CFP Special Issue of Critical Sociology

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Critical Sociology: Racial Formation Theory Revisited: A MetaCritique

Special Issue Editors

P. Khalil Saucier, Program in Africana Studies and Department of Sociology, Rhode Island College

Tryon P. Woods, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Crime & Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

The publication of Racial Formation in the 21st Century (University of California Press, 2012), Daniel Hosang, Oneka LaBennett, and Laura Pulido’s homage to and elaboration of the classic text Racial Formation in the United States by Michael Omi and Howard Winant (the third edition of which is forthcoming from Routledge in 2013), signals the hegemony of racial formation theory to the study of racism.  For nearly three decades, racial formation theory has lent the language through which scholars and students have imagined and engaged the social movements confronting problems of racial equality and justice across the humanities, social sciences, and law.  Racial formation theory has played a historically significant role in promoting a specific epistemological engagement with questions of difference, power, and hierarchy more broadly, helping to entrench a paradigm of social thought that encompasses a range of political projects from colorblindness to affirmative action to multiculturalism to coalition politics to intersectionality.  Racial formation theory is prominent, either implicitly or explicitly, across the disciplines and interdisciplines, underwriting the conceptualization of not only racial identity, but also sexualities, genders, nationalisms, and other social and historical positions and processes.

Critical Sociology ( invites papers for a special edition critiquing racial formation theory.  We seek papers that can assist us in exploring the fault lines of this concept, in identifying the power relations to which it inheres, and in adjudicating the ethical coordinates for alternative conceptualizations of the problem of racism and its correlations with sexism, homophobia, heteronormativity, gendered dominance, empire, economic exploitation, and other valences of bodily construction, performance, and control in the twenty-first century.  Papers may deal specifically with Omi and Winant’s text, or with any other text that implicitly or explicitly uses it as a point of departure.  But papers may also demonstrate the wide ranging connections between racial formation theory and a whole host of projects that do not otherwise appear connected but which work together to install and extend the paradigm of difference.  Despite the fact that the journal is targeted at a sociological audience, we strongly encourage papers that are interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or transdisciplinary in nature, or which utilize non-sociological approaches to the theme.

We also encourage book review essays of recent and new publications within the domain of racial formation theory.  These should be addressed to the Critical Sociology Book Review Editor, George Sanders, Department of Sociology, Oakland University.

To submit your proposal, book review essay, or for Contact Information click here


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