Spring is Coming!

Spring is coming! And with it springs forth a flood of creative, critical, and timely posts from our wonderful guest bloggers here at the Critical Ethnic Studies Journal. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out refreshing interventions and insightful submissions that speak to the following themes:

1. What’s in a Name?

Names. We all have one, some of us have more. There are names that we grow into, and ones that we grow out of. Some names are desired, others disavowed. Names can rally communities into action (#SayHerName). Names can mean survival, survivance, and insurgence. Some names encounter persecution and suspicion. Some names carry with them the hope of your ancestors for the future. Some names are imposed to deny a future.  Names have histories, futurities, and presences. In this theme, contributers share writings and other creative works lovingly crafted around thier thoughts and experiences around Names and Naming. What’s in your name or the names you could have had? Questions include, but are not limited to:

  • What historicity lies behind the names attached to or detached from you? What meanings does this hold for you and/or the work that you do? How have your ancestors dreamed you into being through names?

  • How have settler-colonialism, colonialism, and slavery affected your name or what it might have been?

  • How have you grown into, or grown out of names? What meanings does that choice hold for you? What spaces and places have you traveled through with your name? What has your name taught you about those places and spaces?

  • How have names and Naming served as, or has inspired creative resistances or insurgencies in your life and or work? What strategies of resistance have you practiced through your name?

  • What struggles have you encountered through your name? What critical lessons have you learned from those struggles?

  • Can you even begin to know the name you might have been given by your ancestors? If not, then what does it mean to not-knowing the name that might have been?

2. On Tumultuous Arrivals: Relationship Making and Creative Resistances across Place(s) and Lands

Contributors writing to this theme centers on relationships to place and Lands. It is a timely theme considering Standing Rock, Climate Change, water protection & resistance (Standing Rock; Grassy Meadow River Run; Flint City Michigan) . This includes, but is not limited to, thinking about arrivals into disciplines, into research, into education places, activism, creative resistances, nations, borders, carceral spaces, boundaries, identity.

  • How have arrivals taught you about your relationships to organization of place (ie. classrooms, conferences, institutions, governing spaces, places of activism) and relationships to lands? How have thinking through arrivals taught you about your ancestors or future descendants' relations to land? How have they taught you about relations to land and/or place that you are able to have?

  • What did you learn from arrivals into, or out of disciplines? How have you arrived at land-based or place based research, and how have you arrived at the place in which you practice these? What have you learnt from your arrivals?

  • How have you arrived at particular resistances? How have you creatively arrived at strategies of resistances and healings? Who creates with you?

  • Who has arrived with you? How do your ancestors arrive with you in your practices on self-same land?

3. Re-writing Futurities: Race, Sci-Fi & Fandom

Toni Morrison unsettled the thin boundary between fiction and “fact” when she remarking that the latter “seems to us only trustworthy when the events of fiction can be traced to some publicly verifiable fact” (93:1995). In doing so, Morrison points out a key theme to our methodological choice, namely that credibility has a lineage. It has an epistemology. It has a historicity. And most of all, it requires power to maintain its credibility. One of the ways that critical creators have reimagined and resisted the lines between what counts as, and what could be imagined as fact or fiction, is through Sci-Fi, fantasy, and fan creations. Works of black feminist sci-fi writers such as Octavia Butler has inspired creative undertaking of social justice issues. Contributors writing to this theme explore critical questions through interconnected works around race, sci-fi, & fandom. These include, but are not limited:

  • Imagining (or problematizing the imaginaries of) dystopian and utopian futures?

  • Time travel: How did your ancestors dream you into being? What might those dreams of your ancestors been? Who might you dream into being for the future?

  • Re-imagining fantastical schools and education (ie. Harry Potter)

  • Re-imagining bodies and relationships (ie. zombies, aliens, x-men, possession, spirits, ghosts and hauntings)

  • Letters from the future (100 years from now)

  • Paradoxes and alter-verses

  • fantastical and sci-fi imaginaries of race, colonialism, relationships