CfP: Beyond Non-Violence: Violent Self-Defense and the Struggle Against White Supremacy

Call for papers, deadline 19 May 2023

Violence has been a pervasive feature of white supremacy throughout the history of racial politics in the United States. State repression, armed racist groups, and lynch mobs are just a few examples of the violent tactics employed by white supremacists. However, oppressed groups have never passively submitted to these offenses, often resorting to violent self-defense and mass mobilization, from slave uprisings to armed responses in the face of lynchings and pogroms. In the twentieth century, the crisis of the Jim Crow system gave rise to black militias and armed resistance, despite the frequent reduction of the Civil Right Movement to the tactics of non-violent organizations. The dichotomy between violent self-defense and non-violent actions, seen by many as both a pragmatic tool of dissent and moral urgency, sparked open discussions among activists, political organizations, and victims of racial oppression in the US far beyond the Civil Rights Movement's history and up to the present times. 

Given this context, we welcome publication proposals for contributions on a range of topics, including but not limited to:

- African American self-defense and police brutality

- The deep roots and influence of Black Nationalism and Black Power movements and groups

- The long history of mass urban upheaval, pogroms, and revolts, from the Cincinnati race riots in 1836 to Minneapolis in 2020

- The violent actions of Black women, who often framed armed defense as an act of selfdetermination, redefining a public image of self-reliant and independent Black Womanhood

- The dialectics of violent and nonviolent tactics in African American history.


Please send your proposal to the panel coordinators by the new May 19th deadline with an abstract of up to 200 words and a short bio. By May 24th coordinators will communicate acceptance by mail and will proceed to publication on the conference website.

Panel Coordinators: 

- Emanuele Nidi, 

- Bruno Walter Renato Toscano,

The panel will be part of the 27th AISNA (Italian Association for North-American Studies) Biennial Conference, that will take place on September 21-23 at the University of Perugia in Narni (Italy).

Here you can find the call for papers of the whole conference: