MLA Workshop – Graduate Students encouraged to participate/attend

Recounting Evidence in African American Digital Studies (REAADS)

For more info & registration:

Scholars of African American experiences have long insisted that we shift perceptions about evidentiary privilege. Now, in tapping historical and contemporary humanities data, how do notions about evidence and recovery change when we reconsider what gets labeled “absent” or “present?” What are the advantages of meaning-making at the margins? From Colored Conventions to Ida B. Wells to the recent #SayHerName movement, subjects and figures once considered invisible are now core to varied approaches to studying the intersection of race, class, and gender.

Building on models in the field, this workshop aims to foster a community of scholars interested in developing digital projects in African American studies. We will do so by igniting a conversation about evidence and data that challenges popular ideas about obscurity and ubiquity connected to Black intellectual enterprises. Along the way, participants will also learn about practices in data curation, mapping, and text analysis.

Join us as we gather at the Studio@Butler to examine these case studies. No previous experience in digital humanities is needed, but those with digital humanities experience at any level are welcomed.

In this workshop participants will take up the questions about how digital methods can extend or reconstruct the ways that we have thought about, collected, and analyzed evidence. How do we interpret graphs, maps, and more to situate them within larger critical conversations about identity, technology, and evidentiary privilege, thereby transforming African American cultural studies as well as digital humanities?

The workshop will be led by an interdisciplinary collective focused on nurturing and exploring humanist approaches to the documentation, preservation, and interpretation of African American history and culture.

Initial collaborators include:

  • Caitlin Pollock (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
  • Trevor Muñoz (African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities, University of Maryland)
  • Katie Rawson (Emory University)
  • Sarah Patterson (Colored Conventions Project, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  • Jim Casey (Colored Conventions Project, Princeton University)

C19 Podcast S01E02: “Modern Slavery?” How 19th Century Slavery Can Speak to 21st Century Trafficking

Please enjoy listening to the amazing work of Anna Mae Duane and her team.

Listen, review, and subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud. Inspired? I’ve attached our CFP if you’re interested in submitting a proposal. You do not need prior experience in podcasting! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you might have. Our next review cycle is coming up at the end of this semester.

Can 19th-century approaches to slavery provide a map for thinking about 21st century trafficking? In this episode, Anna Mae Duane (UConn)leads a dialogue about how we can–and can’t–bring the nineteenth century to bear on the current phenomenon largely referred to as “Modern Slavery”–a term that is itself deeply controversial. The conversation centers around the edited collection, Child Slavery Before and After Emancipation: An Argument for Child-Centered Slavery Studies (Cambridge UP, 2017). Editor Anna Mae Duane interviews three contributors to that project, Karen-Sánchez Eppler (Amherst), Micki McElya (UConn) and Sarah Winter (UConn). Together they think about what constitutes a usable past when thinking about modern forms of oppression, and about how focusing on children can help us to rethink questions of property, memory, and freedom.

The episode was produced by Ali Oshinskie with the support of WHUS studios. Post-production assistance by Doug Guerra

CFP: “Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work”

The CFP for the one-day conference “Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work” is below.  Funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council “CHASE” consortium of universities from the East of England (including the universities of Essex and East Anglia), this conference will be held at Université Paris Diderot on 28th June, 2018 and will be the first international conference on Nieriker: a nineteenth-century painter, prolific life-writer, and the younger sister of Louisa May Alcott. Abstracts should be submitted through the website
We are also petitioning for a memorial plaque to be installed at the site of Nieriker’s remains at the Montrouge Cemetery in Paris where she lived for the last decade of her life:
Many thanks,
Azelina Flint (Chairman)
School of American Studies, University of East Anglia.

CFP: Pauline Hopkins Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.8.2018)

Call for Papers

Pauline E. Hopkins Society

American Literature Association

29th Annual Conference

May 24-27, 2018

San Francisco, CA

The Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society will sponsor two sessions at the 29th Annual Conference of the American Literature Association.

Panel One: Pauline Hopkins and Genre

Pauline Hopkins’s work is notable for its experimentation with genres.  Like W.E.B. Du Bois’s use of multiple genres in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Hopkins’s writings in The Colored American Magazine encompass – and often blend – biographies, fiction, histories, and more in her attempt to combat the stereotypical depictions of blackness that were the norm in the mainstream press of the day.  Her novels engaged with a variety of literary genres in order to expose and subvert racism in the Jim Crow United States and to argue for a black history that is grounded in richness, depth, and beauty.  John Gruesser’s description of Of One Blood as a text that “combines elements from a number of popular genres” and thus “frustrates attempts to briefly summarize it” applies to many of her writings.  This panel welcomes papers on Hopkins’s use of genres in her novels and/or her other magazine work.  Comparative papers that analyze her use of genres in relation to other writers, such as Du Bois, are particularly welcome.

Questions to consider might include: What is the connection between Hopkins’s literary experimentation and her racial politics?  How does Hopkins align her work within genre conventions or subvert them?  How does her emphasis on genteel class politics intersect with her use of popular genres?  In what ways does her use of genre work to “frustrate” her readers?


Panel Two: Pauline Hopkins’s Activism in 2018

2018 will mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and the establishment of the first black studies department at San Francisco State.  It will also likely be a year that continues the conversations and activism around issues like mass incarceration and police violence against African Americans.  These instances of racial violence and the responses to that violence call attention to similar issues of the Jim Crow period – or, perhaps, it is more accurate to state that the racial violence and protests of the 21st century are themselves continuations of those of the late 19th century and early 20th century.  Where do Pauline Hopkins and her work – in her novels and in the magazines – fit into the current climate?  Papers that engage with Hopkins’s activism, particularly in relation to racial violence, are especially welcome.  Approaches to teaching Hopkins in the United States of 2018 are also welcome.

Instructions for proposal submission:

·        Abstracts for both panels should be no more than 300 words and accompanied by a brief CV.

·        Proposals for both panels should be sent to Eurie Dahn, Program Committee Chair, at by January 8, 2018.

·        The subject line of the email should be “Hopkins/ALA panel one (or two).”

·        AV needs should be included in the proposal.

·        Membership in the Pauline E. Hopkins Society is required of presenters.

CFP: 32nd Annual MELUS Conference in Las Vegas (Deadline Extended: 11.27.2017)

32nd Annual MELUS Conference in Las Vegas

Conference Theme: “TransCulture”

May 3-6, 2018

Hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Tuscany Suites & Casino, 255 E. Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169

Deadline for Abstracts: EXTENDED to November 27, 2017

Las Vegas is a transcultural city, rich in racial and ethnic diversity, and UNLV has recently been ranked as one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation. As one of the last major US metropolitan areas built from the ground up in the twentieth-century, Las Vegas is also a transformative and transient city in the American Southwest, where issues of mobility are constantly negotiated and identities are reimagined.

We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels on the broad spectrum of transcultural issues in multi-ethnic literature. Considering the concept of “trans” as relating to that which moves across, beyond, or through, or which enacts a change, topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

 Transamerican and hemispheric collaborations and tensions in multi-ethnic texts

 Transnational and transhistorical dimensions of the multi-ethnic West

 Transformative landscapes and spaces, including, among others, deserts, cities, highways, and borderlands, and in relation to issues of indigenous sovereignty and land claims

 Transience and permanence in migrant, immigrant, refugee, and diasporic experience, and in the context of debates about citizenship and borders

 Transgender and LGBQ identities and experience in multi-ethnic literature and culture

 Transcultural literary representations of popular culture and the entertainment industry

 Transvestism, performativity, and spectacles of gender and sexuality

 Transportation, transit, and mobility in the multi-ethnic West

 Transatlantic routes, identities, and experiences in multi-ethnic literature, including economic and technological considerations

 Transformations in the definitions, status, and criticism of multi-ethnic US literature, and in relation to indigenous and national literary traditions

 Translation and multilingualism in multi-ethnic texts

 Transversing, transgressing, and experimenting with forms and genres, including, but not limited to, film, graphic narratives, spoken word poetry, and multi-genre works

We also welcome proposals on all aspects of multi-ethnic US literature. More information about housing and guest speakers will be available soon. Please send 250-300 word abstracts by Nov. 27, 2017 to For more information about MELUS, The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, visit; for more information about the MELUS journal, visit We hope to see you in Vegas in 2018!

CFP: Cross-Currents: the Indian Novels of Elizabeth Oakes Smith (Deadline: 12.28.2017)

 Cross-Currents:  the Indian Novels of Elizabeth Oakes Smith

A Special Session for the American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco May 24-27, 2018

While it remains important to continue to re-locate Oakes Smith’s place in cultural conversations of her time—for example, relating recently recovered novels such as The Western Captive to other representations of Native Americans in the 1830s and 40s, or to other antebellum representations of women—one of the next steps in the full-scale recovery of Elizabeth Oakes Smith is the tracing of a variety of elements within, between or among her own works as they were published in the nineteenth century.   How did Oakes-Smith’s writing change over the course of her career in response to different audiences, changing political conditions, or even stylistically in her development as a prosewriter?

Using Caroline Woidat’s recent work on The Western Captive (1842) as a starting point, the proposed panel would reveal the complexity and development of Oakes Smith’s professional situation, her political aims, and literary strategies in her “Indian” novels, specifically—at least two of which (The Sagamore of Saco and The Bald Eagle) appeared in markedly different forms during her career.   Papers might focus on the following topics, among others:

Representations/Rhetorical Positioning of Native Americans

Figures of Female Adoption/Assimilation

Transcendentalist Philosophy/Representations of Nature

Representations of Masculinity

Writing for the Masses (“Books for the People”/Beadle’s Dime Novel series)

Explorations/Revisions of “American” History

Internal Colonization


Warring Parties

The Native/American Hero

Frontiers/Liminal Spaces

Novels, Nation and Indian Policy

Maps, Place and Geography


Marriage and Miscegenation

Women on the Frontier

Animal Symbolism/Animal Violence

Please send 250 word abstracts with relevant portions of your c.v. to Timothy H. Scherman ( by December 28, 2017.   Links to available forms of these texts will be available at our website, by November 21.  Please circulate this CFP as widely as possible.

Call for Nominations: 2018 Lydia Maria Child Society Social Justice Awards (Deadline 4.15.2018)

In keeping with our society’s goal of honoring and continuing Lydia Maria Child’s vision of and work toward social justice, the Lydia Maria Child Society is pleased to offer three awards recognizing scholarship and creative work that furthers social change: one for faculty or other professionals, one for scholars/artists at the graduate level, and one for high school and undergraduate students. Child routinely wrote on behalf of the marginalized, emerging as a passionate advocate for slaves, Native Americans, prisoners, prostitutes, and even animals, among a host of others. Our society aims to recognize academic writing, pedagogical endeavors, or creative projects that, like Child’s work, speak to pressing social causes or that foreground the voices of (oftentimes neglected) authors who have worked to produce socially conscious writing. To apply for either award or to nominate a colleague, friend, or student, please send to by April 15, with “Social justice award” as the subject line of your email, a letter detailing the ways in which your own or your nominee’s literary scholarship or creative work engages with current social justice concerns. You are also welcome, though not required, to include a writing sample that demonstrates this engagement. These samples may take the form of essays (or essay excerpts), course syllabi, or descriptions of projects that explore the intersections between American literature/history and social justice outside the academic classroom.
Applications should be sent as Word documents and should not exceed 15 pages. While we will be happy to receive submissions that consider Child directly, Child need not be included in order for projects to be eligible; we welcome projects on a variety of authors, genres, periods, and/or concerns. Winners will be recognized at the upcoming American Literature Association conference in San Francisco (May 2018) and will receive a monetary award of $100, though they need not be present at the conference in order to be eligible for the award. We look forward to reading your submissions.

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