Call for Papers: Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Shifting the Geography of Reason IX

The Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA) announces its forthcoming conference, “Shifting the Geography of Reason IX: Racial Capitalism and the Creole Discourses of Native-, Indo-, Afro-, and Euro-Caribbeans.” The 2012 annual meeting will be held on July 19-21, 2012, at the University of the West Indies-St. Augustine in Trinidad. The deadline for participation is March 31, 2012.

Description: Under this broad heading, the Caribbean Philosophical Association will take as its organizing theme the impact of the global capitalist crisis on old and new thinking in the creole discourses of the region. For the Caribbean, global capitalism has always been a racial capitalism as Africans and Asians were incorporated into it as “negro workers” and “coolie laborers” in contrast to white workers, Middle Eastern retailers, and white capitalists. As the Great Recession of 2008 continues to change the inner workings of this racialized capitalist system, how have these changes affected its racial codes and hierarchies, and are the latter forcing changes in the creole discourses of the region, including our political economy? Caribbean creole discourses have emphasized the mixed and fluid nature of our cultural heritage, the importance of external economic dependence, emigration, and the influences of this growing diaspora. In one of his classic essays, Stuart Hall suggested that in our increasingly globalized world the mutual influences between cultures of home and diaspora have been displacing the mutual ties between cultures of home and Caribbean nation-states. Are these features and claims of Caribbean creole discourses, whether Native-, Indo-, Euro- or Afro-Caribbean, still true? Or are they being changed by shifts in the balance of power between geographical regions of this economic world system?

For its ninth annual meeting, the CPA now invites the submission of papers and panels that will engage various aspects of this question of regional race/ethnic change or stability as a result of major tremors and aftershocks in the capitalist world economy. Are race/ethnic identities changing in our region at this time? Is it getting any easier for Native-, Euro-, Afro-, and Indo-Caribbeans to enter each other’s identity spaces? Are we getting better at understanding each other’s religious and philosophical traditions? Is it getting easier for us to enter each other’s discursive spaces? Are the patterns and paces of race/ethnic changes the same or different in the Spanish-, English-, French-, and Dutch-speaking parts of the region? What of the mixed identities of these different linguistic groups: the Mestizo, the Dougla, and the Mulatto? Has the rise of China, Brazil and India in this global economy affected the race/ethnic codes by which Indo-Caribbeans and Chinese Caribbeans and Brazilians have been defined? Have these shifts in global positions had any impact on their relations with Afro-Caribbeans and Euro-Caribbeans? Has the crisis reinforced old patterns between these groups or has had no impact at all? It is issues of this type, which link race/ethnic identities and shifts in the global political economy, that we would like to make our broad organizing theme for 2012.

The organizers accept proposals in Spanish, French and English. They also encourage the submission of papers to the CLR James Journal, the official journal of the CPA. Send submissions for panels, roundtables, discussions, and abstracts of individual presentations by March 31, 2012, by email to

Abstracts should include: 1) name, position, institutional and department affiliation (if any), and highest university degree obtained, 2) title of proposed paper, panel, roundtable, or discussion, 3) up to one page description of the problem(s) addressed and identification of the sources used per participant. Panel presentations must include a description of the panel as well as title and abstracts of individual presentations and the basic biographical information (as listed above) of each presenter. The maximum of presenters per panel is four, in addition to a moderator. The fourth panelist could be a presenter or a commentator. All presenters will be asked to pay conference fees and membership to the association. Membership and registration forms will be posted on the website soon.

For more information, see

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