08/09/2018 – CFP: Dikies of courage: Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement and the aesthetic of protest

23/24 November 2018 

Deadline: 8 September 2018

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon 

Fifty year after the assassination of Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is frequently memorialized as a moment of almost inevitable national redemption, when a call to the better angels of American consciousness brought the country together to overcome injustices that no longer plague the present. As  historian Jeanne Theoharis argues in A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History (2018)this interpretative frame has frequently constructed a self-congratulatory discourse that whitewashes the immense obstacles and violence faced by the Civil Rights movement and its leaders, rather than soberly remember the “dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear” that, in Dr. King’s words, the movement demanded of its activists, and measure the incompleteness of what was then achieved. This process is seen in the yearly appeals to depoliticize Martin Luther King Day in the name of national unity and reconciliation, as well as in efforts to decouple the most successful social movement of the twentieth century from contemporary protests against lingering racial injustice (such as Black Lives Matter), often accused of distorting a sanitized version of its legacy. Leggi tutto “08/09/2018 – CFP: Dikies of courage: Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement and the aesthetic of protest”