Call for Abstracts: Black Panther and Philosophy

Call for Abstracts

Black Panther and Philosophy

Edited by Edwardo Pérez and Timothy E. Brown

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series


Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

While this volume will feature the signature blend of philosophy and popular culture (and humor) the series is known for, it will also explore Black Panther as a unique cultural artifact—one that speaks to history, illuminates the present, and speculates a possible future (and wins three Oscars!). As such, we encourage submissions rooted in philosophy yet willing to make connections to cultural issues currently being examined within African and African-American communities.

We encourage authors to incorporate popular cultural references not just from the Black Panther narrative (film and comics) but from any relevant source and/or personality. For example, an author might explore the differences between T’Challa’s and Killmonger’s moral codes not just by examining their actions through a Kantian or Aristotelian framework, but also by showing how they might resemble MLK and Malcolm X, or by showing how each character speaks to the moral dilemmas seen in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Finally, we want this volume to celebrate a diversity of perspectives, identities, and intersections. As such, we strongly encourage submissions from people of color, people of diverse genders and sexual orientations, as well as people with disabilities.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

These essays could focus on science, technology, Afrofuturism, transhumanism, and evolution. For example:

  • Shuri and Vibranium: Redefining Transhumanism through Wakandan Technology
  • Is Wakanda An Example of Natural Evolution or Directed Evolution?
  • Black to the Future: Understanding the Significance of Black Panther’s Afrofuturism
  • Should Wakandan Science Solve Everything?
  • Observation or Interference: Understanding Nakia and the Role of Wakandan Spies

The Heart-Shaped Herb
These essays could focus on religion, belief, knowledge, morality, and ethics.

  • What Moral Obligation Did Zuri Have To N’Jobu, T’Chaka, and T’Challa?
  • Understanding Killmonger’s Choice: Is Death Really Better Than Bondage?
  • Shuri vs. Zuri: Understanding the Difference between Wakandan Science and Religion
  • Understanding the Wakandan Ancestral Plane: A Metaphysical Exploration
  • A Nation Under Our Feet: Exploring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Uprising
  • The Tribes of Wakanda: Exploring the Hierarchy of a Hidden African Nation
  • “This corset is really uncomfortable. So, can we all wrap this up and go home?”: Exploring the Philosophical Importance of Rituals

Wakanda Forever
These essays could focus on culture, identity, feminism, aesthetics, and music.

  • Black Panther’s Soundtrack: Kendrick Lamar, Ludwig Göransson and the Cultural Identity of Wakanda
  • Between Okoye and W’Kabi: Intersectional Feminism in Wakanda’s Civil War
  • Killmonger’s Uprising and the Philosophy of Black Power
  • Black is Beautiful: Perceptions of Blackness and Wakanda’s Aesthetics
  • Gender Performativity: Understanding the Roles of Wakanda’s Women (and Men)

Black Lives Matter
These essays could focus on colonialism, diaspora, racism, reality (metaphysics, ontology, existentialism), and rhetoric.

  • Killmonger, Trayvon Martin, and the Rhetoric of Black Lives Matter
  • One Tribe: Why T’Challa’s Philosophy Resonates in a Post-Obama World
  • Seeing Ourselves as Heroes: the Importance of Black Representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • “Don’t scare me like that, Colonizer!” White Appreciation of Black Panther, and Cultural Appropriation
  • Absurdity and Facticity: Understanding the Importance of 1991 and Oakland in Killmonger’s Life

Post-Credits Scenes

  • So What Does Wakanda Offer The World?
  • The Future of Wakanda: Thoughts on Black Panther 2

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (300-500 words) and CVs: June 4, 2019.
  2. Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: September 10, 2019.

Kindly submit by e-mail (with or without Word attachment) to: Edwardo Pérez

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