AAIHS 2017: Expanding the Boundaries of Black Intellectual History

The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) is pleased to announce the release of the preliminary program for our second annual conference. Since AAIHS began in January 2014, it has quickly become one of the leading organizations for the study, teaching, and discussion of the black intellectual tradition.

This is especially evident in the success of our blog, Black Perspectives. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the blog each month to enjoy original articles on black intellectual history by our team of dynamic bloggers, interviews with emerging and award-winning scholars, roundtables on and reviews of new and foundational works in our field, and insightful commentary on current events. Indeed, Black Perspectives and AAIHS have fostered conversations that are not only changing the academy but extending far beyond it.

With our second annual conference, we seek to build on the tremendous success of our inaugural conference and continue to advance the online conversations about black life, thought, and history. Accordingly, the theme of the conference is “Expanding the Boundaries of Black Intellectual History.” Over the course of two days, we will assess what it means and what it has meant to “do” black intellectual history. We will define what is a black intellectual and clarify who have been the producers of black intellectual history. We will explore the boundaries of black intellectual history in the United States and across the African Diaspora.

With a diverse set of presentations on a wide-range of topics including religion, internationalism, slavery, sexuality, popular culture, and political thought in addition to a keynote address by American studies professor and historian Davarian L. Baldwin, the conference promises to draw in a diverse array of burgeoning scholars, established academics, and activists committed to pushing the field of black intellectual history in new and exciting directions.

In the spirit in which AAIHS was founded, we welcome everyone to the conference. Regardless of scholarly background or interests, the conference will offer a space to develop personal and professional relationships, collaborate on teaching and research, and explore new and collective approaches to the study of black intellectual history. In short, it will offer a space for community.

In closing, on behalf of the 2017 Conference Planning Committee, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of you for joining us for our second annual conference. If you have not yet registered for the conference, please do so–and please take advantage of the discounted early bird registration (available until February 14, 2017). If you are not yet a member, we encourage you to join. Please also visit the main conference page for details on lodging discounts (available until February 22, 2017) and advertising opportunities.

Your perspectives and expertise, participation and engagement have made AAIHS into an internationally recognized organization. We are excited about the promise of future growth stimulated by your excellence and look forward to seeing everyone in Nashville.

~Brandon R. Byrd, chair

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Brandon Byrd

Brandon R. Byrd is an assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University and author of 'The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti.' Follow him on Twitter @bronaldbyrd.