Call for Papers–Black Feminist Truth Telling

Protest in Miami, FL, May 31, 2020 (Shutterstock)

Call for Papers:

Black Feminist Truth Telling: Stories, Statements, and Collective Meaning Making

Guest Editor: Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans, Georgia State University

Deadline: July 1, 2024

“To tell the flat-footed truth means to offer a story or statement that is straightforward, unshakable, and unembellished.” –Patricia Bell-Scott and Johnson-Bailey, Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s Lives

Global Black Thought, the official journal of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is now accepting submissions for a special issue that traces the changes and continuity of truth telling in Black feminist thought. Consensus is never the goal of scholarship, but Black feminist writing communities comprise critical spaces for telling what Black feminist scholar Patricia Bell-Scott refers to as “flat-footed truths.” And these truths thrive in community. In this special issue, authors will explore truth telling as a practice of Black feminism in the US and across the Black Diaspora. Specifically, this volume allows an interdisciplinary community to consider what it means to present information that is, as Bell-Scott identifies, “straightforward, unshakable, and unembellished.”

We are witnessing the enduring presence of forces that are deeply invested in misdirection, misinformation, loaded questions, faulty logic, unethical research, double standards, character assassination, and targeted attacks to discredit scholarship that exposes the lies of racism, sexism, capitalism, and colonial power. Truth telling is a form of “faithful witnessing,” which Afro-Latina literary scholar Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez describes in Decolonizing Diasporas as a “political act that aligns itself with feminist and decolonial epistemologies.” Identifying feminist flat-footed truths in the African diaspora is a practice of witnessing.

With a focus on intellectual history, this issue constitutes a regenerative discussion: scholars are encouraged to not only discuss truth in the context of place, but in the context of time. Regenerative scholarship places contemporary Black feminist truth telling in a continuum with both ancestors and descendants. In The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois argued, “The thinker must think for truth, not for fame.” In a world obsessed with attention, monetizing content creation, and profiteering from the information economy, this issue of Global Black Thought offers scholars an opportunity to gather in a learning community and think about Black feminist meanings of truth.

Topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Black feminist truths about human rights, genocide, war, and peace
  • Black feminism, truth, and legal precedent
  • Truth and lies in Black feminist fiction and life writing
  • Conflicting definitions of Black feminist truth in transnational contexts
  • Truths that Black feminist writing expose
  • Truths that Black feminist writing hide
  • Black feminist intellectual activism in contrast to other types of activism
  • Truth, archives, and receipts
  • AI, ChatGPT, and Black feminism
  • Research methods, #CiteBlackWomen, #CiteASista, peer review, and plagiarism
  • Black feminism and truth in journalism
  • “Spilling the tea” and other locations of Black queer and trans intellectual history
  • Truth and consequences in Black feminist politics
  • Truth telling in creative, entertainment, and cultural contexts
  • Black feminist truth and reconciliation

Guest Editor: Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans

Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans is a Professor of Black Women’s Studies in the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and affiliate faculty of Africana Studies (AAS) at Georgia State University. She served twelve consecutive years as department chair at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, and University of Florida. Dr. Evans has sustained a research interest in Black women’s intellectual history for over two decades. Her research is rooted in educational history but has evolved to include mental health and wellness as a way to address systemic stressors of being department chair. She began studying Black women’s wellness in 2013 and expanded her research on memoirs from investigating “the life of the mind” to practicing the life of the mind, body, and spirit. In her writing, teaching, and speaking, she works to share how Black women elders—especially educators—have navigated the relentless demands of academe.

Dr. Evans is editor of the Black Women’s Wellness book series at SUNY Press and has published four single-authored books: Black Feminist Writing: A Practical Guide to Publishing Books in Race and Gender Studies (SUNY, 2024); Black Women’s Yoga History: Memoirs of Inner Peace (SUNY, 2021); Black Passports: Travel Memoirs as a Tool for Youth Empowerment (SUNY, 2014); and Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History (UF, 2007). She is also lead co-editor of five books, including the most recent collection, Dear Department Chair: Letters from Black Women Leaders to the Next Generation (Wayne State, 2023). Follow her on Twitter/X at @Prof_Evans.

**For questions about this special issue, please contact Guest Editor, Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans (professorsevans@gmail.com). For general inquiries about the journal, please contact the editing team (GBTJournal@aaihs.org). Follow the link below to submit articles to the journal. More details about the journal can be found here. You can also join the journal’s email list here to stay abreast of updates.

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