CFP: Edited Volume on Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals

CFP: Edited Volume on Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals

AAR-SW Friends,

Dr. Jami Carlacio has issued the follow CFP for her forthcoming edited collection entitled: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. Below is the full CFP.

Proposals are invited for inclusion in an edited volume titled Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.

Since the nineteenth century, Christian black female public intellectuals have called attention to and protested against the discrimination of African American women on the basis of their race, class, and gender, and particularly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, their sexual orientation. Drawing on their spiritual authority, many of these black feminists, including Maria Stewart, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Pauli Murray, bell hooks, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Renita Weems, have attempted to dislodge the normative thinking that has occluded the presence of these injustices. Whether marching, writing, preaching, or speaking, their goal has been to challenge and undermine discriminatory practices in all areas of social and political life and spur the public into action.

Specifically, these public intellectuals have relied on their Scriptural knowledge and spiritual strength to build alliances and forge partnerships with others dedicated to social justice. Not simply confined to the academy, these religious feminist advocates for equality have made a space for themselves in the public eye to reach general audiences, most of whom were and are affected by a system designed to maintain their oppressed status.

The volume’s goal is to present an historical and rhetorical trajectory of black female religious public intellectuals from the nineteenth through twenty-first century and thus seeks papers that will demonstrate these women’s efficacy in creating a movement for social change. The editor welcomes proposals from scholars in various fields whose interests are aligned with the issues outlined above. These include African American Studies, English studies, feminist (and eco-feminist), gender, and sexuality studies, political science, religious studies and womanist theology, rhetorical history and theory, and so on.

The book will be divided into three major sections, organized chronologically by century:  19th, 20th, and 21st.

Successful proposed chapters will do the following:

  • Approach the subject from a black feminist and/or womanist critical framework
  • Focus the discussion on the intersection of their activism, their religious identity, and their role as public intellectuals
  • Analyze their oral and/or written work (sermons, speeches, essays, blogs [no analyses of fiction and fictional characters])

Possible subjects of analysis include but are not limited to the following:

  • Pauli Murray
  • Toni Cade Bambara
  • bell hooks
  • Maya Angelou
  • Alice Walker
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Renita Weems
  • Michelle Obama

Proposals for twenty-first century women with the aforementioned attributes are especially encouraged.

Edited chapters should be about 20 pages in length (5,000 words). Submit typed, double-spaced papers using 12-point Times New Roman font and adhere to the latest updates according to MLA style conventions.


Interested authors should submit to the following for consideration, by June 25, 2018:

  • A 300-word abstract and proposed title
  • A 100 to 150-word biography
  • A two-page version of their CV (graduate program, employment, relevant recent
  • A sample of no more than five pages of a previously published chapter or

Proposers will be notified about whether their submissions are accepted for the book by June 28, 2018.
For accepted proposals, first drafts of full chapters (5,000 words) are due by August 25, 2018, and final versions are due a month after you receive your edited draft from me.  (If the deadlines change, all contributors will be notified immediately.)

Accepted chapters include the following:

  • Maria Stewart and Frances Elllen Watkins Harper
  • Anna Julia Cooper
  • Anna Arnold Hedgeman
  • Betty Jean Thompson
  • Ida B. Wells and Sister Thea Bowman
  • Nannie Helen Burroughs
  • Coretta Scott King
  • Madame Azalia Hackley
  • Monica Coleman
Contact Info:

Jami Carlacio, PhD

Yale University