September 21-23, 2012
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
This conference articulates an exciting collaboration between community and university to explore the history of Black Environmental Thought. We seek scholarly contributions that acknowledge, articulate, and build on the ethical and philosophical grounding and traditions within the African and African American experience that shape the cultural production of knowledge around environmentalism.
Key questions of interest include: What is the current state of the research and practice related to Black Environmental Thought? How are Black Environmental Thought and practice unfolding in the United States, in Africa, and across the African Diaspora? And in what new directions can scholars take the study and practice of Black environmentalism?
The conference will open with a keynote address by Bernice Johnson Reagon, cultural historian and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. There will be scholarly sessions, panel discussions, and hands-on activities, including site visits to local initiatives that draw on core traditions of Black Environmental Thought. We envision this conference bringing together regional, national, and international scholars, practitioners, artists, farmers, and community members from many disciplines and perspectives. We hope to build interdisciplinary, translocal, transnational, and intergenerational dialogues in the space of the conference, a collaboration between AfroEco (a cooperative of African/African Americans and allies, including agriculturalists, educators, artists, activists) and the Institute for Advanced Study and the Department of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota.
Potential topics for conference papers and sessions include: The African roots of Black Environmental Thought; the history of Black Environmental Thought; Black Environmental Thought across the African Diaspora; popular culture and Black Environmental Thought; the arts and Black Environmental Thought; Black life and the out-of-doors; urban gardens; urban farming; environmental racism; Food justice/ security/sovereignty; youth in the movement; Black cooperatives; sustainability; Blacks and the land.
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words and a brief bio of no more than 100 words to Prof. Rose Brewer, Professor of African American & African Studies, University of Minnesota at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 15, 2012. We welcome submissions from individuals, as well as panels. Conference applications will be reviewed by a panel from the organizing committee; applicants will be notified by March 31, 2012.