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Call for Papers: Afro-Optimism and Afro-Pessimism: 50 Years since “The Year of Africa”

This special issue of The Journal of Black Studies will focus on politics, protest, and popular culture in Africa during the transformative year 1960.  Popularly referred to as “The Year of Africa,” 1960 witnessed a host of events, from the end of the Mau Mau resistance in Kenya, mass riots during Charles de Gualle’s trip to Algeria, the murder of 69 non-violent protestors in South Africa’s Sharpeville Massacre, and independence for 17 African nations.  While the year was marked by both the entrenched brutality of European colonial rule and the birth of new Africa nations, there was the overwhelming sense of optimism for a vibrant, independent, and self-sufficient Africa.  To commemorate fifty years since “The Year of Africa,” this special issue invites essays from throughout the disciplines that offer a critical examination of the personalities, politics, events, ideas and transformations that helped define the year 1960 in Africa.

If you have an article that you would like to be considered, please send a Microsoft Word copy of no more than 25 double-spaced pages as an email attachment to Benjamin Talton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with the subject line “The Year of Africa”, by February 17, 2010.  All submissions must include a 100 to 150-word abstract.  Please also include a brief biography (50 words or less) describing your current affiliation, research interests, and relevant publications.  Selected articles will be subject to peer review.

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