Hypatia Special Issue: Conjure Feminism: Tracing the Genealogy of a Black Women’s Intellectual Tradition
Volume 36, Issue 1, Winter 2021
Guest Editors: Kinitra Brooks, Kameelah L. Martin, and LaKisha Simmons
We are excited to announce a call for papers for a special issue of Hypatia on “Conjure Feminism,” African diasporic feminist scholarship that explores the long history of black women’s active construction and maintaining of a generative cosmological framework that centers spirit work as that sacred space where the physical and spiritual worlds meet. Conjure feminism privileges diasporic women’s knowledge and folkloric practices of spirit work, inclusive of U.S., Caribbean, and South American, as well as West & Central African spiritual traditions in which women of African descent engage. Its cosmological framework provides Black folx the fluidity necessary for survival and thriving while constantly shifting in a world that will kill you. Mainstream Black folx have long claimed the wisdom of their familial matriarchs—particularly those in the U.S. South and the Global South—yet have always felt the necessity to add and many times replace this knowledge with more learned and ultimately Western intellectual pursuits.
Through articulating Conjure Feminism, we call into being a theoretical lens through which one recognizes the Divine Feminine and the natural world as consorts; and it is from this immaculate coupling that black women pull their intuition, second sight, incantations, and rituals that allow them to thrive in a world hostile against their mere existence. Conjure Feminism’s adherents include Tituba, Zora Neale Hurston, Marie Laveau, Nanny of the Maroons, Yaa Asantewaa; women who we see as not only activists but philosophers and intellectual matriarchs of Conjure Feminism. We must interrogate why these women were not considered philosophers in the traditional mode while simultaneously placing them in that very regard.
We invite work by scholars across the disciplines (African Diaspora Studies, Critical Philosophies of Race, Religious Studies, Anthropology/Ethnography, Afro-Latin American Studies, Folklore, History, Food Studies, Medical Humanities, and/or Women’s and Gender Studies as examples) to consider these questions as they relate to black women’s spiritual work, #blackgirlmagic, histories of black performance, black feminist and womanist literatures and media, black grandmothers, radical black midwives and doulas (in the past or present day), and black homemaking and homesteading. Papers that explore ideas of “Conjure Feminism” as an African diasporic phenomenon/philosophy and are located in North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and Europe are encouraged. Each submission to this special issue should consider at least one of the following in constructing their theoretical frameworks: black women’s world making; theorizations of life, death, afterlife, or ancestors; womanist theologies and spiritualities; black feminist ethics; ontologies of black womanhood; black feminist philosophies; black women’s epistemological traditions.
Possible topics may include:
- Histories of Conjuring as resistance to oppression
- Black Conjure Feminist Foremothers
- Black Women as Life Sustaining: For example, the histories of black midwives, black women and folk medicine, radical black doulas, black motherhood.
- Black Feminist Art and Performance: For example, artists that work at the intersections of past, present, and future and consider African diasporic memory, landscape and earth, the transatlantic slave trade.
- Transatlantic Understandings of Conjuring: For example, cross-national and transnational belonging, female orisha/loa as a source/site of conjure feminism.
- Black Feminist Interventions in Afro-Pessimism: For example, black feminists’ musings on notions of “death” and social death, black feminist understandings of fertility, black feminist (re)readings of classic texts caught up in the debates.
- Black Women, Gardening and Food Studies: For example, the organization or inheritance of black mothers’/grandmothers’ gardens, tending to the earth, food as African diasporic memory, histories of folk medicine, herbal remedies.
Submission deadline: August 1, 2019
Manuscripts intended for review as articles should be 7,000 to 10,000 words, excluding notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. In addition to articles, we invite submissions for our Musings section. These should not exceed 4,000 words, excluding notes and bibliography. All submissions will be subject to external review. For more details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines.
Please submit your manuscript to: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hypa. When you submit, make sure to select “Conjure Feminism” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editors indicating the title of the paper you have submitted: Kinitra Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kameelah L. Martin (email@example.com), and LaKisha Simmons (firstname.lastname@example.org).