Call for Papers
Deadline: May 31st, 2020
Discourses and conspiracies about national populations under threat of being overtaken or even wiped out by those considered as ‘alien’ to the nation body are on the rise, yet again. From Eurabia fantasies to Camus’ The Great Replacement, from ‘Jews will not replace us’ (Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville) to ‘It’s the birthrates’ (in the Christchurch killer’s manifesto), white supremacist discourses are thriving and increasingly distributed in mainstream venues. These discourses rely on defining ontological distinctions between who belongs to the nation and who is ‘alien’, and visions about the reproduction of that nation, notably about who should procreate more and whose procreation is alarming and should be halted.
Narratives of ‘waves’ or ‘floods’ of migration as well as on high birth and fertility rates among ‘migrant’ populations have proliferated all over Europe in the past decades, and provided fertile ground for the ‘fear of replacement’. Particularly after the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing ‘War on Terror’ a discourse problematizing the presence and existence of Muslims in the ‘West’ has burgeoned all over Europe, often taken the shape of the fear of ‘Islamization’, i.e., the substitution of European values, norms, and culture by Islamic ones. While this problematization is a multifaceted phenomenon that engages with notions and constructions of citizenship, racial characterizations, migrations, anxieties hovering around gender and sexuality, and ideas mobilized in regard to ‘Islamic’ violence, it is also centered in a discourse with variegated labels and signatures (Demographic Jihad, Muslim fecundism, the secret plot of Eurabia, the Great Replacement) that postulates a deliberative and conspiratorial process whereby Muslims have begun to ‘replace’ the ‘native’ populations of Europe. Concerns about ‘Muslim demographics’ within Europe, moreover, have been entertained, mobilized, and deployed to not only construct Muslims as problems and dangers to the present and future of Europe, but also as calls to revive eugenic policies aimed to gain control and determine the social, cultural, and ‘racial’ make up of European societies.
While we began investigating fears of ‘replacement’ in relation to Europe’s ‘Muslim Question’ today, we recognize replacement discourse as multiple and versatile, and unfolding in different contexts, and having different historical genealogies. This conference seeks to trace how ideas of (population) ‘replacement’ are developed with respect to different racisms (Islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-Black racism, racism against migrants and refugees, etc.); different demographic dimensions (with respect to migration, or birthrates and mortality, or cultural change and assimilation); different geographical locations (Europe; Middle East; North America; South East Asia, etc.); different time periods (medieval archives, colonial archives, Nazi archives, post-colonial migrations, post-11/9); and within different genres (scholarly knowledge production, statistics and demographics, literature, memes and social media, manifestos, journalism, etc.)
We invite submissions that interrogate the different ways in which the discourse of replacement has been formulated and mobilized. Contributions might explore some of the following issues, but are not limited to them:
Please submit an abstract of no more than 350 words along with a short biographical note before January 15th, 2020, to the conference organizers dr. Luis Hernández Aguilar and prof. dr. Sarah Bracke, at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Abstract Replacement Conference.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent in March, and draft papers of accepted contributions should be sent no later than May 31st , for internal distribution.
The conference will be held at the University of Amsterdam, on June 29th and 30th, 2020.
The conference is part of a 5-year research project EnGendering Europe’s Muslim Question based at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Scientific Research (Political Sociology programme group) and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The conference is also supported by the Race, Religion, and Secularism network, based at Radboud University in Nijmegen.
The conference will be held in English, and a publication is planned.