“Critical Perspectives on the University”
Black Studies, University of Missouri
Sunday, March 31, 2024
Review Begins: 
Monday, April 1, 2024

In recent years activists, intellectuals, and scholars have engaged the nature and function of universities in the West. The official narratives university administrators project often do not reflect the lived experiences of students and workers on campus. They also do not reflect the role of universities in society at the local, national, and global levels. What explains this disconnect? In what ways might this disconnect reflect the historical and ongoing inequalities universities have benefited from and perpetuated? These are the central questions that will guide our two-day conference. We seek individual papers, panels, and roundtable discussions from graduate students, community activists, archivists, and scholars on critical perspectives on the university, past and present. Possible topics include but are not limited to universities’ connections to racism, carcerality, slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism, colonialism, racial capitalism, sexism, homophobia, environmental degradation, labor exploitation, gentrification, and anti-human knowledges. We also seek to center intellectual and social movement traditions that have criticized the university and offer alternatives to learning and study that are not sutured to the institutional logics of the university and the market. Within this framework of power, resistance, and the university, we aim to facilitate critical understandings of higher education and how we can study and learn in ways that contribute to building a different world.


Please submit an abstract between 250-300 words explaining your topic and the format of your presentation. Include the names and contact information for all participants. Abstracts are due March 31, 2024, and should be emailed to blackstudies@missouri.edu. Responses will be sent by May 31, 2024.


We can offer limited scholarship funding of $500 each to six outstanding graduate students for travel or accommodation expenses.


When: October 10 and 11, 2024

Where: University of Missouri, Columbia

Organized by the Department of Black Studies, University of Missouri


Contact info: blackstudies@missouri.edu


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