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Call for Proposals

The proposals deadline has now passed and we're not accepting any more submissions.

As we move into our second century, we invite reflection on racial, social, and labor justice in higher education.

Presentation proposals on all topics of interest to a diverse, multidisciplinary higher education audience are welcome, but special consideration will be given to those that work within this theme. For example, presentations might explore:

1. The Role of the AAUP in Promoting Justice

  • Making sure that AAUP chapters are inclusive of diverse groups of faculty, including scholars of color and faculty in contingent appointments.
  • Winning improvements in working conditions for faculty in contingent positions.
  • Linkages with other academic associations; linkages with student groups; linkages with other labor, formally political, and progressive activist groups; models available in other professional associations to promote social and racial justice.
  • Strategies for addressing social and racial justice issues on the conference and chapter levels.
  • Strategies for attracting more faculty of color as AAUP members; strategies for more fully engaging members who are faculty of color and encouraging them to assume leadership positions.

2. The University and Justice

  • Challenges or opportunities facing minority serving institutions.
  • Issues of college access for students of color and those from working class families.
  • History of the racial or labor justice movements in higher education.
  • Opposition to the corporate university and faculty and student activism for social and racial justice.
  • The mentoring of faculty of color and/or bias in the evaluation of faculty of color—by students, peers, and supervisors.
  • Recruiting and retaining scholars of color.
  • The future of ethnic or labor studies in the academy.
  • The devaluing of interdisciplinary programs, including African-American and Latino/-a studies, as part of the broader devaluing of the humanities and the social sciences.
  • The issues of access for all economically disadvantaged students, which include disproportionate percentages of student of color; the economic exploitation of economically disadvantaged students—declining Pell grant awards, increasing student loan debt, targeting by predatory for-profit institutions, and the disjunction between average debt and completion rates.
  • The broader function of colleges and universities in promoting social and racial justice: possibilities and limits.

3. Pedagogy, Research, and Scholarship Related to Justice

  • Surveys of canonical and cutting-edge literature on social justice, with a special emphasis on racial justice.
  • The arts, especially film, as means for promoting social justice and especially racial justice.
  • Syllabi for courses across the disciplines with social-justice and especially racial-justice slants.
  • The integral role of social media in contemporary social and racial justice movements.

4. The Politicization of Social and Racial Justice

  • The issue of whether social and racial justice movements can be non-partisan or even apolitical, or whether they are necessarily politically progressive.
  • The attacks on affirmative action and the myths of reverse discrimination and of a post-racial America.
  • National politics—in particular, the 2016 presidential election—and the social and racial justice movements.
  • Campus activism in the civil rights era and at present.
  • The connections between broader concerns over income inequality and the social and racial justice movements.
  • The connections between the social and racial justice movements in the United States and parallel movements in other nations, with a special focus on campus activism (especially in Mexico and South Africa).

5. Social and Racial Justice and Communities of Color

  • The school-to-prison pipeline; incarceration for an inability to pay fines—the revival of “debtors’ prisons for public debt”; incarceration for non-violent drug-related crimes; abuses of people of color by police and the stereotypes underlying policing tactics and strategies.
  • The political and socio-economic scapegoating of undocumented immigrants; the linkages between corporate-operated prisons and corporate-operated detention centers.
  • The attacks on public employees and on teachers as attacks on the African-American urban middle class.

Proposal Guidelines

We encourage proposals that raise questions, engage conference participants in discussion, and foster dialogue. Proposals will be accepted through December 7, 2015.

You may propose either a complete session, with two to four participants, or an individual presentation, with one presenter. Individual presentations, if accepted, will be grouped into sessions with other related individual presentations. Complete sessions may consist of a set of traditional presentations (a panel presentation), followed by Q&A, or may be structured as a roundtable discussion, designed to encourage more audience participation.

Submitting a presentation proposal does not guarantee its acceptance; the AAUP is under no requirement to accept any submission. Submissions should not include defamatory statements or raise other significant legal concerns. We discourage submissions entirely devoted to specific ongoing disputes involving individuals and their institutions. Promotion or criticism of candidates running for office within the AAUP or in local, state, or national elections is not allowed.

Questions? E-mail proposal@aaup.org.