The 2023 Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Poster Committee invites submissions for posters that address the conference theme, “Black Resistance.” Proposals that address the theme are preferred, however, any timely subject of interest to African American history will be considered. We encourage proposals from scholars working across a variety of temporal, geographical, thematic, and topical areas in Black history, life and culture. 

Poster sessions are a means to communicate and exchange ideas, programs, research, and projects to fellow ASALH meeting attendees. This is a forum for exchanging innovative ideas, and for useful feedback and discussion. Viewers have an opportunity to become acquainted with new work quickly and easily and have more time to study the information and discuss it with presenters. Posters are often used to showcase a completed project, or to communicate ideas about research in progress.

Posters may be on any of the following:

  • a description of an innovative program
  • an examination of a practical, problem-solving endeavor
  • an explanation of a research investigation
  • novel projects or case studies
  • branch histories
  • community and/individual profiles

Proposals will be accepted for in-person and virtual presentations.

The committee seeks posters that probe the traditional fields of economics, accounting, politics, medicine, psychology, intellectual, and cultural history; the established fields of urban, race, ethnic, labor, and women’s/gender history as well as southern and western history; along with the rapidly expanding fields of sexuality, LGBTQIA, and queer history; environmental and public history; African American intellectual history; literature; and the social sciences. We look forward to proposals that center Black/African Diasporic resistance from multiple regions, embrace de-coloniality, and engage embodiment. 

Submissions are welcome from all ASALH members, especially from ASALH Branches, high school, undergraduate and graduate students, and individuals who are recent graduates. If your proposal is accepted, you will have to join the Association and register for the conference.

Conference Theme

African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores. These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction. During the 1950s and 1970s the United States was defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Black people also have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, music, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics.

Black-led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success. In an effort to live, maintain, and protect economic success Black people have organized/planned violent insurrections against those who enslaved them, or choose to self-liberate as seen by the actions those who left the plantation system. Black people established faith institutions to organize resistance efforts; and it was a space that inspired folk to participate in the movements and offered sanctuary during times of crisis. To promote awareness of the myriad of issues and activities media outlets were developed including radio shows, podcasts, and newspapers. Additionally, Black people created and built cultural centers such as libraries, fraternal and sororal orders/organizations,associations were founded to support the intellectual development of communities to collect and preserve Black stories, sponsor Black history and literature events, and were active in the quest for civil, social, and human rights. Black medical professionals worked with others to establish nursing schools, hospitals, and clinics to provide spaces for Black people to get quality health care. Similarly, whether in elementary, secondary, or higher education institutions, education has been used as a way for Black people and communities to resist the narrative that Black people are intellectually inferior. When Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week (NHW) in 1926, he saw it as to provide a space and resources to educate critically students about their history. As a result, students at all levels of education were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movements, and social justice movements from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Often African Americans used African American spirituals, gospel, folk music, hip-hop, and rap have been used to express struggle, hope, and for solidarity in the face of racial oppression. In general, the arts have been used to counter stereotypes, to imagine a present and future with Black people in, to illustrate societal issues including white and state sanctioned violence, sexual politics, as motivation, for strength against harassment, and to experience freedom. Unfortunately, when Black athletic activists have spoken up they suffer personal and economic consequences due to their stances, speech, and actions, but to them it has been worth it to see changes.

Nearly 179 years ago, the Rev. Henry Highland Garnett proposed that the only path to freedom, justice, and equality; self-determination; and/or social transformation is resistance. In thunder tones, Garnett shouted, “Let your motto be resistance! resistance! RESISTANCE!” By resisting Black people have achieved triumphs, successes, and progress as seen in the end of chattel slavery, dismantling of Jim and Jane Crow segregation in the South, increased political representation at all levels of government, desegregation of educational institutions, the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in DC and increased and diverse representation of Black experiences in media. Black resistance strategies have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated.

This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.

Submission

All proposals should be submitted via the All Academic system. You will need to provide an abstract (300 words or less), a title of your presentation, your name, email, and affiliation.

The submission deadlines for proposals are as follows:  Early Bird Submissions will be accepted via All Academic until March 18, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Conditional acceptance responses to Early Bird submissions will be sent out by April 21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). After this date, the committee will accept all submissions until the deadline of April 30, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Regular conditional acceptances submissions will be responded to by June 9, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). You will not be considered official until all session participants have joined the Association and registered for the conference.