HomeThe creative power of margins: the rise of black, native, and mixed-race intellectuals in the Americas, 19th-20th centuries

The creative power of margins: the rise of black, native, and mixed-race intellectuals in the Americas, 19th-20th centuries

Les marges créatrices : émergence des intellectuel·le·s noir·e·s et métis·se·s et indigènes aux Amériques (XIXe-XXe siècles)

Las márgenes creadoras: aparición de intelectuales negro(a)s, mestizo(a)s e indígenas en las Américas, siglos 19-20

Margens criativas: a emergência de intelectuais negro(a)s, mestiço(a)s e indígenas nas Américas nos séculos XIX e XX

Journal IdeAs 16

Revue IdeAs 16

Revista IdeAs 16

Revista IdeAs 16

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Published on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by Céline Guilleux


Issue 16 of IdeAs magazine. Ideas from the Americas, to be published in October 2020, will focus on “The creative power of margins: the rise of black, native, and mixed-race intellectuals in the Americas, 19th-20th centuries”. We want to focus on the Black and non-white intellectual Americas. We receive proposals for articles on all countries of the American continent, in French, English, Spanish or Portuguese. 



African American historians of the 19th and early 20th centuries were located at the margins of their society, of scholarly institutions and of book trade networks. To a certain extent, these adverse conditions led them to search for new sources—thus they used oral history well before their white counterparts did—and imagine pioneering ways to break into print. To get their work (slave narratives, essays, novels) printed and circulated, they resorted to various means, such as self-publishing, subscription publishing, marketing and sale of the printed work by the author. The creative power at work in the margins was amply demonstrated in the 3-year granted project entitled “Writing History from the Margins: The Case of African Americans” (https://hdlm.hypotheses.org/).[1]

The first phase of the project has ended, and we would now like to look beyond the United States, for a special issue of the open access online journal IdeAs. Idées d’Amériques. The issue means to examine the emergence of native, black, and mixed-race intellectuals in the Americas, looking at different countries and their specificities, while exploring issues of genre, and processes of creation and publication of works of fiction or nonfiction. Comparison between the diverse experiences of the Americas (North and South America) should provide further examples of the creative power at work in the margins. The panel theme can be approached from several angles: Which circumstances—social, political, economic—allow for the emergence of a native, black, or mixed-race voice in white-dominated societies? How can we explain the rise of a black, native, or mixed-race intellectual and artistic elite in some countries and not others? In what ways has the marginal position of native, black and mixed-race intellectuals forced them to innovate in terms of methods, aesthetics, sources and approaches? Should we go beyond the very notions of “center” and “margins”?


The authors should send in abstracts of 500 words maximum and a short biographical notice

by October 15, 2019 to:

  • Véronique Hébrard : veronique.hebrard@univ-lille.fr
  • Silvia Capanema : silvia.capanema@univ-paris13.fr
  • Fatma Ramdani : fatma.ramdani@univ-lille.fr
  • Claire Parfait : claire.parfait@univ-paris13.fr
  • Isabelle Vagnoux : isabelle.vagnoux@univ-amu.fr

Vetting process: The co-editors will answer by November 4, 2019

Final pre-selected papers will be sent by March 1, 2020

Final publication online, after the peer-reviewing process and revisions: October 2020.


Double blind peer review procedure.

All submissions must be previously unpublished in any form, either print or web, or in any other language; nor must they have been sent simultaneously for consideration to any other journal. Authors agree to cede copyright to IdeAs for electronic reproduction and authorize online publication. If a translation is necessary, it will be carried out after acceptance of the original by IdeAs and under IdeAs supervision.

Articles must not exceed 45 000 signs (including footnotes, bibliography and spaces) and must abide by the journal's editorial rules.

Languages: English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.


[1]  Writing History from the Margins: African Americans and the Quest for Freedom, eds Claire Parfait, Hélène Le Dantec-Lowry and Claire Bourhis-Mariotti (New York: Routledge, 2016) ; Écrire l’histoire depuis les marges : une anthologie d’historiens africains-américains 1855-1865, collection SHS, éditions Terra-HN (2018)

http://www.shs.terra-hn-editions.org/Collection/?-Historiens-africains-americains-; Histoire en marges. Les périphéries de l’histoire globale, eds Hélène Le Dantec-Lowry, Matthieu Renault, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol and Pauline Vermeren (Presses universitaires François-Rabelais de l’université de Tours, forthcoming).


  • Paris, France (75)


  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019


  • intellectuel, afro-américain, race, genre, métissage, média, indigène, marge

Information source

  • Rafaëlle Gandini Miletto
    courriel : gt-recherche [at] institutdesameriques [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The creative power of margins: the rise of black, native, and mixed-race intellectuals in the Americas, 19th-20th centuries », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, https://calenda.org/663201

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