2019 CFP

Black and Race Studies Working Group CFP

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, January 4, 2019

“Performance between Violence and Structure”

2019 Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference on “Performance, Politics, Power”

Tulane University | New Orleans, LA | May 30th to June 1st, 2019

The turn to performance in race and cultural studies has generated incisive and urgent work on the performativity of racial identity, the radical imagination of fugitive practice, and the history of minoritarian aesthetics. Two dimensions that have routinely been uncoupled from the study of performance are “structure” and “violence.” The concepts of structure and violence are frequently collapsed into each other to become flip sides of the same anti-political power; implicitly and explicitly, performance is reciprocally positioned as antithetical to both as an embodied enactment of political counter-power. The result has been a field that truncates three terms into a binary, and in a manner that writes out alternative lines of inquiry into the paradoxes of racial subjection that conceive the relation between structure, performance, and violence in a topological relation: imbricated in each other, double-bound, knotted, and so on.

In line with the general theme, “Performance, Politics, Power,” the Black and Race Studies Working Group invites submissions of panels or individual papers for at least two sponsored panels at the CSA Annual Conference that think performance on a continuum with, as an underside of, or as mediated through structure and/or violence. We are particularly interested in “proposals that question the limits of performance as a framework for enacting politics.” These papers may address, but are not limited to, the following fields and thematic loci:

  • Performance and power in trans* theory
  • Structural theory and its afterlives
  • The ontology of affect
  • Afropessimism and critical black theory
  • Black feminist poetics
  • Theories of gender performativity and repetition
  • “Structures (don’t) march in the streets”
  • Discipline, punishment, accumulation, and performance
  • Black marxism and cultural studies
  • Real, Symbolic, and Imaginary violence

Please submit a brief abstract (300 words or less) through the CSA submission system by its official deadline, currently: Monday, December 3, 2018 (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=csa2019). Applicants need not be a member of the CSA to submit. Submissions can either be an individual paper or pre-constituted panel. Please indicate that you are applying through the Black and Race Studies Working Group.


Please submit a 300-500-word abstract no later than Monday, Dec 3, 2018, 2018 through the Cultural Studies Association’s Easy Chair system: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=csa2019

Submission of proposals is open to anyone, but if your paper is accepted, you will need to join the CSA. New members are always welcome. See the benefits of membership & become a member here: http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org/assoc_subscribe.asp


CSA offers a limited number of travel grants, for which graduate and advanced undergraduate students can apply. Only those who are individual members, have been accepted to participate, and have registered for the conference are eligible to apply for a travel grant.


  • Final Deadline for Submissions: Monday, Dec 3, 2018.
  • Early Bird Registration: Monday, October 15, 2018 until Friday, March 1, 2019.
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019: Notifications Sent Out
  • Friday, March 1, 2019: Early Registration Ends, Regular Registration Rate Begins
  • Friday, May, 3, 2019: Last day to register to participate in the conference. If you do not register by this date and are not a current member, your name will be dropped from the program.


The 2019 conference will be held at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. The closest airport is Louis Armstrong International Airport (10 miles). See the following web link for more information about travel options to and from the airport as well as for travel to and from the French Quarter: https://admission.tulane.edu/visit/getting-here . A CSA hotel block for members will be announced at a later date.

INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIPS include three complimentary conference registrations annually for students. Graduate students who wish to submit proposals are strongly encouraged to speak with their Department Chair or Program Director about institutional membership and where possible, make use of the complimentary registrations. Full benefits of institutional membership are described here: http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org/institutions.

Questions? Contact the Co-Chairs of the Black and Race Studies Working Group, Christopher Chamberlin (cechamberlin@berkeley.edu) and Patrice D. Douglass (patrice.douglass@duke.edu).