CFP: Black Code Studies

Black Code Studies
The Black Scholar Special Issue on Digital Black Studies

Mark Anthony Neal, Professor, Duke University
Jessica Marie Johnson, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

The editors of this special issue argue black studies, activism, and life online and off have reached a critical point of convergence. Technology has irrevocably changed the way artists, activists, scholars, and users rage against codes and binaries of race and tech. People of African descent around the world have appropriated digital and social media as tools for organizing, self-actualization, consciousness-raising, community building, and outright political revolt. At the same time, organizing strategies and intellectual production across digital media and platforms traffic in racializing assemblages rooted in both antiblackness and historic modes of black resistance–even among users who do not identify as “black.”

Black Code Studies asks: How has that cold and scientific concreteness that was and is nineteenth-century race theory persisted? How do certain racial ideologies and narratives thrive—including twentieth-century narratives of blackness and whiteness as biopolitical binaries? To what extent have race codes and coding evolved? How do these changes interface with the work of race coders—digital activists, digital feminists, and digital black studies scholars—who continue to demand new pathways for safety and survival in the face of abject violence? What are the limits of 21st century digital black coding, even when rooted in resistance and affirming black life?

As a project, Black Code Studies draws attention to the permeability of the racial subject in an age of digital media and new technology. It highlights the importance of tying technology to a history of capitalist exploitation, global black insurgence, and Afrxdiasporic creative energy. Black Code Studies outlines a rich and rigorous set of priorities for the next future of black studies, highlighting prospects for the survival of black life well beyond the Internet.

We are seeking submissions on a variety of topics including but NOT limited to:
Online/Hashtag Activism
Black and Radical Womyn of Color Feminisms
Games and Nerds of Color
Black Codes and Race Codes
Afrofuturism/Speculative Fiction
Digital Black Studies and Pedagogy
Radical Media
Reviews of Digital Projects/Media
Hacking Race
Technology and Art/Music
Independent x Mainstream Media

We are also seeking submissions in a variety of formats including but NOT limited to digital performance and performativity, social networking and social media, blogs and blog posts, Storifys, Twitterchats, archives, exhibits, and more.

250 word abstracts should be received by March 15, 2015. Completed submissions should be received by May 1, 2015. Submit all materials via email to

Direct questions and inquiries to:
Mark Anthony Neal,
Jessica Marie Johnson,


4 thoughts on “CFP: Black Code Studies

  1. Pingback: CFP: Black Code Studies | Digital Humanities Now

  2. Pingback: Empowermentors: a place for QTWOC in compsci, digital arts, critical media/code studies, and digital humanities | VG boundaries 4

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