CFP JIIC special issue: Race


In 2001 in preparation for the first World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, planners noted that although the international community had made important advances in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance including formation of national and international laws and adoption of a treaty to ban racial discrimination, the dream of a world free of racial hatred and bias remains fully unrealized. They further declared that:

“racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, where they amount to racism and racial discrimination, constitute serious violations of and obstacles to the full enjoyment of all human rights and deny the self-evident truth that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, are an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among peoples and nations, and are among the root causes of many internal and international conflicts” (Durban Declaration).

Certainly systemic racism continues to haunt many societies around the world and as communication scholars, we believe that we are uniquely positioned to offer useful insights into the study of race, racial discrimination, nativism and xenophobia. For as Orbe and Allen (2008) note, communication plays a constitutive role in both perpetuating racism as well as opposing it.

For many in the United States, racism is a thing of the past. With the election of the U.S. first Black president, public discourse asserts that we are now in a post-racial moment where people are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. However, cursory review of events of this year offers a different picture. In the United States, observed is that after Miss New York, Syracuse native Nina Davuluri won the Miss America crown, Twitter lit up with comments claiming that she is an Arab, a foreigner, and a terrorist with ties to Al Queda; voting restrictions passed in North Carolina; police shootings of Black men by the hundreds most of whom were unarmed; the acquittal of George Zimmerman; defamation of peoples of color by public figures such as Paula Deen; the increasing militarization of the US-Mexico border, and the continuing denial that racism is a problem. Around the globe we noted anti-Korean rallies in Japan, violent attacks on Chinese students in France, confrontations between youths of Moroccan and Moluccan descent in The Netherlands, segregation of beaches from Asian and African use in Lebanon, and banana- and racist epithet-throwing at Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first Black minister. Despite these events, and others too numerous to recite, claims that we have entered a post-racial era abound.

Given the urgency of these matters, we seek submissions that investigate or examine issues of race, racism, nativism and xenophobia that aim to intervene in the post-racism rhetoric and show the variety of ways that race continues to matter both in the United States and abroad. Throughout this issue, we treat race  as “one of the most powerful ideological and institutional factors for deciding how identities are categorized and power, material [and psychological] privileges, and resources distributed” (Giroux, 2003, p. 200). Thus, exploring the ways that race is deployed in social, political, legal or inter/national arenas, along with the communicative practices that maintain or contribute to manifestations of racism and xenophobia, has the potential to illuminate how race functions in a post-racism era. Broadly, we seek essays that advance extant studies about the ways race is communicated; attend to the micro- and/or macro-level aggressions that perpetuate racism; identify im/possibilities of racial(ized) subjects in a supposed post-racial society; reveal the machinations of xenophobia, domestically or internationally; examine the racialization of ethnic groups or communities; and/or critique instances of domination and resistance in an effort to encourage reconsideration of notions of human dignity or social justice. The contributions to be garnered from this special issue on race are to challenge the myth of post-racial societies, domestically or internationally, and to reaffirm the saliency of race within intercultural and international relations. Of interest are empirical manuscripts, including rhetorical analyses that work at the nexus of race and intercultural communication from a critical (broadly understood) perspective. Manuscripts from a range of interdisciplinary, theoretical or methodological perspectives are invited.

Submission information

Manuscripts are due by February 1, 2014. Manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout, prepared in accordance with APA 6th ed. and should not exceed 9000 words, inclusive of notes and reference matter. To facilitate the blind, peer review process, all identifying references to the author(s) should be removed. Manuscripts need to adhere to the instructions for authors for the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and uploaded to ScholarOne Manuscripts. We ask that submitting author(s) indicate on the title page “for consideration in the special issue on race.” Direct inquiries regarding the special issue to both Dreama Moon and Michelle Holling.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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