Block I Illinois Library Illinois Open Publishing Network

Question Three: What direction should new scholarship in the field take? For example: intersectionality, sexuality, class, internationalism, and environmental justice

The upcoming fortieth anniversary of the establishment of a num­ber of Black Studies programs around the country and  the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the PhD program in African Ame­rican Studies at Temple University are sig­nif­icant his­­torical moments. As societies change and traditional dis­ci­pli­nary bor­ders blur, discussions regarding new directions for the field are ne­ces­sary if the field is to stay relevant as well as com­pet­i­tive in the twen­ty-first century. Public policy rang as a dom­i­nant theme through­out the presentations and discussion of this ques­tion. Baker in­tro­du­ced the idea that Black Studies per­spec­tives can help to reframe issues around immigration. Through her re­flec­tions on the es­tab­lish­­ment of Crit­i­cal Race Theory in law, Cren­shaw offered a com­pel­ling ar­gu­ment regarding the value of the soci­o­logical school of thought for Black Studies. Boyce Davies made a num­ber of salient points that in­clud­ed a need to return to ac­ti­vism as well as the im­pact of hy­brid­ity and the multiple voi­ces vy­ing for atten­tion that divert ad­min­istrators away from the needs of the field.

During the discussion, Alkalimat introduced the idea that the cre­a­tion of digital data sets to be used by researchers in the field spark­ed a vigorous debate around control and content, access and housing, and the use of existing materials. Ronald W. Bailey and Kimberle Crenshaw emphasized the importance of developing and using databases generated from within the field, as well as the equal importance of reaching outside the borders of the field to tap into knowledge produced by scholars who “are doing work against the grain of their discipline but within the grain of what we are doing” regardless of the primary discipline from which the data was obtained.

“Question Three” clearly generated a wealth of ideas that called for further discussion while providing a myriad of new directions for Black Studies departments and programs to undertake.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

iBlack Studies Copyright © 2018 by marilyn m. thomas-houston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book