Call for Papers: African Americans & U.S. Foreign Policy

Boston University’s African American Studies Program in conjunction with the African Presidential Archives and Research Center is issuing a call for papers on

African Americans & U.S. Foreign Policy

We invite papers and panel suggestions that deal with any aspect of African Americans and U.S. Foreign Policy; covering the following eras of U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Africa in seven (7) distinct, although in some cases overlapping, eras:

1614 to 1863: Arrival of Africans in the North American colonies through the abolition of slavery in the United States

1819: Establishment of Liberia as an outpost for returning freed slaves from America

1823: Under the Monroe Doctrine the United States ceded European political hegemony in Africa; however, it continued to maintain a commercial connection

1880 to 1940: American policy in the era of European imperialism in Africa

1941 to 1962: Second World War, Churchill and Roosevelt issued the Atlantic charter, a declaration pronouncing the universal right of freedom for all peoples

1962 to 1991: During the Cold War era, billions of dollars were spent destabilizing the continent of Africa

1992: Election of Bill Clinton to the U.S. presidency and the subsequent appointment of Ronald H. Brown, an African American, as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, representing the beginning of an era of mutually beneficial U.S. foreign policy towards Africa. This also includes the Bush era.

Possible topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Transition and evolution of African Americans in U.S. foreign policy
  • Policy outlook towards the future
  • Impact and recognition
  • Role of individuals
  • Impact in Congress
  • Culture and/or race as part of foreign policy
  • Broader geopolitical environment as a point-counterpoint to prevailing issues
  • Emergence and impact of Pan-Africanism
  • Impact of Ghanian independence
  • Black church and role in foreign policy
  • Media
  • State Department politics
  • United Nations and the impact of nonaligned countries
  • Impact of the Civil Rights movement, Voting rights, and Brown v. Board of Education
  • Role of African Americans in the Executive branch
  • Impact of the Obama administration
  • Humanistic approach to foreign policy

Interested parties should submit an abstract by February 1, 2010. Approved abstracts will be invited to contribute a final submission not to exceed 10,000 words in length (including notes, abstract, and works cited) and must be written in English. The manuscript, including the list of works cited, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Articles must be preceded by an abstract of 150-300 words. Please format your contribution in Times New Roman, double spaced.

Submissions should include a waiver of copyright and a short biography. Once accepted for publication by Boston University, an article may not be published elsewhere without express permission in writing. Contributors should agree to be available for panel discussion of their work at a symposium sponsored by Boston University in October 2010. Please submit your abstracts electronically to African American Studies Program Administrator Katy Evans at as an attachment in Microsoft Word (.doc) or in Rich Text Format (.rtf).

Submission deadline for abstracts is February 1, 2010. If you have already submitted an abstract, the committee is in the process of reviewing it, and you should hear back soon.