CfP: The history of interracial intimacies in comparative and transnational perspective (Event: 04/2018, Chicago); DL: 01.12.2017

University of Chicago (Web)

Time: April 18-19, 2018
Venue: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Abstract submission: December 1, 2017

„Please join us for a two-day symposium on the history of interracial intimacies in comparative and transnational perspective. This symposium offers a platform for emerging and established scholars to discuss issues of interracial intimacies broadly construed. Doris L. Garraway, Associate Professor of French at Northwestern University, will be the keynote speaker. Symposium organizers seek papers that include, but are not limited to, themes pertaining to one of the following tracks:

  1. Intersectionality and intimacy. This track seeks to interrogate how other categories in addition to race inform discourses, regulation, and experiences of interracial intimacies. How does gender, sexuality, religion, citizenship, and nationality, to cite only a few, shape interracial intimacies across place and time?
  2. Beyond the black and white dichotomy. This track seeks to investigate histories of interracial intimacies that go beyond the black and white dichotomy.
  3. Racialized desire. This track aims to historicize and racialize desire, conceived as a social construct. How did regulatory discourses shape desire? How was racialized desire produced, regulated, and repressed? To what extent did racialized desire challenge or reassert existing hierarchies and racial categories?
  4. Sex and the State: This track is concerned with biopolitics, colonial and state regulation of interracial sex and unions as well as contestations including: prostitution, marriage, concubinage, and same-sex sex across racial lines. How did states respond to different forms of interracial intimacy? What were the means they used, both implicit and explicit, to limit these occurrences, and to what extent were they successful? To what extent were they influenced by policies implemented in other places? Who were the non-state historical actors involved in the regulation of interracial intimacies, and how did they support or push back against state policies?
  5. Interracial intimacy within the home/beyond sex. This track explores the discourses, regulation, and experiences of non-sexual interracial intimacy, such as mixed-families, friendship, transracial adoption, and domestic labor. How did racial ideologies inform non-sexual relations across racial lines? Did non-sexual interracial intimacies generate the same level of scrutiny and stigma? How did interracial intimacies transform public space and sex outside the home? What were the tolerated limits of interracial intimacy in public? How did communities respond to interracial couples in public spaces?

Please submit a one-page CV and an abstract (no more than 250 words) by December 1, 2017 to

For questions regarding the symposium email the organizers at:

For more information, please visit the conference’s website.

Sonia Gomez & Caroline Séquin
Department of History
University of Chicago“