Call for Panel and Paper Proposals
The New Color Lines: What Will It Mean to Be an American?
The 19th Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference (MAPOC)
West Virginia University College of Law—January 29-31, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference (MAPOC) at the West Virginia University College of Law from January 29-31, 2015, shall explore the legal implications of the projected end of a nationwide white ethnic majority in the United States by 2043. Selected papers from this Conference shall be published in the West Virginia Law Review.
When looking forward to the dawn of the twentieth century, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois both famously evoked the problem of the “color line”—the continuing segregation and marginalization of ethnic minorities in the United States. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau demographic projections, new color lines in the United States may emerge in the middle of the twenty-first century. At present, non-white ethnic Americans are projected to outnumber whites in the under-5 and under-18 age groups. In 2010, 15% of new American marriages were—according to traditional racial categories—interracial marriages. What currently is the fastest growing U.S. ethnic group? People who self-identify as “multiracial.”
Although the United States remains extremely racially segregated, with the increasing number of interracial American families and the increasing reversal of white flight from U.S. cities to suburbs, could greater racial integration accompany this fundamental demographic shift? Or will we be more racially isolated than ever? How might this demographic shift impact what it will mean in the future to be an American? In a 1998 university commencement address, President Bill Clinton commented:
No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time. What do the changes mean? They can either strengthen and unite us, or they can weaken and divide us. We must decide. . . . I believe [that this change is] renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be an American.
In response to Clinton’s speech, Pat Buchanan wrote, “Mr. Clinton assured us that it will be a better America when we are all minorities and realize true ‘diversity.’ Well, those students are going to find out, for they will spend their golden years in a Third World America.”
MAPOC is proud to further legal scholarship through: (1) panel and paper proposals related to this conference theme; (2) a student writing competition with a $300/free-travel-to-the-conference first prize and two $100 runner-up prizes; and (3) its celebrated works-in-progress program that has helped publish more than 110 articles since 1995.
1. Panel/Paper Proposals Related to the Conference Theme. MAPOC seeks innovative panel and paper proposals exploring the legal implications of this projected demographic shift. We welcome proposals from legal and interdisciplinary scholars. Panel proposals should include a cover page with the working titles of each paper, the full name and institutional affiliation of each presenter, a current c.v. for each presenter (with current e-mail address and telephone number), and a description of the panel not to exceed 500 words. Individual paper proposals should include the working title, the author’s full name and institutional affiliation, the author’s current c.v. (with current e-mail address and telephone number), and an abstract not to exceed 250 words. Please e-mail panel and paper proposals (and any questions) to Bertha Romine at [email protected] no later than September 15, 2014. We shall get back to you no later than October 15, 2014. Participants who wish to be considered for publication in the West Virginia Law Review must submit a full draft no later than December 15, 2014.
2. Student Writing Competition. MAPOC is sponsoring a writing competition open to all currently enrolled law students of any level, J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D., at a U.S. law school. Papers should be between 15,000-25,000 words in length and there is a preference for papers related to the conference theme but we will accept papers on other topics as well. Please email submissions (and any questions) to [email protected] no later than September 15, 2014. The winning submission will receive $300 and travel expenses to attend the Conference. The two runner-ups will receive $100 each.
3. Works-in-Progress Program. MAPOC’s long-standing works-in-progress (WIP) workshop provides a comfortable and constructive environment where authors can workshop scholarship in any stage of development to a dedicated discussant and supportive audience. Please e-mail your WIP abstract (and any questions) to [email protected] no later than November 30, 2014, to be included in the WIP program.
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