Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Black Studies

African, African American, and Black Studies

MAPACA Area Description

The Black Studies Studies area at MAPACA will provide a space for the critical examination of the human, cultural, social, political, economic, and historical factors that have created and shaped the African, African American and other African Diasporic experiences throughout the world. African, African-American, and Caribbean cultures, traditions, and values are crucial to an understanding of the vital importance of Africa as a major player in the global system in this age of global interdependence.

The primary goal of the area is to understand the foundations of Black Studies as an interdisciplinary scholarly inquiry, and the diverse theoretical perspectives that characterize this academic field of study. It is our hope to articulate the acquisition of a solid knowledge base in the history, culture, and experiences of African people around the globe, as well as the contributions they have made to the development of world civilizations and popular culture.

It is our intention to recognize the intersections between race and other social or cultural identities confronting peoples of the African Diaspora, including issues of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and class; and to analyze, interpret, and articulate perceptions of the history and culture of the African Diaspora, particularly negative images that are widely disseminated in American society, and encourage not only the aspirations of African and African American people, but the actualizations of those aspirations through a recognition of the lasting impact of power differentials exemplified through colonization and imperialism.

We welcome papers, panels, and proposals from scholars in the humanities and social sciences, but we are also open to other disciplines. We encourage scholars to interpret this theme broadly and apply interdisciplinary thought with a focus on the interplay between the historical, political, economic, cultural, and social dynamics that have shaped the reality of people of African descent.

Call for papers: 

The Black Studies area has an open call for interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the black experience. We understand that the primary narrative within the dominant culture is one focused on tragedy and racial trauma. We support the notion that blackness is intersectional and difficult to situate within any particular context and fits within a larger diaspora of influences. We anticipate presentations of success that are more of a celebration of black prosperity. We take seriously the notion that popular culture is a means to explore society and explain the racial phenomenon. Proposals can focus on protests and unrest, slavery and colonization, black girl magic, and black boy joy–and other monikers suggesting a joyful experience. We honor the 24/7 black experience!

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