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May 2022, Week 2


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Alexander Monea <[log in to unmask]>
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Alexander Monea <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 May 2022 17:22:26 +0000
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Posted on behalf of Dr Kwakiutl L. Dreher, Associate Professor, English,
University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Call For Papers:

Tentative Title: Dance and the Black Body

Guest Editors:

Katrina Thompson Moore, Saint Louis University

Kwakiutl Dreher, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

The Journal of American Culture is seeking contributions for a special
edition focused on the historical and cultural significance of dance and
the ways in which Black women (re)claim their own bodies through
rhythmic movement. Multidisciplinary in focus, The Journal of American
Culture combines studies of American literature, history, and the arts,
with studies of the popular, the taken-for-granted, and the ordinary
pieces of American life, to produce analysis of American culture with a
breath and holism lacking in traditional American studies.
For too long dance has been neglected as a contributor to the freedoms
and hardships, the fame and the notoriety, and the power and subjection
of Black women. The body of Black women, the way it is interpreted,
misinterpreted, and treated, throughout history is always at the center
of their dance. From Ballet to Twerking, dance performed by Black bodies
is often artistically undervalued.

Professional to amateur, on a stage or #Tik Tok and other social media
platforms- Black women's contributions to the history and culture of
dance are undeniable. Let’s consider, for example, the dance phenomenon
of twerking. Twerking defined as “sexually suggestive dancing” caused
public outcry over singer Lizzo's twerking performance at the NBA game
in 2019 to rapper’s Cardi B's and Megan Thee Stallion's controversial
video (and song) WAP released in 2020 (to name a few). Despite the
outcry, however, women across lines of race have downloaded “How To”
videos on twerking; one beginner’s video led by instructor Kelsey Mobley
has 22 million+ views.   Singer and performer Lizzo, interestingly,
marks out the significance of twerking in Black culture in her 2021 TED
Talk entitled “The Black History of Twerking”. After welcoming audiences
to her TED Twerk, Lizzo rightly locates the historical root of twerking
in West Africa and recognizes the cultural continuity in the United
States and globally. She says, "Black people carried the origins of
[twerking] through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We
made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it became today.”
This special edition proposes to address a holistic rendering of Black
women using dance as a means of empowerment. Most significantly, we also
are interested in how Black women have embraced dance across genres and
throughout history to assert a kind of agency that translates as freedom
of expression even if it causes controversy. The socio-cultural,
political, and historical are foci here as we analyze the significance
of dance and, along the way, illustrate how Black women reclaim(ed)
their own bodies through dance.
Dates and Deadlines:
Please send your 300-500-word abstract including your name,
organization/department affiliation, email address, title of
contribution in MS Word in a Times New Roman 12 typeface via an
attachment with subject line Dance and the Black Body in an email on or
before May 16, 2022, to Dr. Katrina Thompson Moore @ [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Submissions, generally 15-25 pages in length, are to be original
scholarly manuscripts. Authors should submit papers in current MLA style
with a works cited page and a minimum of endnotes. Contributors will be
notified of acceptance of abstracts on or before June 16, 2022. Full
papers are due on November 21, 2022.  The Dance and the Black Body,
special edition will be published in the June, 2023 issue.

Contact Info:
Katrina Moore
Saint Louis University Department of History
Department of African American Studies Contact Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>