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CfP 22nd Annual Conference of The Space Between Society: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, June 4-6, 2020

Proposals requested for the 22nd Annual Conference of

The Space Between Society: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

June 4-6, 2020

Keynote Speaker: TBA

Join the Space Between Society in Charlottesville, June 4-6, 2020, for our 22nd annual conference, Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945. Our conference this year focuses especially on questions and problems related to race and racial formation in the years between 1914-1945. Please send abstracts (300 words) along with a short biographical statement (100 words) to conference organizer Carmenita Higginbotham at by December 1, 2019.

In the Space Between Society, scholars who study literature, history, media, art, society, and culture between 1914 and 1945, or between and during the two world wars of the twentieth-century, exchange ideas about their approaches and their objects of study. This year’s conference addresses the key roles that race—including racial formation, racial ideologies and racialist practices—played in creative, intellectual, ideological, and political conversations from 1914-1945. Self-consciously or not, interwar and wartime authors, artists, political figures, public intellectuals, and public officials around the world invested in the concept of race. For some, race was a means to assert social identity (white, black, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander). For others, race informed concepts of modernity and/or modernism. For still others, race shaped views of time and place, structuring how interwar and wartime cultures were interpreted, received, deployed, and exchanged.

We invite conference participants to consider:

–  What different cultural and scientific assumptions about race shape various sites during this period and our knowledge about it?

–  What methods can we utilize in our particular fields to analyze race as a component of cultural production?

–  What are the challenges of thinking about race and bringing such work into conversation with scholars in the wide range of fields represented in the Space Between Society?

We welcome paper and session proposals that engage with multiple forms, definitions, and investments in race in the space between and during the two world wars, across all disciplines and media, on research and/or pedagogy.

Possible presentations or panel topics include

Race, place, and regionalism

Race and memory (monuments, storytelling, recollections)

Race and art, media, sound

Racial performance, racial spectacle

Race and science (Eugenics, technology, innovation)

Racial self-fashioning (passing)

Racism and racial hierarchies

Racial invisibility and absence

Language (slang, racialized vernacular)

Segregation, isolation, and confinement

Intersectionality (e.g. race and gender)

International and comparative contexts of race and movement (migration, immigration, relocation)

Interracialism and cross-racial cultural production

Race and the metropolis

International and comparative contexts of race and politics/political systems

Economies of race (labor, consumption, commercialism)

Race, violence, war, and social movements

The Holocaust


Racial genocide


Marginality and the “other”

We welcome longtime Space Between Society participants and invite new members to join us in Charlottesville in 2020. Our conference will be supplemented with tours, museum visits, performances, and walks in the greater Charlottesville area (with proposed visits including Monticello, the Fralin Museum of Art, the Jefferson African American Cultural Center, and sites at the University of Virginia). The 2020 conference seeks to offer mentoring workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions for its participants. Some travel grant funding will be available for graduate students and international and independent scholars; please indicate your interest in your cover letter.

Keynote Speaker: TBA