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Blog on The Space of Race & Religion: Unraveling Constellations of the Non-Human

Deadline: December 31st, 2023

We are looking for submissions, and open to a variety of forms (videos, interviews, essays, poems, music, art etc), for a collective blog on the space of race and religion.

We will be launching in 2023.

Please send queries or submissions to [email protected]  

The Space of Race & Religion: Unraveling Constellations of the Non-Human

Walter Benjamin famously proposed in the ‘Epistemo-Critical Prologue’ to Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928), translated as The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1977), that ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars. That is to say, ideas are no more present in the world than constellations actually exist in the heavens, but like constellations they enable us to perceive relations between objects. … This is not to say the constellation is purely subjective or all in our heads. The stars in the night sky are where they are regardless of how we look at them and there is something in how they are positioned above us that suggests the image we construct of them. But having said that, the names we use for constellations are embedded in history, tradition and myth. (Buchanan, Ian. 2010. Constellations in A Dictionary of Critical Theory (1 ed.). Oxford UP

This is a collective blog of the Race-Religion Constellation Project. The blog offers critical analyses of racism in its different configurations, namely anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and antizyganism. As the project consists of scholars from various academic backgrounds, the blog is interdisciplinary. It examines the entanglement of race with religion from the Middle Ages, through early European modernity, to our current days, with the intention to better grasp this time, our time.

We draw from the constellation as a moveable arrangement of possible relationships between the objects under analysis, and we situate such particular arrangement in space (time and place in specific historical conditions). We are factually grounding the race-religion constellation in historically contingent space. Our intention is to understand the changing relationship between what is made of “race” and “religion,” and which relationship is established between the two at different moments for political purposes, namely creating a “class” of non-humans.

Space is here as an invitation to articulate intellectually informed critique in the contentious field of critical race studies and the critical philosophy of race. We create space, when doors are being shut down and room for this scholarship is shrinking. At the same time a strand of our commentary will call attention to the spatial dimension of racism. Here space entails territory or the geography of race-religion. We attend to the relation between race-religion and space, departing from the knowledge that space is socially constructed (as are race and religion) and that the spatial imaginary is racially marked. This colonial design, which persists as coloniality, is here the object of critical inquiry. Finally, we invite engagements with space-making and other spatial imaginations by/of historically racialized subjects who were/are denied place (through dispossession and displacement), denied movement or upon whom mobility was, and still is, forced.

We aim to offer scholarly engaged analyses of current issues, such as racial profiling by police, border and tax authorities; racialized representations, race as electoral project, the racial organization of space and the management of (undesirable) populations, the role of racism in academic knowledge production, among various others.

The blog will feature guest author posts and interviews (video and podcasts). If you would like to propose a post or a person, contact us by email at [email protected]  

Individual contributors are responsible for their opinions. We encourage colloquial and direct speech, alongside traditional scholarly language, as well as humour, love and anger (to the current state of world affairs, domestic and academic affairs). If you wish to engage with the content of a post, you are welcome to leave a comment. They will first be approved by the Editorial Team before publication (as we will not tolerate offensive comments).

Please share widely in your networks. 

This blog is funded through a Veni grant awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to Patricia Schor.