Contemporary African and Black Diasporic Spaces in Europe

A black woman with balloons | © Courtesy of Uwa Iduozee.
A black woman with balloons | © Courtesy of Uwa Iduozee.


Anna Rastas and Kaarina Nikunen (University of Tampere)


Submission of abstracts: 28 February 2018
Submission of articles: 1 August 2018

This special issue of Open Cultural Studies ( explores the social and cultural spaces in which identifications with African and black diaspora(s) become articulated, (re)negotiated and established as a field of collective agency with transformative power in European societies. As demonstrated by the over 130 papers presented at the 6th Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe conference (Tampere 6-8, July 2017), African diaspora communities and cultures in Europe are constructed not only by individuals’ engagements with Africa and its global diaspora, or mediatized and commercialized notions of Africanness/blackness, but also through collective agency aiming at promoting change in European societies shadowed by the normative whiteness, nationalist discourses and policies, human rights violations and overt racism.
The fields of African/black diasporic agency and cultural expressions include, for example, arts (e.g. literature, music and dance, visual arts, theater), various media spaces (especially social media and diasporic on-line communities), museums and other cultural heritage institutions, youth cultures, and national and transnational political movements.
The focus in this special issue is on the diversity within and between African/black diaspora spaces in Europe. We welcome contributions that go beyond descriptions of local diaspora communities by acknowledging the global circulation of the signifiers of African and black diaspora cultures, and the meanings of the transnational connections for local diaspora communities. We are also interested in analyses of how the tensions and power relations between and within different African and black diaspora communities and cultures (e.g. the old and the new, or those based on generational differences) are articulated and reflected in the African/black diaspora subjects’ agency.


We ask you to first submit a short bio note (max. 200 words) and an abstract (max. 300 words, in one paragraph) to both of the Guest Editors ( and  by 28 February 2018. The abstract should summarize briefly the topic, the research approach and the main findings. We will contact all authors who have sent their abstract by the end of March 2018, and send detailed instructions for online submission of full articles.

The deadline for submitting full articles is 1 August 2018. The final manuscripts should be between 5000 and 8000 words, including abstract and Works Cited. The articles accepted for publication will be published in 2019. There are no Article Processing Charges (APCs) or submission charges.


The selection of papers will be based on the scientific quality and on how the topics of the proposed articles fall within the scope of the special issue and the aims and the publishing policy of Open Cultural Studies (see the journal’s description at

The Guest Editors reserve the right to reject the abstracts as well as submitted manuscripts without review, if the studies reported are not sufficiently novel or important to merit publication in the Open Cultural Studies. Manuscripts deemed unsuitable (insufficient originality or of limited interest to the target audience) will be returned to the author(s) without review.
Research articles will be refereed by at least two external reviewers. The Guest Editors seek advice from experts in the appropriate field. The journal uses single-blind peer review model. Authors are requested to suggest persons competent to review their manuscript. However, please note that this will be treated only as a suggestion.

Featured Image Credits: A black woman with balloons | © Courtesy of Uwa Iduozee.

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