CFP: Inviting Paper Proposals on Race/Racism and Revolution.

Friend of the blog and Villanova PhD student Mark Westmoreland is looking to put together a panel for a UPenn conference. Please see the details below, including his contact information.

The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs
2014 Conference OCTOBER 9–11, 2014
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University

I am trying to form a panel on the theme of Race/Racism and Revolution broadly construed. An individual paper might involve the idea of race as political identity in decolonial movements. Or one might speak to the role of race in Négritude or Créolité. Another might consider race and issues such as profiling, imprisonment, education, or healthcare. Or another might highlight the conflicting interactions between life philosophy and racial biologism. If you are interested, the please email me a 250 word abstract by May 25th. I can be reached at mark [dot] westmoreland [at] villanova [dot] edu

The General Announcement:
The 2014 AGLSP CONFERENCE will explore the theme of REVOLUTIONS. The conference will be held in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. The university Franklin founded is also the home of ENIAC —the first computer that revolutionized the face of modern technology. Papers are welcome from multiple disciplines. Special consideration will be given to papers which combine the perspectives of various disciplines. We invite papers that explore a wide range of viewpoints on the topic of REVOLUTIONS, including the following: • Political • Technological • Economic • Scientific • Religious • Cultural / Artistic • Educational • Social • Sexual • Present and future revolutions

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11 Responses to “CFP: Inviting Paper Proposals on Race/Racism and Revolution.”

  1. Richard Beck Says:

    Anthony,

    Mark should become aware of a program called Courageous Conversations (CC) by Penn grad Glenn Singleton and learn how it is playing out at the grass roots level. Papers should be focused on how Critical Race Theory (CRT) is presented in public schools. Such a conference would draw much attention. Singleton has been peddling his version of CRT nationally and taking big bucks from the public school systems. It is being touted as a way to improve African American student academic achievement. I have been critical of the program: http://8thavesouth.blogspot.com/2014/05/on-white-privilege.html. I have been critical of Critical Race Theory in its present form called White Privilege Theory (WPT). CC, CRT, and WPT dismiss economics (Marx) as a cause of underachievement and replace it with race. Dangerous and bad thinking.

  2. Mark William Westmoreland Says:

    Thanks, Richard, for the link. I’m curious which CRT theorists you have in mind. As you probably know, CRT/WPT is much wider than you articulate here (aka the weak form of CRT). Many of the theorists under these headings would indeed highlight the role that economics plays (strong form). My own engagement with race/racism is not through the lens of CRT, and I certainly take economics seriously in these sorts of conversations. The hard separation of race vs. economics seems to be something that mostly happens within white academic circles. Many people of color have been arguing for the interconnectedness of race and economics for a very long time, e.g., Alain Locke and Aime Cesaire.

  3. Richard Beck Says:

    That I have never heard of Alain Locke and Aime Cesaire is sad indeed.

    “The hard separation of race vs. economics seems to be something that mostly happens within white academic circles.”

    This a “Where the rubber hits the road” response:

    True. It is heard in circles, I wouldn’t call them academic, where CRT is made palatable to white, upper middle class audiences who do not like to make the connection between funding and good schools. If money isn’t the cause of minority underachievement then it must be race. We wouldn’t dare and it would be wrong to say it is because of the race of the student; therefore it must be because of the race of the teacher. OK, let’s hire more minority teachers. Oh no, that costs money.

    Discrimination of minority students in schools begins with their placement in less rigorous classes. I live in Coatesville; I have lived here all my life. You may have heard of our school district recently. It isn’t pretty. Google it.

    http://www.dailylocal.com/social-affairs/20130923/casd-in-crisis-after-racially-charged-text-messages-surface

    Why is it that it is common knowledge that a long as your child is in the higher level classes Coatesville will provide you an excellent education?

  4. Richard Beck Says:

    Please don’t tell me that minorities are placed in low level classes because of poor skills or less knowledge. Prove it! And don’t show me a test score that most kids, white and black, know is a scam anyway. They know they are being instrumentalized to increase real estate values. The skill and knowledge gap of high school students is much narrower than you think. I know this from 33 years experience in teaching in the public schools. The gap widens when they leave school; when their are less opportunities to learn. I spent 20 years as an Adult Basic Education/GED coordinator trying to close that gap. Believe me, those students who came to those night classes didn’t give a damn what race the teacher was. Might this widening gap after high school be the cause of the high incarceration rates in minority communities for adults 18-24? Is there a correlation. You bet there is.

  5. Richard Beck Says:

    there not their…sorry

  6. Mark William Westmoreland Says:

    No one that I know of working in Critical Race Theory, Critical Philosophy of Race, Theories of Race, or any other approach to race/racism would say that children of color are inherently less capable of learning or that their poor skills and less knowledge are inborn qualities. Which specific theorist(s) do you have in mind? Can you direct me to a text that says such things?

  7. Richard Beck Says:

    ” children of color are inherently less capable of learning or that their poor skills and less knowledge are inborn qualities”

    Mark, no such text exists and no one with any marbles would say that; but it is implied when I am told as a teacher that I have to take the race of my students into consideration when teaching. Isn’t it more accurate to say that teachers should take into consideration the background knowledge, the socio-economic background, et. al. of their students? However, if you follow the logic of the argument that race is the cause of all human complaint, where does that lead? If whiteness causes white privilege, what sort of privilege does blackness cause? Certainly if the races are equal than they are equally culpable for the foibles of humanity. Unless, you claim that black people can’t be racist as I have heard some presenters claim. And, are there degrees of whiteness and degrees of blackness? Are children of mixed marriages more or less racist according to the hue of their skin. And how do you exclude the example of Asian academic achievement?

    I agree with what Judge Posner said:

    What is most arresting about critical race theory is that…it turns its back on the Western tradition of rational inquiry, forswearing analysis for narrative. Rather than marshal logical arguments and empirical data, critical race theorists tell stories — fictional, science-fictional, quasi-fictional, autobiographical, anecdotal — designed to expose the pervasive and debilitating racism of America today. By repudiating reasoned argumentation, the storytellers reinforce stereotypes about the intellectual capacities of nonwhites.

  8. Mark William Westmoreland Says:

    ***”children of color are inherently less capable of learning or that their poor skills and less knowledge are inborn qualities”
    Mark, no such text exists and no one with any marbles would say that; but it is implied when I am told as a teacher that I have to take the race of my students into consideration when teaching. ***

    Told by whom? Why? Can you explain why taking into consideration the race of your students would be advised? What might you gain my considering race? What would you lose?

    ***Isn’t it more accurate to say that teachers should take into consideration the background knowledge, the socio-economic background, et. al. of their students? ***

    It would be more accurate to know this information in addition to race, not at the expense of race. I’m not sure why you’re seeing this as an either/or issue. These things are intertwined in the U.S.

    ***However, if you follow the logic of the argument that race is the cause of all human complaint, where does that lead?***

    Who claims that race is the cause of all human complaint? Race/racism has a geo-political history. In the scheme of human history, racism is very new.

    ***If whiteness causes white privilege, what sort of privilege does blackness cause? ***

    In a white supremacist society with white normativity and white privilege, blackness does not cause any privilege.

    ***Certainly if the races are equal than they are equally culpable for the foibles of humanity. Unless, you claim that black people can’t be racist as I have heard some presenters claim. And, are there degrees of whiteness and degrees of blackness? ***

    No. They are not equally culpable. Explain why you think they would be. This and the previous question seem to imply that you see race and racism as transhistorical realities. They are not. They have histories that are culturally specific. There is not one logic of racism that is applicable everywhere and at all times. Racism is asymmetrical. That’s right: within the context of the U.S., black people cannot be racist. What you probably call racism-committed-by-blacks I would say is actually a response to racism-committed-by-whites.

    ***Are children of mixed marriages more or less racist according to the hue of their skin. And how do you exclude the example of Asian academic achievement?***

    I do not understand what either of these questions are asking. Race is not a simple matter of skin color. I’ve said nothing about excluding Asian academic achievement.

    ***I agree with what Judge Posner said:
    What is most arresting about critical race theory is that…it turns its back on the Western tradition of rational inquiry, forswearing analysis for narrative. Rather than marshal logical arguments and empirical data, critical race theorists tell stories — fictional, science-fictional, quasi-fictional, autobiographical, anecdotal — designed to expose the pervasive and debilitating racism of America today. By repudiating reasoned argumentation, the storytellers reinforce stereotypes about the intellectual capacities of nonwhites.***

    Posner’s views of CRT are known for being questionable. I’m not sure why it’s presented here as support for your view. I heard an Aristotelian once make this same sort of claim against Plato. I assume we all can agree that this is a dubious claim. Anyway, there’s already a decent response to Posner’s views of CRT here: http://archive.today/wXVCo#selection-185.26-233.22

    I’m still curious about which CRT scholars advocate for focusing on race while ignoring class. Please give me a few examples.

  9. Mark William Westmoreland Says:

    Dear readers, please check this out: “The Case for Reparations”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

  10. Mark William Westmoreland Says:

    Thanks to everyone who submitted an abstract. You should all hear back from me with a decision in the next day or two. Best wishes on future writing projects.

    btw, Richard articulates his position about CRT here at Amaryah’s newest post: http://itself.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/on-zizek-and-identity-politics/#comments.


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