theory, literary theory, art history, cultural studies, queer and sexuality studies, science and technology studies, critical psychology, environmental studies, musicology, and performance studies.
Submissions should engage with the politics of ugliness. Topics of inquiry may include:
-       interrogations of ugliness as violence against bodies
-       the ethics of engaging with ugliness
-       feminist explorations of ugliness, "ugly" engagements with feminism
-       ugly methodologies, reading practices, and modes of inquiry
-       representations of ugliness, "ugly" bodies, body parts, and "ugly" behaviors
-       phenomenological encounters with ugliness: feeling ugly, being "ugly," embodying ugliness
-       ugly intimacies, feelings, and dispositions (e.g., Ngai; Sharpe)
-       genealogies, archives, temporalities, and histories of ugliness
-       the fashionizing of ugliness, ugly fashion
-       ugly development practices, environmental ugliness
-       visual, sensorial, and tactile pollution in relation to spaces and geographies
-       theoretical considerations of ugliness as a political category
-       reclamations and tactical repositionings of ugliness (e.g., Eileraas)
The deadline for chapter proposals (maximum of 500 words) is 15 January 2015.

Please forward proposals or questions to Ela Przybylo ( and Sara Rodrigues ( with the subject heading "On the Politics of Ugliness."  

The Coming of Age of LGBTQ Studies:  Past, Present,
and Future
San Diego State University
April 17-18, 2015

As LGBTQ Studies finds disciplinary space on a growing number of university and college campuses, questions about the cultural and intellectual effects of academic institutionalization have become progressively more urgent:

Where is the broad field of LGBTQ Studies heading?

Where has it been? How might we negotiate the relationship between intellectual inquiry and social movements?

In what ways might the epistemological concerns of LGBTQ Studies affect the pedagogical imperatives of the classroom (and vice-versa)?

"The Coming of Age of LGBTQ Studies" is a two-day conference devoted to exploring these and related questions.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the conference organizers at

For more information, please visit: