Special Issue "Unsilencing Black Sexuality in the African Diaspora"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Tara T. Green

African American and African Diaspora Studies Program,The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Black gender studies; African American autobiographies and fiction the African diaspora in the U.S; African American parent-child relationships, and African Americans in the South

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In a 2012 Chronicle of Higher Education article, Stacy Patton addressed the silence surrounding the subject of black sexuality as a tenant of Black Studies. Pointing to a rise of scholars in “queer studies, women’s studies, anthropology, African-American Studies, sociology, literature, history, public health” who have dared to break that silence and expand scholarly studies in the lives and work of Black folks, Patton concluded: “It gets into the bedroom with heterosexual black men having sex with other men ‘on the down low’; onto the streets and porn sets with cross-dressers, transsexuals, and black sex workers; behind prison bars with gay and lesbian inmates; into the dungeons and play dens of blacks who seek pleasure through bondage and pain.” Indeed, in the five years since Patton published this article, Black sexuality studies had continued to expand. Most recently, work by C. Riley Snorton, Sharon Holland, Tricia Rose, Joan Morgan, Jennifer Nash, E. Patrick Johnson, Lamonte Aidoo, Lisa B. Thompson, Shayne Lee, and others has given new directions in Black sexuality through various disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

An increase of representations of Black sexuality in film, television, literature, and song beg for more analyses of these artistic expressions. Hortense Spillers, when discussing Black women’s sexuality in her 2003 text Black, White, and in Colour, speaks to the importance of such studies, “Black women are the beached whales of the sexual universe, unvoiced, unseen, not doing, awaiting their verb. Their sexual experiences are depicted, but not often by them, and if and by the subject herself, often in the guise of vocal music, often in the self-contained accent and sheer romance of the blues” (153). These are not issues that are unique to any one particular region of the vast and diverse African diaspora.

This is a call for papers that offers analysis of Black sexuality studies in Africa and the African diaspora. Essays may address any time period or geographical region. Those that focus on any form of art by Black artists, including film, literature, song, drama/theater, and visual art are particularly welcome. Studies of historical figures are also encouraged. Some topics to consider: How have Black people’s depictions of sexuality changed over time? How have Black people used forms of art to respond to the colonial or dominant “gaze”? How have Black people reclaimed their bodies from the “gaze”? How have Black people defined or redefined sexuality? In other words, how have Black people generated or created new expressions of sexuality rather than responded to existing ones? What does pleasure or desire mean within the context of Black people’s lives and work? What is the relationship between resistance, protest, and sexuality for Black people in the diaspora?

Please send 300 word abstracts (saved as Microsoft Word document) to [email protected] by December 10, 2018 and, if accepted, full essays by July 1,  2019.

Prof. Tara T. Green
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Black Sexuality Studies
  • Black feminism
  • Black masculinity
  • African Diaspora
  • Pleasure
  • Desire
  • Black bodies
  • Black Intimacy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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