Racial Capitalism (Vol. 24-1) Call for Pitches

 The submissions period for Vol. 24, No. 1, Racial Capitalism has now passed. Submitting authors should expect to hear back from the editorial collective by mid-January, 2021. Stay tuned for our next submission period for Vol. 24, No.2, opening this spring!

Racial Capitalism in the Age of Conflict, Contagion, and Climate Change

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately killing communities of color. Peaceful protests and voting alone have not stopped police from killing Black people. BIPOC and low-income communities are at the frontlines of the ever-worsening climate crisis. Faced with these ongoing crises, as well as global systems of oppression propped up predominantly by neoliberal financial systems and US imperialism, ongoing and new uprisings of People’s movements, from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter, continue to inspire resistance and transformation. How can we further explain and fight systems of oppression, while building and supporting systems of liberation? How is scientific enterprise complicit in, yet also poised to fight, a global system of racial capitalism?

Racial capitalism, originally defined by political theorist Cedric Robinson, is a framework that analyzes how the capitalist mode of production locates racialized groups within a system of global value-creation and -extraction. This racialization usually falls along social categories, like race and national origin, to perpetuate the exploitation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Racial capitalism reduces social relations to forms of exploitation: from tokenism and cooptation in interpersonal relations to systems of dispossession, incarceration, imperialism, and genocide. As legal scholar Nancy Leong says, racial capitalism “[degrades] that identity by reducing it to another thing to be bought and sold.” Scientific study and industry have long been structured to perpetuate racial capitalism in the US and around the world.

The BIPOC Caucus of Science for the People (SftP) believes that for SftP to commit to our mission of being a radical science organization dedicated to anti-oppression, it behooves us to publish writing on the impact that racial capitalism has on BIPOC communities around the world as exercised through STEM education and industry.

For the spring 2021 issue of SftP magazine, “Racial Capitalism in the Age of Conflict, Contagion, and Climate Change,” the BIPOC Caucus is requesting proposals for articles, interviews, book reviews, and artwork exploring questions such as,

  1. How is science implicated in the disparities and challenges experienced by BIPOC?
  2. What are actions that scientists can take to confront anti-Blackness and promote anti-racist and decolonial practices?
  3. What BIPOC-led organizations are contesting racial capitalism through the lens of science?
  4. What social imaginaries and forms of resistance can we create and celebrate in this moment?

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Racialized exclusion, targeting, and disparities in accessing education resources (Govt/Military Funding, Student Debt, HBCUs)
  • Environmental Racism and impact of the climate crisis on BIPOC communities
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on BIPOC communities
  • #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia
  • Neocolonial knowledge production in the Global South (brain drain, labor migration, diaspora movements, etc)
  • Anti-Blackness and exploitation in government STEM agencies and academia
  • The corporatization of BIPOC technical organizations (NSBE, GEM, etc.)

Submission Guidelines:

Deadline for submissions: November 30, 2020

We accept proposals for features, opinions, book and media reviews, and artwork. Articles can be proposed in languages other than English.

Please keep proposals under 300 words and image uploads to 20 Mb total. We also encourage, but do not require, a ~800 word outline of your submission, which will allow us to understand how you intend to report your piece and make your argument, especially if you have not done much writing for a broad audience before. For proposals we want to accept that do not have outlines, we will issue provisional acceptances, and ask that you submit an outline before we issue a final acceptance.

Science for the People articles are geared toward non-specialists, and are written in a journalistic format and from a radical perspective. We will consider submissions from scientists across the STEM fields, scholars working in science and technology studies, as well as non-scientists and non-specialists. We especially encourage submissions from activists and those organizing in the sciences, and those working in the humanities and arts at the intersection of science. We particularly welcome women, people of color, non-binary individuals, and others traditionally underrepresented in these fields to send submissions to Science for the People.