“Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities” – 8th Afroeuropeans Network Conference, Brussels, 22-24 September 2022

The 8th biennial conference of the Afroeuropeans Network will be held in Brussels at the Humanities, Sciences and Engineering campus of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, 22-24 September 2022.

This gathering provides an important space for engaging in dialogues, exchanging ideas, disseminating information and co-producing knowledge pertaining to Black cultures and identities in Europe. It also offers opportunities to initiate and strengthen collaborations between scholars, educators, rights campaigners, activists, community advocates, artists and others who are committed to anti-racism and racial justice.

Themed around “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities,” the conference aims to be “organised for, by, and with Afroeuropeans, with the contribution of allies and in dialogue with other marginalised groups.”

Members of the 2022 co-organising team include researchers based at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), representatives from the Africa Platform of Ghent University Association, and contributors from a wider network of institutions, organisations and collectives, including: Black Speaks Back, European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Universitair Centrum voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, Universiteit Gent, Université libre de Bruxelles, and Maastricht University.

Shared vision and values

The co-organising team’s shared vision states:

We envision the 2022 conference of the Afroeuropeans Network, Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities, in Brussels as an academic, activist, and intellectual space centring Blackness in Europe—including, but not limited to, Black identity, Black art, Black politics and Black struggle.”

Central to the realisation of this vision is the foregrounding and affirmation of the following:

  • Intersectionality – understanding, in particular, the multidimensionality of identity and the intersections between ‘race’, ethnicity and other identity markers;
  • Solidarity, in terms of connecting with each other and supporting each other’s struggles;
  • Self-awareness, in terms of participants reflecting on epistemological positions;
  • Sustainability, in terms of the resources used in relation to the conference, and beyond.

Keynote speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers for the conference in Brussels are the internationally renowned social scientist Professor Philomena Essed (Critical Race, Gender and Leadership Studies, Antioch University, Ohio, USA) and the esteemed sociologist, scholar-activist and broadcaster Professor Kehinde Andrews (School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University, UK).

Speakers’ biographies are available online, here.

Overarching theme and streams

Prospective conference contributors are invited to submit proposals that respond to the theme of “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities.”

This overarching theme has been further sub-divided into seven streams to help structure the conference programme:

  • Intersectionality as Theory, Practice and Movement: Re-Centring Black Feminist Legacies
  • Structural Racism, Racialization and Exploitation
  • Policy, Activism and Political Representation
  • Afropean Literature and Arts: Aesthetics & Politics
  • Health, Racial Inequalities and Intersectionality
  • Decolonising Knowledge, Spaces and Institutions: From Activism to Transformative Change
  • Contemporary Blackness and Black Histories in Urban Europe

Prospective participants are encouraged to consider alternative formats to conference panels and research papers – including the presentation of visual, literary and performance-based artworks.

Key dates and further information

The closing date for submitting proposals is 28th February 2022, and the organising committee, in collaboration with the stream convenors, will communicate their decisions by 31 March 2022.
Further information and guidance on submitting proposals is available online at https://www.afroeuropeans2022.com/en/.

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