Global Black Lives Matter Conference

The Conference on Global Black Lives Matter

Call for Papers

We are organizing an online conference on “Black Lives Matter Movement in a Global Context” (Global BLM in short) to invite scholars around the world to contemplate two interconnected topics.

First, how has BLM been in conversation with racial and ethnic justice movements outside of the US? BLM has developed into a global movement with transnational ties and influences and has been in dialogue with social movements and activism outside of the US. Still, the scholarship has yet to catch up with this development and has mainly focused on BLM in the US. We aim to address this gap by bringing to the fore the scholarly work on non-US movements that have responded to and resonated with BLM to address racial and ethnic injustice.

Second, how has the BLM been discussed in the global and transnational public spheres? What does it mean to even say “Black Lives Matter” outside the US, amid different categories and definitions of Blackness, race, racism, ethnicity, etc.? To what extent have international solidarities formed under the rhetorical rubric of BLM? BLM has become a global topic that shapes public awareness and understanding of racial injustice and other vital issues related to democracy and inequality. Discussions about BLM occur even in the least expected places, such as China. Such discussions also transcend the borders of nation-states and occur in transnational public spheres, with participants from various countries engaging in social media platforms.

Exploring these two questions—one about social movement and the other about the public sphere—can start a new agenda with a global perspective on social movements and public discourses centered on racial injustice. Systemic racism has never been a country-specific problem. Instead, since its inception, it has been an artifact of intersecting colonialisms, imperialisms, slave trades, international wars, and other exploitative global processes. Discussions about BLM function as a mirror and a lamp. As a mirror, they compel people to reflect on similar issues in many countries worldwide; as a lamp, they shed light on related topics such as democracy, oppression, and social inequality. We hope this conference can pave the way for a more self-conscious effort to examine these issues from a global perspective.

We plan an online conference in Spring 2023, ideally in late March or early April. This conference will last one day, with 6-8 presentations. Each presentation will receive a modest honorarium. This event is co-sponsored by the Halle Institute for Global Research and the Department of Sociology at Emory University.    

To globalize our scholarship on this global project, we particularly welcome projects done by non-US scholars or through international collaborations and projects that study those regions that do not usually make headlines, such as Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, and projects that are based on rigorous empirical studies instead of journalistic commentary. We also hope our presentations will constitute the main part of a special issue published in a leading journal in the social sciences.

Please submit your paper title and abstract to Bin Xu ( by December 15, 2022.


Bin Xu. Emory University

Karida L. Brown. Emory University

Jean Beaman. University of California, Santa Barbara