CFP: Black Girls Right the Future

See below for a forthcoming book project by UNCF/Mellon faculty development grantees!

Black Girls Right The Future-A Scholarly Collection of and about Speculative Fiction by Black Women and Girls (Working Title)

-  A Book Project

Fall 2017

Karima Jeffrey and Valerie Ann Johnson, editors

Call for Submissions

In the majority of science fiction texts and other multimedia formats (i.e. film, television, “SciFi” Conventions, comic book paraphernalia, and graphic novels), the future is usually not inhabited by people of color.  Rather an ‘economic’ elite dominates--one that is usually male and reflective of European-descent.  Interstellar travel or the creation of dystopian/utopian worlds rarely feature people of color, especially Black women and girls.  Moreover, the culturally-specific vantage point of people of color is absence; for example, representations of the world may be largely informed by Western religions/spiritual practices, linguistic codes, and cultural signifiers (such as clothing/costuming, cuisine, music, armament, etc.).  Thus, when people of color do appear in the future, as human or humanoid, they may be negatively depicted and quickly destroyed or representative of “color-blind casting, meaning audiences see “black” faces on characters whose perspectives or customs are not defined by--or problematically defined by--an African-Diasporic perspective.  


We are interested in scholarly analyses of the work of Black women and girls as they dynamically explore and write about the future.  We seek commentary on a diverse range of genres (literature, visual art and media) that aspire to right the misrepresentation of or absent representation of Black women/girls.  Anticipated texts for consideration might be works that analyze literature by Black women/girls or papers that discuss interpretations of films, television shows, music, media, and/or the visual arts, whether these texts are written, directed, and/or produced by people of color.  The crux of your scholarly endeavor should demonstrate how Black women/girls are regarded in these configurations of the future.  We are especially interested in concepts around “Futures Studies” that empower representations and/or the voices of Black women/girls, texts that conceive what it means to be “human” in evocative and empowering ways.  Discussions of conceptions of the future and/or future encounters between humans or something else--more or less--is also a worthy undertaking, especially if such texts are constructed by Black women/girls who are aspiring to shape the future and/or science fiction texts in truly imaginative ways.   Of special interest is how these creative visions are understood through academic commentary by Black women and girls who offer insights, regarding current challenges in health; sexual violence; economics; state violence; religion; politics; education; and access to resources including food, clean water and air.


With these ideas in mind we are soliciting submissions for an edited volume that brings together work centered on the science fiction/speculative imaginings of Black women and girls, especially as they consider our future(s).  What do we, as Black women and girls, know of the future?  What do we imagine? In speculative fiction, we contemplate future possibilities based on past and present realities; we wonder what kind of humans will we be, if at all, and how we will experience our world.  By bringing together writings from Black women and girls, we want to offer readers the opportunity to experience--through scholarly essays and analyses--how Black women and girls view the near and distant future in literary and visual works and through popular culture.  We recognize that Black women and girls are indeed producing interesting, incredibly vibrant stories, poetry, graphic novels, art, film, criticism, and academic writings, and we feel that a collected volume commenting on this body of work will serve many audiences.  We are looking for material that captures an academic understanding of the ephemeral nature of the human experience from the particular perspective of women and girls of the African Diaspora.


This collection will highlight, from a scholarly perspective and from Black women and girls, the rich contribution Black women and girls bring to our contemplation of the future.  With their view regarding what can be, we have an opportunity to experience fresh work from voices that are too often unheard.  


Submission guidelines: Manuscripts should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words, double-spaced, in MLA style.  Email complete manuscripts to:

Please submit your full manuscripts by February 25th, 2018.  (Revised Deadline)

Additional inquiries should also be emailed to

Contact Info:
Karima Jeffrey - Hampton University
Valerie Ann Johnson - Bennett College

Contact Email:



Irah Gates (Rust College, c/o 2019) named a Memphis Urban Fellow!

Irah Gates, an UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow attending Rust College, has been named a Memphis Urban Fellow for the 2017-18 school year. As a part of this program, she interns with Memphis Area Neighborhood Watch Programs through the Memphis Police Departments Real Time Crime Center. She attends various meetings and events regarding the neighborhood crime prevention grant and explains to citizens how the process works. She has also administered 5k events and neighborhood crime prevention workshops. Cheers, Irah!


University of Missouri Postdoc!

Preparing Future Faculty Postdoctoral Fellowship Positions

The University of Missouri is committed to the advancement of teachers, scholars, and researchers who can help it achieve the benefits of a diverse educational environment. The Preparing Future Faculty Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity is designed to promote and develop such scholars for tenure-track faculty positions at the University of Missouri and elsewhere, in any discipline. Postdoctoral Fellowships are for two years during which time Postdoctoral Scholars focus on scholarship and participate in an array of professional development activities that integrate and expose them to the faculty experience, including the opportunity to teach in their discipline the second year.

The starting stipend will be $56,000 per year including University benefits. Fellows will be provided with professional development funds that may be used to attend a scholarly meeting, to travel to other campuses as necessary for scholarship, and/or for program professional development activities.

Applicants who have completed their doctoral degree at an accredited university by July 1, 2018 are eligible to apply. Current postdoctoral fellows also may apply if their doctoral degree was awarded in or after spring 2013. Applicants should demonstrate how they can contribute to faculty diversity, such as through membership in a group that is historically underrepresented and/or underserved in a particular discipline or through other training or experience.

The link for application materials can be found at Please note that the application link will take you to the same portal used for graduate admissions and you will need to create an account as a first-time user to begin the application process. Applicants will be asked to include the following:
  *   Cover letter expressing interest in the position
  *   CV
  *   Statement of research plans
  *   Statement of goals for postdoctoral position
  *   One page abstract of doctoral dissertation
  *   Writing sample
  *   3 letters of reference [N.B., those identified to provide a reference will be prompted to upload a letter to the system]

For additional information, questions may be directed to The deadline for all application material is 11:59 PM, November 30, 2017. Candidates who demonstrate evidence of scholarship potential to be competitive for tenure-track appointments at the University of Missouri or other research universities will be invited to interview.

The University of Missouri is an equal access, equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that is fully committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.


Race and Ethnicity (Sociology) Job Posting at GSU!

The Sociology Department at Georgia State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Sociology in Race and Ethnicity, beginning August 2018.  We seek a creative and engaging scholar who is committed to developing an active research program and collaborating with faculty in our Department, College, and University to become a national leader in scholarship in this area.  We are particularly interested in candidates whose interests and scholarship intersect with one of our other specialties: aging and the life course; community and urban studies; education; gender; health; and/or sexuality.  In the heart of one of the largest and most racially/ethnically diverse metropolitan areas in the Southeastern U.S., our Department is strategically focused on conducting community-engaged research in the Atlanta metro-area and in other cities around the world; securing external funding to support our research; involving graduate and undergraduate students in our work; and, achieving excellence in teaching and mentoring.

Georgia State University, an enterprising R-1 university located in Atlanta, is a national leader in using innovation to drive student success and research growth. Enrolling and graduating one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation, Georgia State provides its world-class faculty and more than 50,000 students unsurpassed research, teaching, and learning opportunities in one of the 21st century’s great global cities. In the heart of one of the largest and most diverse metropolitan areas in the Southeastern U.S., the Sociology Department is an academic unit with the College of Arts and Sciences, and many of our faculty hold joint or affiliate appointments in other units across the University, including African American Studies; the Gerontology Institute; the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute; the Global Studies Institute; the School of Public Health; and the new Urban Studies Institute.  The Department offers an undergraduate major and minor in sociology, an MA in Professional Sociology, as well as an MA and PhD in Sociology.

In addition to developing and maintaining a productive research program, all tenure-track faculty are responsible for teaching four courses per academic year, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, and participating in some departmental governance. Essential qualifications include a PhD in sociology at the time of appointment and basic knowledge and familiarity with race and ethnicity studies in sociology.  Applicants with significant interest in conducting community-based research, seeking external funding, and involving students in their research are preferred.  Evidence of excellence and experience in teaching is also preferred.

Applicants should submit:  1) a cover letter outlining qualifications for and interest in this position; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) two examples of scholarly writing; 4) evidence of teaching effectiveness (i.e., teaching statement, course syllabi, student evaluations); and, 5) three letters of recommendation.  Submit application materials electronically via email to:   If emailing materials is not possible, please send hard copy materials to Recruitment Committee, Georgia State University, Department of Sociology, P.O. Box 5020, Atlanta, GA30302.  The Committee will begin reviewing applications October 20th, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.  An offer of employment will be conditional on background verification.  Georgia State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against applicants due to race, ethnicity, gender, veteran status, or on the basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.  We enthusiastically encourage applications from minority candidates.

Questions should be directed to the Chair of the search committee, Dr.Rosalind Chou at