CFP: 50th Anniversary Special Issue of Ariel: a Review of International English Literature

Posted on May 3, 2018

Ariel: a Review of International English Literature seeks proposals for publication in its 50th Anniversary Special Issue, slated for publication in 2020. This special issue will unpack and explore the tensions and interrelationships between postcolonial studies and Indigenous studies. When Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin published The Empire Writes Back (1989), the ensuing recognition of Canada and the United States as products of imperialism and colonization necessarily provoked questions about the people who preceded settlers. Indigenous literary studies became recognized as a necessary missing piece of those conversations. However, the vocabulary and approaches of postcolonial theory often failed to address--or even obstructed--questions that Indigenous literary scholars, particularly those with community obligations, needed to consider. Ariel’s 50th Anniversary Issue is an opportunity to reconsider the trajectory of discussions among Indigenous and postcolonial studies scholars and practitioners. At this historical juncture of increased visibility of issues concerning Indigenous rights, migration, displacement, and global imperialism among other pressing urgencies, now is the moment to return to these debates and recast the dialogue. In imagining new ways of understanding the conversations about the past, present, and future of these disciplines--both separately and together--the issue’s special editors seek to open the conversation to emerging, as well as more established scholars of postcolonial and Indigenous studies, in part by curating interviews between junior and senior scholars across the two disciplines. Where possible, these conversations will take place at a workshop, which will include a keynote, roundtables, on-stage interviews, and large group discussions on November 10, 2018, in Vancouver, in order to more organically bring practitioners from these two disciplines into actual as well as textual conversations. Questions to be addressed could include, but are not limited to, the following: How have the vocabulary and approaches of postcolonial theory often failed to address--or even obstructed--questions that Indigenous literary scholars needed to consider? Why has postcolonial theory sometimes resisted the insights of Indigenous scholarship? How might contemporary scholars move beyond these disagreements to integrate postcolonial and Indigenous theories? What are the benefits and costs of doing so? What are the protocols of positioning and the relevance of relationship and credentials to theoretical approaches? Indigenous studies considers foundational ideas encoded in traditional ways of knowing. How can it also acknowledge the role of texts written in English by nineteenth-century Indigenous Christian converts, theories coming out of the mid-twentieth century Red Power Movement, the emergence of postcolonial theory, and the contributions by twenty-first century Indigenous writers who are dislocated from home lands and communities? To what extent do the labels “settler” and “Indigenous” name an important distinction, and to what extent does this duality overlook other histories, such as Black history, and the severe threats that “settlers”...

Read More

CFP: African Literary Criticism Online (MLA 2019)

Posted on Jan 26, 2018

Summary Call African Literary Criticism Online. Discussions about the emergence of online criticism as a site for understanding knowledge production in/about Africa. Send 250 word abstracts and a one-page CV before March 15 to Naminata Diabate, nd326@cornell.edu with ‘MLA PANEL” in subject line. Expanded Call The Africa since 1990 Forum of the MLA invites submission of abstracts for a guaranteed panel titled “African Literary Criticism Online” at the 2019 Annual Convention in Chicago. “It’s gotta be digital. And that’s the next thing. The moment when people will be consuming their school texts on a digital device will be a big moment for us--as a generation, our things will be read” predicted in 2011 Binyavanga Wainaina. Although not all textbooks are accessed on a digital device, texts by the new generation of African writers are being read, reviewed, and even criticized online. The rise and development of African literatures on digital platforms (blogs, e-magazines, social media, and the Internet) is accompanied by the emergence of African literary Internet. Contributing to the renaissance of African literary practices, these platforms include, among others, Saraba, Enkare Review, Brittle Paper, Okadabooks, the Jalada Collective, Iqra, StoryMoja, LibHub, Afrikult, James Murua’s literature blog, Chimurenga, and Sunshine. Unquestionably the list is getting longer by the day. As these online platforms generate new reading publics, network existing ones, foster a sense of immediacy, they also create celebrities, canonize texts, and invigorate less formalized genres. Despite their welcome presence, literary criticism online suffers many setbacks, including but not limited to an ephemeral life span, an informal and unstructured dynamic, a questionable quality, and the constantly fragile boundaries between criticism and the search for fame. In expanding the ongoing academic conversations on the life of this literary culture, this panel seeks to examine the extent to which African literary Internet reconfigures conventional sites, methods, and theories of literary criticism. Prospective panelists should submit a 250-word abstract to Naminata Diabate (nd326@cornell.edu) by March 15, 2018 with “MLA Panel” in subject line. We welcome papers addressing the following questions among others: How might we either theorize or critique online literary criticism by exploring practices from and about Africa? To what extent is the interaction between authors, readers, and critics shaping new African writing and by extension African literary studies? To what extent do these platforms shape the future of criticism as an academic exercise? How might we define and conceptualize the ways in which academic literary criticism can guide digital literary culture’s compelling tendencies evolve and thrive? How does online literary criticism put pressure on concepts such as authorship, publishing, criticism, academia, and journalism? How might we write the history of African literary Internet? How might we conceptualize the political and...

Read More

CFP: ASA-UK stream and panel on autobiography in Africa

Posted on Jan 26, 2018

Please find below the call for panels and papers for the Thematic Stream on Autobiography in Africa for the ASA-UK to be held in September 2018. We would be most honoured if you could send in a proposal for a panel or a paper for this occasion before the deadline of 16 February 2018. Within this Thematic Stream I will organise a Panel on Detention and Autobiographical Writing. (See call for papers, also below.) If you want to submit an abstract on that subject, you may contact me directly (preferably before 6 February 2018). But feel free to submit a paper proposal on another theme related to autobiographical narrative (use the option 'open panel' in your registration): Godwin, Tom and I will come up with panel proposals for these abstracts. Thank you in advance and looking forward to receiving your proposal. Met vriendelijke groet / With kind regards, Inge Brinkman   Conference Stream Text, paratext and context in African autobiographical narratives. At the CONFERENCE: ASA-UK 11-13 September 2018, Birmingham You can now submit your panel and/or paper for the thematic stream on autobiography in Africa. Submit through: Call for Papers and Panels ASAUK 2018: NOW OPEN Please note: deadline for the proposal: 16 February 2018 Abstract Always straddling and dismantling the boundaries between truthfulness and imagination, between memory, concealment and referentiality, between psychology, history, geography and literature, autobiographical narrative invites the audience to (re-)consider the relations between text and context, or text and co-texts. In its counterdiscursive capacity, postcolonial autobiographical narrative has been especially emphatic in this respect: its critical constellation in the end rests on reference to political practices and hierarchies beyond the text, weaving palimpsestic layers of (counter-)meanings. In this light it is not surprising that many African autobiographers have stressed the importance of realism for their work, and they and their publishers often employ various strategies – in the text, but also in paratextual elements – to enhance the effect of realism as the starting point of meaning-making. Meanwhile, discussions on African autobiographical narrative have over the last decades expanded to include oral genres, life histories, auto-ethnographies, online blogs and Facebook pages, apart from the more classic form of a published book. This begs the question how relations between text and context are established in these more recent forms of autobiography. In this thematic stream we will focus on text, paratext and context in autobiographical narratives from Africa. We welcome paper proposals that deal with African autobiographical narrative in whatever form – published, online, oral –, and in principle from any discipline or from an interdisciplinary perspective. See also: STREAM: Text, paratext and context in African autobiographical narratives. We regret to note that no financial support...

Read More

CFP: Kent State – Africa and the Global Atlantic World Conference

Posted on Nov 6, 2017

The Department of Pan-African Studies Kent State University presents its Fourth Biennial Africa and the Global Atlantic World Conference “Intersectional Approaches to Survival: Legacies of Resistance” April 12-13, 2018 Keynote Speaker: Professor Linda James Myers The Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University will hold its fourth biennial Africa and the Global Atlantic World Conference on April 12th and 13th, 2018. This year’s conference focuses on intersectionalities between approaches to resistance that various communities have historically deployed to confront systemic forms of dominance. At a time when wellness, health, clean environment, and sustainability are as threatened as economic and gender equality, disadvantaged communities of color find themselves uniquely periled by detrimental public policies and social attitudes. In such perilous moments, it becomes imperative to examine the ways in which freedom struggles in the Pan-African world are intersectional with other liberation struggles in which similar and different strategies and legacies of resistance exist. Knowing that resistance and survival often require broad coalitions of experiences among diverse groups, this conference wants to draw on the creative ways in which such approaches have or have not been successful in addressing the predicament of people of African descent. Relying on the insights of both activists and scholars, this conference hopes to encourage crucial exchanges on how various communities choose to resist oppression. In honoring creative approaches to survival and resistance this year's conference will run concurrently with our annual Pan-African Festival, which will take place on April 12-14. The festival activities will include free health and wellness workshops, art exhibitions, live performances, a Black Playwrights Showcase and a Pan-African Vendors Marketplace. This year’s Keynote Speaker will be Professor Linda James Myers, Director of the AAAS Community Extension Center, College of Arts and Sciences, and Faculty of the Department of African American and African Studies at Ohio State University. Professor Myers specializes in psychology and culture; moral and spiritual identity development; healing practices and psychotherapeutic processes; and, intersections of race, gender and class. Internationally known for her work in the development of a theory of Optimal Psychology, Dr. Myers has conducted lectures and trainings in England, South Africa, Ghana and Jamaica. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and five books, including: Understanding an Afrocentric World View: Introduction to a Optimal Psychology; and, most recently, co-editor of Recentering Culture and Knowledge in Conflict Resolution Practice. Dr. Myers’ oneness model of human functioning offers a transdisciplinary focus that builds on insights from the wisdom tradition of African deep thought, and converges with modern physics and Eastern philosophies. Topics and themes of papers/artistic work will include: Legacies of resistance and survival Environmental racism The Detroit water issue Health and wellness Food deserts Barack...

Read More

CFP: Women Writing Diaspora: Transnational Perspectives in the 21st Century

Posted on Oct 23, 2017

Rose Sackeyfio Ph. D. In the 21st Century, female authors have moved beyond the margins of male- authored texts to command new spaces of prominence in the African literary canon. African women’s creative artistry has garnered critical acclaim through distinguished awards, best-selling fiction and penetrating insight into women’s experiences. Many contemporary women writers share the distinction of living in the west, which confers education and new and expanded opportunities along with paradoxical realities of otherness. The late Buchi Emecheta is an iconic woman writer whose early works chronicle the transformative nature of African diaspora life through a gendered lens. Emecheta’s autobiographical accounts of her life in London are vividly captured in her novels In the Ditch (1972) and Second Class Citizen (1974). As an important forerunner of African women’s writing, her legacy resonates in the literary expression of an entire generation of accomplished and successful women writers from Africa in the global age. A central theme in the literary imagination of female artists is thematic perspectives on the fluid and shifting constructions of African women’s identity in the international arena. The new emphasis on contemporary themes of transnational identity is a compelling subject of debate as scholars and critics of African literature interrogate issues of authenticity, audience, language and market driven forces beyond Africa’s borders. Among the constellation of talented writers are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Chika Unigwe. Aminata Forna, Bernadette Evaristo, Taiye Selasie, Nnedi Okorafor, Jay Bernard, Warsan Shire, Unoma Azuah, No Violet Bulawayo, Yaa Gyasi, Imbola Mbue, and Yaba Badoe among others. The essays in this volume will explore a range of themes on all aspects of African women’s writing from the diaspora. Questions to consider are: How does the intersection of race, class and gender influence the identity and status of African women living in the diaspora? How are feminist themes explored in African women’s writing outside Africa? What is the relationship between African migrant women and African diaspora populations dispersed through enslavement? How do African women writers explore connections and perceptions of Africa as homespace? How do women writers project the image of African women in fictional works? How do African female authors interrogate the tensions between African cultural traditions and modernity in western settings? How do African women writers (re) imagine African futures? How do writers depict African women and sexuality? How do the experiences of African women in the diaspora intersect with females from other diaspora communities? Topics may explore timely and crucial issues that shape the lives of African women beyond Africa’s borders. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following sub-themes: Sub-Themes • Hybridity • Race • Class • Migration • Urbanization • Sexual violence • Women trafficking...

Read More

CFP: On Whose Terms? Ten Years On

Posted on Sep 23, 2017

On Whose Terms? Ten Years On Final Call For Papers; 1 Dec 2017 On Whose Terms? Ten Years On… (in Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts) Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. March 22nd-23rd 2018 The cultural power of Black British* literature and the Arts resides as much in the exploration of pressing cultural concerns, as in its innovative material aesthetics and textual practices. The 2008 landmark conference ‘On Whose Terms?: Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts’ focused upon local, international and transnational engagements with Black British literature and the Arts, to trace the multiple – real and imaginary – routes through its production, reception and cultural politics. This 2018 return conference, ‘On Whose Terms?: Ten Years On…’ aims to chart what has happened throughout the past the decade, and once again to provide a vibrant meeting opportunity for prominent and emerging scholars, writers and practitioners, young people and the general public to explore and celebrate the continued impact of this field, both at home and abroad. See the full call for papers here....

Read More