Our AfroFuture in the Crosshairs: Black Studies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Big Tech, and the Cultural Wars

The theme for the annual conference is “Our AfroFuture in the Crosshairs: Black Studies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Big Tech, and the Cultural Wars.” In the 21st century, we must reckon with the intersections of the Africana experience and the future of technology.

As we continue to normalize our realities in the era of a perpetual pandemic, it is incumbent upon us as scholars of Black Studies to ponder the challenges that AI, Big Tech, and the culture wars pose for black people, our world, and our intellectual discipline. A juxtaposition of DeSantis’ attack on Black Studies (slavery had positive benefits for us, banning the new Africana Studies AP course, etc.) on the East Coast to the valuing of Ethnic Studies and our discipline on the West Coast has situated the discipline in the “crosshairs.”

The year 2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the song “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. Although the song and the group are deeply embedded in our collective memory (Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do Right Thing) as a symbol of social activism and engagement, it is also important that we pay attention to Public Enemy’s visual aesthetic – the iconic crosshairs logo. The logo portrays a silhouette of an African American in the crosshairs of a gunsight; the personification of state sanctioned violence against Black Americans. Likewise, Black Studies has found itself, once again, a target of political surveillance and violence at the local, state, and national levels.

With this theme as an overarching framework, NCBS is inviting you to answer the call for papers by Sunday, December 31, 2023 11:59 p.m. Submissions will not be accepted after this date.

Proposals are encouraged to relate to this year’s theme; however, proposals of significant interest to the discipline of Africana/Black Studies will be considered.  Possible paper topics for thought provoking panel discussion and intellectually stimulating research proposals can cover a vast array of topics within the discipline of Black Studies.

The conference, in its commitment to inclusion of a diversity of demographic, scholarly and social vantage points and points of view, welcomes the rich varieties of theories and schools of thought in Africana Studies, i.e., womanism, Afrocentricity, feminism, Kawaida philosophy, Pan-Africanism, Afrofuturism, African Centered Thought and Pedagogy, sexuality theories, socialist initiatives, cultural theories, aesthetic theories, etc. We urge you to join us.

Proposals* must include:

  • A title and abstract for the panel session.
  • Titles and names of presenters in the session. Each presenter should be identified by their institutional affiliation or other identifying information.
  • Title and name of chair/facilitator, if you are providing your own.
  • Sessions by professional members should be indicated as such and those by students (whether graduate or undergraduate) should likewise be indicated as such.

Proposals with all presenters holding current NCBS membership status will be given first consideration. Renew or join now.

The conference committee will select a chair/facilitator for each accepted panel unless a chair/facilitator is named and identified as such by the organizer of the submitted panel.

ALL proposals must be submitted via All Academic:

  • Please do not use all caps or all lowercase letters when entering names and information.
  • Your NCBS website username and password should also be your All Academic login credentials, if you have an existing NCBS account.  If you have problems logging in, please email  Please do not create a new account in All Academic if you know you’ve submitted an abstract in the past.  We are striving to clean up our database.
  • If you have changed institutions or positions it is your responsibility to update your All Academic information.
  • * Incomplete proposals will not be considered.