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Callaloo 26.3 (2003) 932-934

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Calls for Papers

AFRO-FUTURISM. Afro-Futurism is an emergent literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy and magic realism with non-Occidental cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past. Examples of seminal Afro-Futuristic works include the novels of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the vibrant, frenetic canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the provocative photography of Rene Cox; as well as the extraterrestrial mythos of Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun Ra, and the recombinant sonic texts of Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky. Given that there has recently been an explosion of contemporary art and literature that can properly be described as Afro-Futuristic, Callaloo proposes a special issue on the topic of Afro-Futurism. We invite the submission of creative work of up to 25 pages in length that illuminates many of the themes common to Afro-Futurism, as well as critical essays, 15-25 pages in length, that address, but are not necessarily limited to, the following topics:

  • Race and digital culture
  • The role of technology in cultural formations
  • Notions of Utopia, Dystopia, and the "post-historical" in Afro-Futuristic literature
  • Non-Occidental cosmologies and their place/use in Afro-Futuristic texts
  • Trauma theory and its role in Afro-Futuristic literary and cultural production
  • Afro-Futurism's relation to digital and/or urban music (i.e., drum and bass, garage, hip-hop, house, jungle, neo-soul, funk, dub, techno, trip hop, etc.)
  • Black identity in Western literature, in light of Afro-Futurism's general interrogation of identity and identity politics
  • Afro-Futurism and its relation to previous race-based art movements and aesthetics (e.g., the Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts Movement, the New Black Aesthetic, etc.)
  • Black Music as a source of Afro-Futuristic discourse and/or liberation
  • The black superhero as Afro-Futuristic rebel, and the black comic book as a "paraliterary" source of contemporary folklore
  • Afro-Futurism from the perspective of film studies and/or video culture
  • The social and cultural implications of a theory of Afro-Futurism

Note that the deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2004, and that contributors should send completed essays by AUGUST 1, 2004. Please follow all Callaloo submission guidelines (MLA formatting is a must), and send all materials (including full contact information) in triplicate to: [End Page 932]

Callaloo Afro-Futurism Issue Department of English
Texas A&M University
4227 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4227

Direct questions or concerns may be sent to the guest editors: Rone Shavers, at, or Charles Joseph, at

MELUS. Transfronterismo: Crossing Ethnic Borders in U.S. Literatures. 18th Annual Conference, 10-14 March 2004. Host: The University of Texas at San Antonio. We invite paper abstracts and complete panel, workshop, and roundtable proposals on all aspects of multiethnic literatures of the United States. We especially encourage those that engage in the conference theme. Transfronterismo highlights the theoretical, ideological, pragmatic practices and possibilities of hybridity, mestizaje, and diaspora in the formation of subjectivities, geopolitical coalitions, and literary cartographies. Transfronterismo serves as an alternative space that gives birth to distinct imaginaries, one with alternative mappings for the local, the global, and their shared/overlapping boundaries. What is it that we do when we affirm, deny, or transgress the border? We offer the following list as suggestions:

  • internal diasporas and subject positions
  • transnational and comparative approaches
  • borders of genre and frontiers of lived experience
  • reverse migration and cross cultural transnationalism
  • class boundaries and capitalist borders
  • patriotism and post-nationalist politics
  • interstices and aporias of ethnic identity
  • inter-racial and inter-ethnic encounters
  • hegemonic and geopolitics negotiations
  • gender and sexual crossings
  • literacy education and pedagogy

All proposal abstracts (250 words maximum) should be submitted in triplicate. We strongly encourage proposals of complete panels, roundtables, and workshops that should include a brief description and abstracts for individual speakers. Abstracts should be postmarked 1 December 2003, addressed to Professor Bill Mullen, Department of English, Classics, and Philosophy, The University...


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