Panel Proposal: Recovering the Howard School of International Affairs
Posted: 1 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 1, 2014
This panel proposal is part of a larger project that aims to name, re-claim, and re-position the contributions of Howard University-based African American scholars in the 1930s and 1940s on Race and Empire in International Relations. It will introduce critically important new scholarly work on what scholars are now referring to as the Howard School of International Affairs, which includes the research and scholarship of Alain Locke, Ralph Bunche, Rayford Logan, E. Franklin Frazier, Eric Williams, Lorenzo Turner and Merze Tate. These scholars represent an African American (and Afro-Caribbean) internationalist tradition, and, at the time, the only sustained critique of the hierarchy of the international system and the role that race played in buttressing it. These scholars problematized race in the discussion of international affairs, critiqued the Wilsonians, repeatedly referenced imperialism, and joined debates about anthropological methods for incorporating global and local perspectives into a single study. Yet, just as the hidden history of race in the early years of the discipline of IR has been forgotten, so too has the critique that emerged from the Historically Black Academy. By revisiting the works of earlier black scholars who wrote on race, and illuminating the unique contributions but also the marginalization of their work, this panel will contribute to contemporary efforts to re-center race scholarship in a 'post-racial' world. The panel will be anchored by Professor Pearl Robinson's paper on UN TRUSTEESHIP AND HOWARD UNIVERSITY'S CONFERENCE ON "TRUST & NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES," 1947, and Professor Krista Johnson's paper on "Merze Tate and the White Man's Blunders". Two additional papers will be presented by Howard University undergraduate students who have been doing a directed reading on Howard scholars.
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