The 7th Biennial Network Conference “Afroeuropeans: Black In/Visibilities Contested” will be held in Portugal at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), 4-6 July 2019. The conference is an important platform for the production of knowledge in the pertinent field of transdisciplinary research on racism, black cultures and identities in Europe. It also offers the opportunity to strengthen and widen networks between scholars, activists and artists that question structural racism and are critically engaged with the production of postcolonial knowledge on European blackness and the African diaspora. This dialogue and networking is promoted through keynotes and panels, round-tables, individual speakers and artistic and cultural activities.
The title of the conference incorporates the tensions, ambiguities and paradoxes of Blackness in Europe. At the same time as black histories, cultures and social conditions are made invisible in hegemonic accounts on Europe, there is a hypervisibility and presence of black stereotyping in European popular culture. Also, while the concept of race has largely disappeared from political, sociological and administrative discourses (in continental Europe), and while the disengagement with institutional and structural racism has been reframed in new capitalist post racial rhetorics, racial markers still have currency, and black bodies continue to be invoked as either tolerated guests at best, or threatening intruders at worst. The consequence is the practice of “embodying an identity that is declared impossible even though lived by millions”, namely as non-white Europeans, and specifically as Black Europeans. This identity has become even more conditioned by a new mainstreaming of right-wing discourses and the tightening immigrant and refugee policies that affect people of African descent.
The conference addresses not only these relations of domination, and racial modes of exclusion, but engages primarily with the continuous contestations and resistance these in/visibilites have gone by. We turn our gaze to the disregarded histories and cultures, and inquire past, new and continuous forms of Afroeuropean political, social, cultural and artistic interventions and resistance. This implies taking into account the different positionalities within European Blackness, linked for instance to diasporic origins, language, gender, social class, citizenship status, sexuality, dis/abilities, as well as the varying geo-spatial and post-colonial historical formations.
The call for papers will open on 1 November 2018 until 31 January 2019.
Further details about the conference themes, key planning dates and deadlines for submitting panel proposals and abstracts are available online at the following link: https://afroeuropeans2019.wixsite.com/afroeuropeans2019.