2019 Calls for Contributors November 2019

Call for Contributors: White Supremacy in the University

The Activist History Review invites proposals for our November issue: “White Supremacy in the University.” Submissions are due October 21st.

The Activist History Review invites proposals for our November issue: “White Supremacy in the University.”

Universities often fashion themselves as bastions of liberal humanism and/or progressivism. Through pedagogy and scholarship, liberal faculty have actively discredited dictatorships, challenged systems of imperialism, and denounced systems of slavery.

However, universities are also institutions with more complicated, sometimes troubling, pasts and presents. The oldest universities in the U.S. were designed to educate elite white men and were built with the forced labor of enslaved peoples on colonized land. Likewise, over the last eighty years, most of these institutions of higher learning have only reluctantly permitted women/people of color/women of color to matriculate. Today, administrators and bureaucrats have eroded some of these mid-century gains by managing universities as profit-generating corporations rather than institutes of learning; often pushing concerns about racial equity to the side in order to promote “efficiency” and a public image that benefits their endowment. 

University students, faculty, and staff have not remained silent in the face of these changes and shortcomings. Indeed, students and workers have often been at the forefront of activism dedicated to opposing white patriarchal supremacy on campus. Whether by protesting confederate monuments or otherwise oppressive monuments and endowed buildings, approving reparations for the families of those once kept in bondage by university trustees, or fighting budget cuts that affect higher ed’s most vulnerable communities, university campuses have witnessed an upsurge in activity.  

For our November 2019 issue, we welcome proposals that examine any aspect of white supremacy in the university, including opposition to this system of oppression. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Efforts to cover up the past racist behaviors of university students, faculty, or administrators (for example: the use of blackface or athletic scandals that encourage racial inequality in education).
  • Monuments and commemorative university landscapes that celebrate/uphold white supremacy.
  • The labor of enslaved peoples in the building or maintenance of universities.
  • The labor exploitation of indigenous, Black or brown university workers.
  • The intersectional nature of the university with white supremacy and/or anti-Blackness.
  • Systemic issues within the university that protect and/or uphold white supremacy within the faculty, student body, and/or graduate student/worker population (i.e. through hiring practices, lack of institutional support, disparate service expectations, lack of response to racism on campus, problematic acceptance criteria, etc.).
  • Past activism opposing any form of white supremacy in the university.
  • Contemporary activism that uses historical methods to demonstrate ongoing and/or historical racism within academia/university systems.

Proposals should be no more than 250 words for articles from 1250-2000 words, and should be emailed to activisthistory@gmail.com by October 21st at 11:59 PM. Please also include a short bio of no more than 100 words.

** We will be offering a small stipend to contributors who are queer and/or trans Black Brown Indigenous People of Color (QTBBIPOC). Please indicate if you identify as such in your email. **

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