Call for Papers for the Critical Romani Studies Journal: Thematic Issue on Critical Whiteness

February 14, 2020

Editors: Ildiko Gulyas (Social Justice Education; University of Toronto, OISE); Szilvia Rézműves (Social Politician, independent activist and researcher); Violeta Vajda (University of Sussex and Institute of Development Studies); Jonathan McCombs (Department of Geography; University of Georgia)

About the Critical Romani Studies Journal:

Critical Romani Studies (CRS) is an international, interdisciplinary, double blind peer-reviewed journal providing a forum for activist-scholars to critically examine racial oppressions, different forms of exclusion, inequalities, and human rights abuses of Roma. Without compromising academic standards of evidence collection and analysis, the Journal seeks to create a platform to critically engage with academic knowledge production, and generate critical academic and policy knowledge targeting—amongst others—scholars, activists, and policymakers.

About the Thematic Issue:

We invite contributions for this CRS special issue on themes of whiteness within the context of anti-Roma racism. Papers should critically assess the role of whiteness in perpetuating inequalities against Roma. Toward this end, we request papers under two broad frameworks.

· Papers that address the role of white-skin privilege, defined as the social benefits associated with lighter skin-tones. Within this frame, we seek papers that grapple with the complexities of shifting associations of whiteness across borders and diverse geographies, as well as contributions that reflect on the process of recognizing one’s own white privilege.

· Papers that apply concepts like white supremacy, defined as the institutions of racial domination that produce and uphold white privilege. Within this frame, we seek to interrogate how political language, practices, and techniques reproduce whiteness as the norm, and also how practitioners and activists navigate the various constraints imposed by a system of white supremacy. Not only do we seek papers that address the challenges associated with doing research and activism within a white supremacist context, but also success stories that detail how activists have overcome these challenges to produce positive outcomes for

Roma communities. In general, we seek a broad swath of papers that analyzes whiteness in areas of education, politics, economics and identity.

We especially invite submissions from Roma activists and scholars that reflect upon the role of whiteness in the academy and social movements. Papers from Roma that detail how Roma maneuver inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic tensions in relation to whiteness are encouraged.

About Critical Whiteness in Romani Studies

As editors, we hold that the degree of Roma marginalization across the social, political, economic, geographical and cultural sphere can only be explained in relation to a pervasive system of white supremacy and hegemony that dominates public life. If Roma are systematically excluded from full participation in the public sphere in some countries, it is because the public sphere is produced in service of maintaining a system of white supremacy that benefits those with white skin privilege.

Critical whiteness studies emerged out of debates within critical race theory [CRT] that sought to identify the historical, social, political, and economic structures, practices, and belief systems that protect and uphold white-skin privilege. Scholars working within CRT have identified racism as a social structure irreducible to, yet intersecting with and amplifying, other modalities of inequality like class, nationalism, and gender. Central to the successful application of CRT is a deeper exploration of the role of whiteness as it is embedded and normalized in various institutions such as education, law and politics. As a framework, critical whiteness studies challenges hegemonic discourses of whiteness, drawing attention to how whiteness impacts policy decisions, institutional practices, experiences of privilege, and white and non-white identity formation. We contend that whiteness is necessary for understanding how racism is perpetuated and maintained across societies where processes of racialized marginalization are endemic.

Amid the decolonial turn within Romani studies broadly, the problem of whiteness has not been given sufficient attention as a driver of anti-Roma racism. This is especially true in Central and Eastern European contexts, where the effects of white supremacy can be seen and felt, but also where the historical origins and contemporary practices of white supremacy and privilege remain largely unexplored. It is from this position that we aim to understand the role of whiteness in its contextual and historical complexity without losing sight of its transnational nature.

Extended Submission Deadline: 15 April, 2020

We invite several types of inquiries:

- Academic articles that should be 6,000 to 8,000 words long

- Book reviews that should be 1,000 to 2,500 words long

- Shorter articles, such as: Fieldwork notes or Policy papers

- Work in progress: in exceptional cases we may provide mentoring assistance to develop an article in terms of the content, argument and academic style. Please indicate if your submission is a work in progress.

In this thematic issue, we welcome papers that address one or more of the following issues:

- Theoretical examinations of the problems and complexities of whiteness and white supremacy in societies with significant Roma populations

- The spatialities of whiteness in urban and rural settings

- Perspective of Roma on their own navigation of whiteness and proximity of whiteness in terms of identity, culture, education etc.

- Perspective of non-Roma on their navigation of white privilege whether their own or others in relation to working with systems of oppression and Roma

- Role of migration, geography and shifting contexts of whiteness

- Success stories of decolonial processes in small projects, cases and communities Submission Guidelines:

Please address all inquiries to