Annual South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture & Law (SNX)

Annual South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture & Law (SNX)

Race & Color Across the Americas: Comparative Constructions of Racial and Ethnic Subjugation

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, May 10-12, 2007.

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (“SNX”) met for the first time in 2003 to foster and sustain a trans-national, cross-disciplinary and inter-cultural dialogue on current issues in law, theory and culture that are of common interest across the Americas. This Exchange consists of two parts: an annual encounter and, afterward, a scholarly publication based on the live proceedings. Both the “live” and published versions of the Exchange aim to bring to bear on a contemporary issue or topic the combined specialties of the Exchange participants. Ideally, this annual Exchange will help to build networks of knowledge that, over time, will help to foster social justice awareness and activism, and help to inform public discourse and policymaking nationally, hemispherically and globally regarding current affairs in law and society. To do so, each year the Exchange examines a topical general theme, and participants “exchange” views, experiences, proposals and work through a series of interactive plenary sessions spanning several days.

Many comparative studies on race and ethnicity in the Americas have stated that South and North differ in their racial conditions – that is, in how race and ethnicity are perceived and determine identity, socio-economic position, and citizenship status. According to these interpretations, social inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean, result from economic (class) differences, and the subordination (i.e. color discrimination) of dark skin populations (black and Indigenous) is a consequence of their historical heritage as descendants of enslaved and colonized peoples. While these explanations, which racial justice activists across the continent have challenged for many years, no longer prevail in governmental and social scientific rhetoric, they continue to be effective in popular accounts of these societies’ racial relations. In contrast, in the United States and Canada, social inequalities have been ascribed to ideologies, practices, and legislation that explicitly exclude African Americans, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Latinos on the bases of their physical and cultural attributes. Furthermore, the subordination of the darker-skinned members of racially and ethnically subordinated people in these societies has received little if any attention from social analysts and policy-makers. The South-North Exchange in Race & Color Across the Americas will interrogate these established “paradigms” of racial relations –namely, “color discrimination” in the South and “racial discrimination” in the North.

The 2007 Exchange organizing committee invites paper proposals addressing:

1 - how social relations based on racial perceptions operate in the North and the South of the of the Americas;

2 - the possibility that of racism being deployed strategically, as a means to effectively ensure the juridical, economic, and cultural subjugations of descendants of African slaves and conquered indigenous people;

3 - how the privileging of color discrimination impact intra- and inter-group solidarity and coalition-building.

Also welcome are papers presenting:

4- data documenting how color discrimination operates in various labor markets to create a color hierarchy specifically in economic contexts or terms;

5 - data on the impact of color discrimination on an individual’s mental health and family relations;

6 – analyses of public and/or private policies that deal with race and color discrimination, promotion based on race and color, and/or race and color categorization, including the legal and constitutional aspects of these policies.

Papers might focus on individual cases or compare two or several national or regional cases.

Program Coordinators: João Feres Júnior,; Denise Ferreira da Silva,; Florian Fabian Hoffmann,; Telma Lage,; Tanya Washington,

Paper Proposals and Abstracts Should Be Sent To: Denise Ferreira da Silva,

Practical Informantion/Questions (e.g. housing, transportation): Colin Crawford,

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