CFP: Empire & the Revolutionary Matrix

September 13th, 2011

Call for Papers:  Empire and the Revolutionary Matrix
Deadline: March 1, 2012
Norma Alarcón and Ellie D. Hernández, Editors

Recent decades have given rise to an extremist white nativism [Huntington] that in fact is not new to the Angloeuropean nation-state. The making of the nation has been punctuated by such violent “nativist” display for more than two centuries. Can we imagine a society that is multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual bringing together a diversity of peoples into a new “imagined community” *Anderson+ that heals the rifts and renegotiates the boundaries of exclusion that have only served to scar and produce interminable differences between and among the population?

The Civil Rights Movements of the post-WWII era exposed the boundaries of exclusion and otherization that had long characterized the making of the imperialist nation-state: ethnicities, races, genders, sexualities, and classes. These movements in fact demonstrated that the nation-state had been fractured by violent exclusions showing up a founding contradiction: the claim to extend equality and justice to its population. Indeed, this founding contradiction continues to our times, as well as the violence that sustains it.

The difference, however, and decidedly a point of contention for this project is that a more globalized exigency of force and domination at home and abroad has emerged. The 20th century Revolutionary Matrices of oppositional consciousness, while often used for resistance to the nation-state, have not been sufficient to displace or dismantle imperialism. Moreover, 9/11 as a focal point has left in its wake an utter lack of intelligibility. The chaotic political claims and discourses that ensued only disclosed the absence of credible and reliable information that could provide a framework of intelligibility for the general public. In the academy a litany of “posts”: postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and postfeminism have introduced modes of analysis and critique that have exposed Imperialism’s structures of power, objectification and institutional disciplinarity without necessarily changing the structures that persist in producing “Others” and obviating the possibilities of “identity-in-difference” (Spivak) against the grain of exclusionary boundaries.

This collection of essays seeks to critique, reassemble and engender a “cognitive mapping” (Jameson) of empire and the revolutionary matrix. Empire, we argue, reaches beyond geographic and symbolic borders, and insider/outsider conceptualizations that resituate the subject at the margins of society and citizenship. Our project calls for a different roadmap of Empire’s own reconfiguration in contemporary political thought and action. We want to give form to a new revolutionary matrix that can articulate our localities and situations to each other against the grain of white nativism and white supremacy in the USA nation-state and simultaneously, when possible, articulate and interconnect these to the forces of imperialist globalization. Identity formations today are consistent with 20thc forms of resistance and opposition which continue to be forced into spaces of marginalized citizenship. The possibility of transformations require that we ask what is new about Empire in the new millennium; who are its subjects; what are the newly developed forms of power that endlessly generate new subjectivities and identity formations; what do we actually know; and how can we give formation to what we are locally and globally-multiraciality, multiculturality, and multilinguality?

Submissions may include, but are not limited, to following topics:
21st Century Cultural and Political Colonization; Homophobia in Society and the State; Unraveling of the America Dream; 21st Century Cultural and Political Geographies; Media Literacy for the 21st Century; Incarceration of Youth/ People of Color; Colonialism in Academy; Rethinking Feminism as Theory and Practice for the 21st Century; Citizenship and Oppositional Consciousness; Formations of Transnational Collectivities; Decolonizing Theory and Practice; Ethnic and Women’s Studies as Sites of De/Colonization; Contemporary Theories and Practices of Decolonization; Structures and Ideologies of Empire; Anti- Immigrant Ideologies, Practices and Policies; Status of Human Rights in our Times; The Status of Education in the USA Nation-State; Transformations for New Revolutionary Matrices; Assaults on Reproductive Rights and Justice.
Please Send Submissions via email
Norma Alarcón nalarcon@berkeley.edu
Ellie D. Hernández ehernandez@femst.ucsb.edu
Hard Copy submissions can be sent to

Ellie D. Hernández
4705 South Hall
Department of Feminist Studies
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, Ca 93106

The manuscript should follow Chicago Style and be no more than 25 pages long (excluding bibliography and notes). As part of your submission, please include a brief (75word) biographical note that includes: Name, Institution or affiliation and area of expertise as well as position or title held


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