CFP: SSAWW Panel at the College Language Association Convention, April 2018
Hosted by DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois
“Rewrit[ing] the American Literary Landscape”: American Women Writers across the Diaspora and Tales of Black Metropolitan Life
In the introduction to her 2002 text, Rereading the Harlem Renaissance, Sharon Lynette Jones, Professor of English at Wright State University, calls attention to the influx of immigrants into the Black metropolis with “blacks from Africa, the Caribbean, and other regions of the United States migrat[ing] to Harlem in search of the American Dream of economic prosperity and equality, often to find that the dream was elusive” (2). Despite being faced with a tense racial climate that limited the social, economic, and political opportunities afforded ethnic minorities, however, the nation’s arriving immigrants fundamentally transformed cities nationwide into epicenters of unprecedented artistic and cultural growth that forever shaped not only the literary landscape but the very notion of what constitutes the American identity. Eager to explore these critical issues in the works of a diverse range of American women writers, the Society for the Study of American Women Writers is pleased to invite proposals for a SSAWW-sponsored panel to be held at the College Language Association Convention in Chicago from April 4 to 7, 2018.
Topics for Consideration
Because of their role in expanding the ethnic diversity of the United States and contributing to the urban artistic revival nationwide, immigrant American women writers across the African diaspora have played a particularly vital role in the American literary and cultural traditions. This panel will therefore ask participants to consider the unique experience of such immigrant women or writers in the city. Presenters, for instance, might explore social, cultural, racial, and political challenges that such women had to overcome in order to survive in a society where women “sometimes faced the triple jeopardy of race, class, and gender oppression” (Jones 2). How did these women not only help “rewrite the American literary landscape” (2) but also paint a fundamentally new picture of American life—one that recognizes the multicultural mosaic emerging in the city, as they share their traditions and cultural backgrounds with the world? Presenters are asked to consider the works of authors including Paule Marshall, Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, and NoViolet Bulawayo to name a few, as they develop proposals for what is sure to be an intellectually-stimulating panel at the 2018 CLA Convention. Panelists could also potentially explore African-American authors such as Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen, and others who explore the diverse experiences of women migrating to the city in search of that elusive American Dream.
The deadline for proposals this year will be September 29, 2017. Please submit a 250- to 500-word abstract and a brief CV that includes rank/status (e.g. ABD, Associate Professor, etc.), institutional affiliation (independent scholars are encouraged to submit proposals as well), and past conference presentations. Proposals should be submitted to the SSAWW Vice President of Development, Christopher Allen Varlack, at email@example.com and note “SSAWW at CLA Proposal” in the E-mail subject line. All proposals should be included as an attachment, preferably as a single PDF document. Confirmation of receipt will be sent within two business days of submission.
While interested participants do not need to be members of SSAWW to submit a proposal for the aforementioned panel, all presenters must be members of SSAWW and the College Language Association by February 1, 2018 in order to participate in this panel. For more information about SSAWW or CLA, please visit ssawwnew.wordpress.com or clascholars.org respectively.