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Call for Papers

49th Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS)

"Race and the Environment:
Agency, Survival, and the Continuing Challenges of Black Inequalities”

W Chicago-Lakeshore
644 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-30117

March 14-18, 2018

Program Co-Chairs:
Robert Brown, Spelman College

Valerie C. Johnson, DePaul University


Submit Proposals Here:



The conference theme, "Race and the Environment: Black People’s Politics of Land, Air, Water, and Survival,” explores the multiple manifestations of the environment for the everyday lives of Black people around the world. The condition of the Black body has been regulated by the scope of political discourses during particular political environments, over time. Accesses to nation, subsistence, providence, and wealth have been defined by land acquisition, arability, maintenance, safety, transferability, displacement, and dispossession. Public policies and practices influence the volatility (or not) of Blacks’ environments and the qualities of land, air, water, and "space,” in general, which sustain (or limit) Black communities’ well-being. Whether it is household, block-level, urban-suburban-rural, Global North or Global South, the survival and liberation of Black people depends upon the "health” of their environs, with special attention to its protection and dignity, through their rights as citizens and human beings. Of critical importance is the extent to which these environs may (or may not) have changed in the transition from the Obama era to the Trump era.

The conference encourages proposals related to topics on Black people and the "environment,” broadly defined and throughout time, in order to explore the politics of race, gender, ethnicity, class, age, ability, immigration status, and nation, as far as their intersections with their environments and whether Black people live their lives as (under)privileged, vulnerable, empowered, or resilient, in the Black Diaspora. Being that the conference is in Chicago, Illinois, where there exists a vibrant Black community life, the conference location offers yet another meaningful context for excavating race and the environment for Black lives. The location also renders important a space for engaging Black community life in critical-analytical, conference exchanges.

                              2018 NCOBPS Section Chairs

1. African and Diaspora Politics:

Kurt Young, Clark Atlanta University (

Maziki Thame, University of the West Indies, Mona (

2. Politics, Inequality, and Social Justice:

Lolita D. Gray, Jackson State University (

3. Comparative Politics, International Relations and Transnational Politics:

Michael Clemons, Old Dominion University (

4. Identity Politics: Gender, Class, Ethnicity, Sexuality and Religion:

Tonya Williams, Johnson C. Smith University (
James Taylor, University of San Francisco (

5. Teaching, Scholarly Research, and Professional Development:

Boris Ricks, California State University, Northridge (

6. Political Theory, Philosophy, and Methodology:
Niambi M. Carter, Howard University (

7. Undergraduate Research:

Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, Quinnipiac University (

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