Call for Papers: Special issue on the "Weaponization" of Ethnic Studies


Article Submission Deadline: NOW EXTENDED to December 15, 2023

Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies focuses on social movements, social institutions, and social relations. We seek to build links among intellectuals, artists, and activists in the struggle for social justice. We regularly accept submissions that respond to our mission and reflect these priorities.

Kalfou is currently seeking submissions that address what Sunaina Maira describes as the “weaponization” of Ethnic Studies against itself. Despite the proliferation of “DEI” statements and agencies, we continue to see the neutralization of antiracist and antisexist discourses in order to perpetuate injustice. In various ways, such neutralization attempts to delegitimate radical struggles and the knowledge they produce. For example:

  • marginalizing, policing, and/or excluding knowledge production about Palestine within Ethnic Studies,
  • mobilizing Black respectability discourses against queer and trans solidarities and analyses,
  • criminalizing Critical Race Theory in the name of “antiracist progress,”
  • legitimating transphobic and homophobic laws and policies,
  • upholding ableist racial and gendered hierarchies,
  • commodifying identity and promoting the tokenized inclusion of people of color as mouthpieces for meritocracy and traditional power,
  • and compelling allegiance to US nationalism and imperialism.

What happens when ethnic studies–derived arguments are used against the efforts to respond to aggrieved communities and to build solidarities? How has this impacted knowledge production and/or activist work? What radical visions for solidarity and alternative social relations are emerging from ongoing liberation and decolonization struggles?

We also welcome artwork and artist perspectives that address these concerns, and we particularly encourage activist submissions, especially for the journal section “La Mesa Popular.”

To view complete guidelines and to send us your work, visit our submissions page.

Download the CFP