CFC: Black Nostalgia & Black Diaspora as Cultural Production

CALL FOR PAPERS: Black Nostalgia & Black Diaspora as Cultural Production
JOURNAL: Cultural Studies
Special Issue Editor(s):
Aria S. Halliday, University of Kentucky (point of contact)
Ashleigh Greene Wade, Pennsylvania State University

Abstracts Due: April 15, 2021
Decisions: May 15, 2021
Full Articles Due: October 1, 2021

In response to global unrest after the murder of George Floyd and the shuttering of public venues due to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (or COVID-19), companies like Netflix, Nike, Mattel, and many others have affirmed their accountability to Black communities using the popular moniker, “Black Lives Matter.” Netflix, as well as the other popular streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime, have even designated content on their websites related to (the) Black experience in folders/tabs, emblazoned with titles such as “Black History Month” and “Black Lives Matter.” In the global mediated culture of the 21st century,  however, the varying uses of bricolage, cultural hegemony, and appropriation collapse cultural context as well as encourage local and global intertextuality—in some ways losing cultural specificity while encouraging global cultural dexterity. Across the diaspora, then, we are interested in the ways that cultural production using, refuting, and collapsing Black cultural contexts have been celebrated (re: Black PantherBlack is King) and also encourage further representational work across geopolitical boundaries or cultural specificities (re: CutiesQueen Sono). Recent representational work has narrated Black pain and trauma as well as Black joy and pleasure through fiction-based nostalgia and increased attention to Black cultural production of today and earlier cultural periods (namely the 1990s). This special issue hopes to lay bare the ideological work recent representational blackness has engineered as well as the ways diasporic cultural context intertextuality and bricolage shapes what we believe about our present, past, and future.

The editors of this special issue seek articles that take seriously the demands of Black spectatorship and Black creativity disseminated by streaming platforms as well as the concerns over Black representation that collapse cultural specificities to a generic (and generalized) blackness. We are interested in questions such as: how do cultural producers across the diaspora use context collapse to position intraracial discourses as global and local ones? How do conversations around blackness, and the diasporic nature in which we experience blackness, get routed through the pleasure (or hate) watching of films and shows on streaming services? Both in nostalgic and new ways, how do Black diasporic audiences today experience conversations from the 1990s and early 2000s about identity; sexuality and HIV; relationships, dating outside “the race,” and teen pregnancy; physical and intimate partner violence; drugs and gangs; and, community-building, Black success, and economic mobility? In what ways does the fight for Black representation encourage diasporic bricolage and/or intertextuality that creates cultural fluencies akin to pan-Africanisms or transnational Black feminisms/womanisms? How does (real or faux) nostalgia shape Black creativity and Black viewership? Metaphorically, now that we have Black people dining at the table, and Black people making the meals, we ask: what is actually being served? And how do Black people as both creators and viewers, navigate the ongoing tensions of representing blackness on screen especially in diasporic contexts?

Articles for consideration should address topics related to, by not exclusive to, Black diasporic discourses, nostalgia, creativity, streaming services, and the availability of the following:

-geographic blackness; how does blackness show up in Oakland, Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Berlin, and etc differently?

-sexuality and presentations of sexual acts

-diasporic blackness (“ADOS” and pan-Africanism)

-perceptions of “degreed” Black creatives and “authentic” Black storytelling

-social media responses to/tensions between audiences and creatives

-representations of Black trans*, femmes, lesbian, pansexual, Black masc, gay men, asexual, and nonbinary people

-adapting Black literary work for Black television and film

-representations of family dynamics alongside age, ability, nationality, religion, and other points of identity

-misogynoir in the representation of Black girls and women

-horror for Black people or nostalgia as horror/mutation 

-economic success, the “gig” economy, and Black “hustle” narratives

-psychological services and mental health for Black people

-depictions of science, technology, and/or Black scientists

-depictions and explanations of diasporic Black pasts and Black futures or lives/afterlives

-streaming services (Netflix/Hulu/Prime/etc) as Black diasporic cultural “home”

We hope readers will think about how encountering ‘90s and ‘00s conversations about blackness again or freshly alongside new generations of Black creatives and viewers shapes contemporary discourses of blackness, and the films and shows that are part of the Black cinematic canon. 

Contact Info: 

Aria S. Halliday, PhD, University of KentuckyContact Email:

Publication Specifications: In accordance with Cultural Studies submission guidelines, ‘a typical manuscript for this journal should be no more than 35 pages; this limit includes tables, figure captions, references, footnotes, endnotes. . .use British -ize spelling style consistently throughout.’ See Cultural Studies Instructions for authors for full descriptions of submission guidelines. For this special issue we have the following requirements/limits:

Word/Page Limit: 8,000 words or 25 pages, inclusive of notes

Abstract: 300 word limit

Keywords: 6 keywords

ORCID number: Must include your ORCID number (Register at

Biographical note: 50 words

Format: Chicago Author-Date

To submit your submission, email Dr. Aria Halliday (a.halliday at uky dot edu) with the subject line: BLACK NOSTALGIA SUBMISSION.

Aria S. Halliday, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky, specializing in 20th and 21st century cultural constructions of black girlhood and womanhood in material, visual, and digital culture. She is editor of The Black Girlhood Studies Collection (2019) and a hip-hop feminism special issue in Journal of Hip-Hop Studies. Her work appears in Cultural Studies, DCQRGirlhood StudiesPalimpsest,and SOULS. Her book, Beyond Barbie: Nicki Minaj, Disney, and Black Women’s Cultural Production is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press. 

Ashleigh Greene Wade, PhD is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University, specializing in 21st Century visual studies. Dr. Wade’s scholarship focuses on the cultural discourses Black girls create through digital media technologies. Her work appears in The Black ScholarNational Political Science Review, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color.  



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s