Elect Me CFP
Elect Me: Will Race, Class and Gender Define the Presidential Agenda?
The US Presidency has been defined by a 300-year plus legacy of white and male supremacy. The ways in which the stature and authority of the Commander-in-Chief have been measured are primarily in terms of his strength and resolute nature in war, empire building, and in protecting the interests of U.S.-owned capitalism. In 2008 there seems to be a pivotal turn that seemingly casts the issues of race and gender into the mainstream of political discourse and popular culture as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fight for the Democratic nomination. Once nominated, the candidate will compete with Senator John McCain for the presidency. McCain is a celebrated war hero, whose campaign promise is to stay the course in Iraq and not back down to what he perceives are global terrorists, and continue tax cuts for the wealthy and for US-owned corporations. In thinking about race and gender in presidential politics in this hemisphere we see some new developments. Chile elected, Michelle de Bachelet, a US trained female physician to be its Head of State; Argentina recently elected Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as the first female president in the Fall of 2007. In Venezuela, a descendent of African and Indian peoples who historically have been relegated to the lower castes of society is now President and is waging a campaign of petro-power to try to redefine the re-distribution of wealth in his country. In Brazil, we have Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a son of dispossessed campesinos, a shoe-shiner, and a former socialist leaning labor organizer as President. Bolivians elected Evo Morales, the first ever Aymara indigenous leader to occupy the presidency since the 16th Century Spanish conquest. In other areas of the globe we find new, interesting, and not-so new electoral politics developing. From the democratic election of Hamas in Palestine to the contested elections in Zimbabwe and President Musharraf in Pakistan, we have a new crop of controversies at the executive level. Undoubtedly, these election issues will have enormous impacts on all of us. Questions remain about how and why. It is these questions that Bad Subjects hopes to begin to answer with the Elect Me issue.
We invite submissions that consider how race, class, gender, anti-colonialism, sexuality and related issues will or will not re- define the social structures of oppression, poverty, and indirect rule by global capitalist interests. In the case of the US: will having a Black man or a woman in the presidency cause a radical shift in the operations of power and social justice in the body politic? How has race and gender defined the presidential primaries? Why are Whites so outraged by the Jeremiah Wright exegesis on the violence of structural and daily racism in the US? Do the democratic candidates allow themselves to be defined by these markers of identity? Will creating a politics that aspire towards an appeal of universality or to all Americans neutralize any radical race, class and gender revisions? Or, will it be that a non-White or a woman at the helm will continue neo-colonial predatory capitalism with a seductive veneer of green politics? In terms of Latin America, how are subjects who are from the subaltern classes and/or drive the national politics? Are the lives of women, the lives of campesinos, the lives of the working poor, the indigenous communities, and laborers of African descent faring better under these new heads of state? Will implementing a radical program that is driven by redressing race, class and gender inequities cause an economic blockade, collapse or shift in how capital flows trans-nationally? How will the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East shape that region and the world? Will new Presidents and parties solve problems of race, gender, sexuality, and violence or will it be business as usual? What, if any, shining beacons are on the horizon in electoral politics? How do we resist?
Please send submissions to issue editors Pancho McFarland (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Arturo Aldama (Arturo.email@example.com). Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2008.