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Toward a New Black Political Science: New Paradigms, New Questions, New Directions
NCOBPS's 2010 conference will address a range of interdisciplinary questions concerning the current and future terrain of Black politics in the U.S. and internationally. The first decade of the Twenty-First Century has witnessed a crystallization of forces surrounding neoliberal and conservative political and economic priorities, the expansion of U.S. imperialism, and dramatic shifts in racial demographics and processes of engendering and racialization. Given this context, we are hard pressed to expand and reconfigure both the range of issues and questions that drive our research and the research paradigms and methods we employ.

How can we understand, for instance, the broad effects of neoliberalism, not only in their global reach, as is often discussed, but in terms of their disproportionately negative impact on Blacks in the current economic crisis and the production of the devastation of Katrina? How might Black communities become more politically engaged to end U.S. military aggression?

The election of Barack Obama marked a symbolic departure from 8 years of war, disaster and crisis. His election was taken by many as the culmination of the centuries-old struggle for full equality and freedom in the United States. Yet, Obama's meteoric rise to the Presidency occurred outside the established discourses, institutions and motives of Black politics. As Obama gave his acceptance speech in Chicago's Grant Park, corporate media pundits were already declaring the "end of race" in American politics. Popular framing of the new first family has breathed new life into standing conservative discourses about the stable, patriarchial black family as an explanation of inequality and a path to race advancement.

What does this election mean for the continued struggle against domestic and global inequalities? What are the challenges that portend the election of the first U.S. President of African descent? Will an Obama presidency be defined by the kind of socially liberal policies that so many activists and left supporters anticipate? Or will his presidency feature a kinder, gentler version of neoliberal privatization and investor-class prerogatives that have defined global politics and economics since the Reagan era? How does the discourse surrounding Barack Obama's election, moreover, perpetuate a race relations paradigm that threatens and curtails Black political participation? To what extent does it depend upon and affirm processes of engendering and racialization that support the politics of middle-class respectability and uplift? How might we revitalize critical Black public debate and build progressive political alternatives in the current context?

Finally, how can we re-imagine and assert NCOBPS' historic mission of producing knowledge in service of African liberation, as Black political scientists face increasing pressures to accommodate the norms and practices of the discipline?

The 2010 National Conference of Black Political Scientists invites a wide range of papers that interrogate race politics, history (within and beyond the U.S. context), urban politics, gender/ sexuality studies, public policy, social movements, diaspora/ transnational politics, electoral politics and other related topics, especially those utilizing multiple methods and innovative theoretical approaches.

Individuals are allowed to submit two (2) proposals maximum for the following:

Paper Proposal = Individual submission for participation consideration on a panel.

Panel Proposal = Individual submission for participation consideration of a full panel/session. The panel organizer must provide the first and last name, email address, affiliation, and paper topic for each of panel participants. It is incumbent upon the panel organizer to notify all individual panel participants, who are required to register individually within the All Academic, Inc. paper submission system in order to receive individual confirmations.

Poster Proposal = Individual submission for poster presentation consideration (FOR UNDERGRADUATES ONLY)

Awards Nominations = Individual self or submitter nomination(s) for an award consideration. The individual/submitter must provide the nominee's first and last name, email address, primary contact telephone, mailing address, and affiliation/school. With the exception of book authors/publishers submitting books for review, it is incumbent upon the submitter to notify the nominee, who is required to upload all relevant materials for review.

Individuals are allowed to submit one (1) nomination per award.

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