Call for Papers:
"The Obama Effect"
October 23-25, 2008
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Since he stepped into the national political spotlight at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has challenged conventional wisdom about race, politics, media, and generation. In this historic election year, it is imperative for scholars and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines to reflect upon the potential effects of Mr. Obama on: American and global public opinion; party politics; voter participation; media representations; international relations; religious discourses; and constructions of racial, sexual, and gender identities.
This conference invites papers from scholars and professionals working from different perspectives on the phenomenon of Senator Obama's political career. Our goal is to create a conference that will showcase various and interdisciplinary approaches to the "Obama Effect" to provide participants with a multi-faceted view of the past year's campaign and its potential effects on a wide range of social arenas.
Submissions from fields such as: history, media studies, journalism, communication studies, political science, philosophy, social justice, African American Studies, ethnic studies, American Studies, sociology, law are welcome. Essays from professional journalists, political consultants, community organizers, and others are also desired.
In a time of rhetorical flourishes and cantankerous punditry, we must also be cautious and circumspect in our analyses of the effects and repercussions of the 2008 campaign. We are also obliged to look back, and scrutinize recent as well as distant histories of politics, race, ethnicity, and culture, to contextualize this moment. At the same time, we should ponder what changes we might expect, and what changes may be too farfetched, in the midst of heady talk auguring Mr. Obama as an agent of radical social transformation.
Submissions should be completed papers (20-25 pages) or extended abstracts (3-5 pages) for works in progress. Works in progress submissions should provide evidence that the paper will be completed by the date of the conference. Papers that are selected for the conference will also be included in a proposal for an edited volume.
Papers should be postmarked no later than June 6th. Applicants should send three (3) paper copies of their paper or extended abstract to:
Dr. Catherine Squires
Cowles Chair for Journalism, Diversity & Equality
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Murphy Hall 111
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0418
Participants will be notified of paper's status no later than July 30th.