Black sexualities have been constructed as a site of sexual panic and pathology in U.S. culture. Viewed as a threat to normative ideas about sexuality, the family, and the nation, Black sexualities are intimately linked to and regulated by political and socioeconomic discourses and institutions. In fact, as legal scholar Adrienne Davis shows, slavery provided the foundation for modern “Black sexual economies,” as it made explicit the links between markets, labor structure, and sexual exploitation, and the false dichotomy between notions of public and private relations. Slavery rendered Black sexuality irrevocably deviant, and at the same time produced economies of desire and flesh that made Black sexual deviance desirable, accessible, and even profitable. In light of the historical and continuing forces of commodification, exploitation, and appropriation of Black sexuality and Black bodies, Black people have struggled to represent, recuperate, and re-imagine their own sexualities and sexual politics.
Despite the dynamic ways that Black people attempt to define and negotiate their gender and sexual identities, practices, and communities, there has been a paucity of scholarship examining Black sexual economies. While research on Black sexuality has interrogated the powerful traumas, silences, and invisibilities that influence sexuality within the Black community, Black Sexualities scholarship still has work to do to untangle the complex mechanisms of dominance and subordination as they are attached to political and socioeconomic forces, cultural productions, and our own academic lenses.
The Black Sexual Economies Project and The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital at Washington University invites papers that advance cutting edge scholarship in the field for its international conference Black Sexual Economies: Transforming Black Sexualities Research, September 27-28, 2013 at Washington University School of Law in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Confirmed speakers include: E. Patrick Johnson, Dwight McBride, Rinaldo Walcott, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Marlon M. Bailey, Jeffrey McCune, Matt Richardson, L.H. Stallings, Xavier Livermon, Felice Blake, Mireille Miller-Young, and Adrienne Davis.
Topics and Themes may include:
Queer of Color critique
Black Feminisms and Black Sexualities
Critical Race studies and Black sexuality
Critical Legal studies and Black sexuality
Gender Theory and Sexuality
Black Sexuality and Performance
Black Sexual Historiography
Black Sexual Genealogies
Black Sexuality and Eroticism in film, art, literature, music, television, gaming, or digital/online technologies
Black Sexuality in Popular Culture
Black Sexual Icons
Black Bodies and Aesthetics
Black Sexual Revolution
Black Love and Intimacy
Black Sexual Labors and Sex Work
Black Sexual Undergrounds
Pornography, Erotica, or Obscenity
African Diasporic/Transnational frameworks
Neoliberalism and Black Sexuality
Black Sexual Cartographies and Space
Black Sexuality and Class
Black Sexual Social Movements
Black Sexuality and the Environment
Sexuality and the Black church or Religion
Black Sexuality and the Prison Industrial Complex
Submit individual paper abstracts (350 words max), bio (150 words max), and 1-2 page CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. New Extended Deadline: January 5, 2012.