Reimagining New England Histories: Historical Injustice, Sovereignty, and Freedom project is a public humanities project. A joint venture between Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ), Williams College, and Mystic Seaport Museum, the project is a collaborative effort with partners from Native Nations and organizations and African American communities and organizations within the New England region. Sponsored by the Mellon Foundations Just Futures Initiative, the project’s central objective is to foreground both the various histories as well as contemporary lives of the Indigenous, African American and Afro- Indigenous populations in New England. Central to the project is a collaborative process with the partnering communities who actively advise and shape the contours of the project. This project acknowledges that members of these communities are key caretakers of intergenerational knowledge and practices as well as longstanding critical commentators on the devastating impacts of settler colonialism and racial slavery, and their ongoing effects in everyday life.
Since the grant began in January 2021, the project has worked towards creating research clusters, summer institutes, K-12 curricula and an exhibit at the Mystic Seaport Museum titled Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea, scheduled to open in Winter/Spring 2024. In the spirit of cultivating a collaborative ethos, the project now seeks contributors for an anthology based around Indigenous, African American, and Afro-Indigenous life and perspectives in New England. The book project will have both print and digital forms to accommodate written, visual, and oral modes of knowledge sharing and storytelling.
The central objectives of this publication are the following :
- To collaboratively create a print book and digital website for the publication that will foreground the historical and lived experiences of the various communities.
- To do so in different genres: literary, oral, historical, political, artistic, cultural, and spiritual. In moving beyond Euro-colonial framing devices, the publication platform will be organized around thematic areas rather than a linear chronology.
To advance the nuanced perspectives of Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, and African American communities in the region on their own terms and in their own voices –pulling not only from legacies of struggle, but also those of commitment and care.
To prioritize communities’ own forms of expression, concepts, values, and frameworks, we are seeking a wide range of contributions. All submissions that can be expressed either in print, in a digital format, or a print piece that would be supplemented by a digitized component are encouraged. This includes poems, non-fiction, fiction recipes, visual artwork, creative writing, photography, interviews, songs, and any contribution that would convey the story you want to tell.
Examples of topics that the RNEH Publications Committee is seeking submissions concerning include, but are not limited to:
- Relations to Land & Waterways
- Ancestral Knowledges and Adaptation
- Racial Slavery, Resistance, and its Afterlives
- Solidarities & Coalition Building
- Interviews as Inter/Intra-Community dialogue
- Contemporary Ecological Equity
- Historical & Intergenerational Trauma and Healing
- Reparations, Restitution, Tribal Rematriation, & Futurities
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and submissions on topics beyond this list are welcome!
All submission proposals should include a brief 100-200 word biography of the contributor. You have the option to submit either a completed work or a proposal for a piece you would like to create for the project. We anticipate that proposed pieces would need to be completed by June 2024.
- For those submitting a completed work, you can submit your piece along with a brief description
- For those submitting a proposal, submit a 300-500 word description of the work you would like to create.
The deadline for proposal submissions to be included in the print volume is April 30, 2023. For those looking to submit solely for the digital platform, those submissions are rolling and can be submitted at any point, including past this April deadline on this form.
Print submissions should be uploaded to this form. They can also be sent to the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice:
Address: 94 Waterman St, Providence, RI 02906
Fax: (401) 863-5085
Notifications of reviews will be communicated in early June 2023. If your proposal is accepted for inclusion in the volume, we will ask for your attendance in an initial virtual workshop. This will be followed by a set of hybrid workshops to support creators through the completion of the manuscript, taking place from Summer-Fall 2023 to Spring-Summer 2024.
One of the core ethical components of this project is that your own work belongs to you. Being included in this volume means that you are functionally lending your piece to the publication. The ownership of the piece resides with you, and can be revoked whenever needed. Contributors also have the option to be published anonymously. If you would like to do so, please notify us in your submission proposal.
Who can submit a proposal?
This project will prioritize the submissions of BIPOC groups, particularly those of African American, Indigenous , and Afro-Indigenous descent. You do not have to be from or a resident of New England, but your piece should relate to New England history, culture, society, environment etc.
When should I submit?
The deadline is April 30, 2023 for inclusion in the print publication. For those seeking to submit solely to the digital publication, submissions are rolling and can be sent at any time.
What happens if my proposal is accepted?
The RNEH Publications Committee and editors will notify you in early June 2023. The committee and editors will work with you throughout the development of your piece alongside workshops beginning next summer through to submission.
Will I get paid for this?
Yes! We will be distributing honoraria to compensate contributors for their time and effort, for both the print and digital component of the publication.
Will I be given credit for my work?
Yes! Your name and any other information you would like displayed will be placed with your contribution, either digitally or in print.
Who should I contact with any questions?
Reach out to Storytelling@brown.edu