Abstracts due for Black Canadian Studies Conference

February 15, 2017 all-day
Brandon University
270 18th St
Brandon, MB R7A


Blackness, Indigeneity, Colonialism, and Confederation: 21st Century Perspectives

The Black Canadian Studies Association, in partnership with Brandon University (Manitoba), invites submissions to its third biennial conference, 11-14 May 2017, “Blackness, Indigeneity, Colonialism, and Confederation: 21st Century Perspectives.” This conference will explore the achievements, challenges, contributions, histories and futures of African Canadians at Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The government of Canada intends to mark the nation’s 2017 sesquicentennial as “ the grandest national birthday in a generation.” What, however, does this celebration mean for the African Canadians once enslaved or free?

Black Canadians have experienced and resisted slavery, colonialism, the colour bar, discriminatory immigration policies, employment and economic disadvantage. Today Black Canadians are over-represented in arrest and prison incarceration statistics, child welfare seizures, and disproportionate high school push-outs. The Black community is diverse with communities consisting of people who have lived in Black spaces for over 300 years. Many of these communities call themselves “Indigenous”; others comprise more recent immigrants to Canada who have arrived in the past 50 to 100 years; and still other new “Canadians” from various points from Africa and her diasporas continue to arrive in Canada, becoming “New” African or Black Canadians.

The dispossession of Indigenous people in Canada and the Americas set the stage for the TransAtlantic slave trade, and the enslavement of Africans in the New World. Thus, African Canadians, more than any other non-Native group, have been present in Canada from the beginning of British and French conquest and colonialism. These range from Samuel de Champlain’s interpreter, Mathieu DaCosta (1605), Blacks at Port Royal in Acadia (as early as 1604), and the young Malagasy boy, Olivier Lejeune, enslaved by one of Samuel de Champlain’s friends (1628).

Can Black Canadians celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday without erasing its sordid

experiences with the Canadian state and society? How can Black Canadians work in solidarity with Indigenous and other communities to achieve decolonization and indigenizing? How can African Canadian and Indigenous communities work jointly to repair conflictual relations and establish solidarities at local and national levels? How does Black indigeneity intersect and cohere with First Nations indigeneity? How can the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal, the Commission on Systemic Racism, and the Roots of Youth Violence Report provide a roadmap for Black-Indigenous shared understandings and joint action for truth, rights and justice?”

As demonstrated by #BlackLivesMatter solidarity actions with Indigenous peoples, African Canadians and Indigenous peoples in Canada have histories, both different and shared, and futures that are indissolubly linked.

The Black Canadian Studies Association is seeking individual papers, round tables and posters, including but not limited to the following topics:

Black and Indigenous slavery; anti-Black racism and anti-Indigeneity; the politics of Black and Indigenous erasure; Black Canadians and Indigenous differences and parallels with regard to the colonial state; Native, First Nation, Mètis and Black relations; Black Mètis; the image of Indigeneity in the minds of Black Canadians; the image of African Canadians in Indigenous communities; 21st century perspectives on such issues as arrest and prison data, child custody issues, Black education, and employment; African Canadian history, Indigeneity, and the nuances of Blackness in the academy; the discourse and metalanguage of race on immigration policies, education, gender, class, and on LGBTQ2S persons and issues; sports, health and well-being; food and food security for Black communities, the Black farmers movement, and a history of Black farming in Canada; law and justice; Blacks arts and artists, including museum studies and museum curators; similarities and differences between Black and Indigenous youth; mixed-race and biracial studies, the Canadian #BlackLivesMatter movement and Indigenous movements; differences and similarities of the Canadian political system on Black Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

The organizers encourage other topics and submissions from scholars, artists, politicians, professionals, lay and community activist-scholars and graduate and undergraduate students. Three Panel submissions are welcome, but we ask for a brief panel description along with a paper proposal. We keenly welcome contributions from international scholars whose scholarship focuses on Black Canadians, blackness and in comparative indigeneity.

Participants should submit a 200-word abstract proposal by February 15, 2017. Kindly include your name, affiliation, and discipline.

The organizers are unable, at this time, to offer financial support. Students, non- professional person and international participants are, therefore, responsible for their own expenses unless later notified otherwise. Participants from countries requiring a visa ought to make arrangements for travel to Canada well in advance.

Email your abstracts and inquiries to: BCSAconference@BrandonU.ca More information webpage: https://www.brandonu.ca/bcsa/