Special issue, “Recovering Alice Dunbar-Nelson for the 21st Century”
Guest Editors: Sandra Zagarell, Katherine Adams, Caroline Gebhard
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers solicits papers for a special issue devoted to writing by Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Best known today as the author of regionalist short fiction set in her native New Orleans, Dunbar-Nelson was also an essayist, poet, playwright, newspaper columnist and editor, diarist, anthologist, educator, and activist engaged in the suffrage movement and African American political and social advancement.
Neither Dunbar-Nelson’s oeuvre nor her life fits comfortably into the ways of thinking that have traditionally shaped Americanist, African Americanist, and feminist criticism. For example, while some of her short stories openly engage racial inequity, much of the New Orleans fiction seems to hew to an aesthetic that prizes polish over politics. It takes considerable knowledge of the city’s racialized cultural geography and history to recognize how artfully Dunbar-Nelson’s fiction…
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