CFP: Africa 2020

Posted on Jan 13, 2020

Africa 2020 Artistic, Digital, and Political Creation in English-Speaking African Countries Deadline Extended: January 31st, 2020 French President Emmanuel Macron announced on 3rd July 2018 in Lagos that a Special Season would be organized in France, from June to December 2020, to mark a renewed partnership with Africa, a “varied, strong and diverse continent that will play a part in our shared future”1. Even if this cultural focus cannot be abstracted from a broader geopolitical agenda marred by controversial presidential declarations (Joe; Iati), it nevertheless has the potential to offer a somewhat different coverage of the continent. One can only hope that it avoids the temptation to officially “curate into being” “exceptional” artists (Dovey 60), tapping into the all-too-familiar image of Africa as “the supreme receptacle of the West’s obsession with, and circular discourse about, the facts of ‘absence,’ ‘lack,’ and ‘non-being,’ of identity and difference” (Mbembe 4). Marseilles is undoubtedly set to play a major role in Africa 2020. The city’s special relationship with the continent dates back to its function as the first colonial port in France and persists in its multiple diasporic ties and recent position as one of Europe’s main transit points for African immigrants whose status is more and more precarious. One of the city’s major cultural festivals, the multidisciplinary Festival de Marseille, has embraced these historical, cultural, and social ties for the past three years, under Jan Goosens’ directorship. Building on the recent partnership signed between Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) and the Festival, the peer-reviewed journal of AMU research centre on Anglophone Studies (LERMA), E-rea, has decided to seize the opportunity of Africa 2020 to dedicate a special issue to contemporary creation in English-speaking African countries. The first part of this double issue will consist in a series of interviews with English-speaking African artists programmed at or connected with the Festival de Marseille, while the second part, which is the subject of this call for papers, will focus on English-speaking African countries as places of contemporary artistic, digital, and political creation. Heeding Kenyan political analyst Nanjala Nyabola’s advice to eschew the too reductive ‘Africa rising’ and ‘Africa failing’ narratives in favour of ‘Africa being’ stories, this special issue wishes to focus on “stories reflecting the ambivalence, complexity, challenges and opportunities of African societ[ies] in an increasingly connected world” (Nyabola xxiv). Asked in 2013 about the African contribution to a future world, South Africa-based philosopher and historian Achille Mbembe looked at the cultural history of the continent and identified “three attributes that can be conceptually deemed creative”: multiplicity, circulation and composition (Blaser). This special issue aims at recovering the multiplicity of creative African contexts, while bearing in mind the openness of these contexts, especially in...

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CFP: Africa 2020

Posted on Nov 26, 2019

Africa 2020 Artistic, Digital, and Political Creation in English-Speaking African Countries French President Emmanuel Macron announced on 3rd July 2018 in Lagos that a Special Season would be organized in France, from June to December 2020, to mark a renewed partnership with Africa, a “varied, strong and diverse continent that will play a part in our shared future”1. Even if this cultural focus cannot be abstracted from a broader geopolitical agenda marred by controversial presidential declarations (Joe; Iati), it nevertheless has the potential to offer a somewhat different coverage of the continent. One can only hope that it avoids the temptation to officially “curate into being” “exceptional” artists (Dovey 60), tapping into the all-too-familiar image of Africa as “the supreme receptacle of the West’s obsession with, and circular discourse about, the facts of ‘absence,’ ‘lack,’ and ‘non-being,’ of identity and difference” (Mbembe 4). Marseilles is undoubtedly set to play a major role in Africa 2020. The city’s special relationship with the continent dates back to its function as the first colonial port in France and persists in its multiple diasporic ties and recent position as one of Europe’s main transit points for African immigrants whose status is more and more precarious. One of the city’s major cultural festivals, the multidisciplinary Festival de Marseille, has embraced these historical, cultural, and social ties for the past three years, under Jan Goosens’ directorship. Building on the recent partnership signed between Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) and the Festival, the peer-reviewed journal of AMU research centre on Anglophone Studies (LERMA), E-rea, has decided to seize the opportunity of Africa 2020 to dedicate a special issue to contemporary creation in English-speaking African countries. The first part of this double issue will consist in a series of interviews with English-speaking African artists programmed at or connected with the Festival de Marseille, while the second part, which is the subject of this call for papers, will focus on English-speaking African countries as places of contemporary artistic, digital, and political creation. Heeding Kenyan political analyst Nanjala Nyabola’s advice to eschew the too reductive ‘Africa rising’ and ‘Africa failing’ narratives in favour of ‘Africa being’ stories, this special issue wishes to focus on “stories reflecting the ambivalence, complexity, challenges and opportunities of African societ[ies] in an increasingly connected world” (Nyabola xxiv). Asked in 2013 about the African contribution to a future world, South Africa-based philosopher and historian Achille Mbembe looked at the cultural history of the continent and identified “three attributes that can be conceptually deemed creative”: multiplicity, circulation and composition (Blaser). This special issue aims at recovering the multiplicity of creative African contexts, while bearing in mind the openness of these contexts, especially in the age of the internet,...

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CFP: African, African American, and Diaspora Studies Conference 2020

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

10th Annual African, African American, and Diaspora Studies Interdisciplinary Conference, James Madison University, Feb 20-21, 2020 **Proposal deadline extended to Nov. 1, 2019** The African, African American, and Diaspora Studies program at James Madison University invites proposals for its annual interdisciplinary conference, to be held on the campus of JMU in Harrisonburg, Virginia on February 20-21, 2020. This year's theme is “Black Temporalities: Past, Present, and Future.” Ranging across topics from oral history to Afrofuturism, the conference will bring together a group of scholars from a wide variety of overlapping and intersecting fields. The conference will feature a keynote presentation by novelist Nalo Hokinson (Midnight Robber; Brown Girl in the Ring), and a featured talk by the JMU Dean of Libraries, Dr. Bethany Nowviskie, who writes on liberatory and speculative digital library design. We welcome proposals from scholars in all relevant disciplines at any point in their scholarly careers. Proposals for 20-minute presentations or 60-minute panels could address topics such as: Afrofuturism Archaeology Black Digital Humanities Commemorative Practices Continuity Environmental Justice History Humanisms Memory Modernism Modernity Myth Oral Histories Postcolonial and Decolonial Knowledges Posthumanisms Queer Futurities Reclamation Reparations Rupture Science and Technology Slow Violence Speculative Fiction Trauma Witnessing  Please send any questions and/or 300-word presentation proposals (or 1000-word panel proposals) to aaadstudies@jmu.edu by November 1, 2019. Proposals should include a presentation and/or panel title, along with each presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a brief bio. Panel proposals must include at least three panelists.   Decisions will be made by Nov. 15, 2019. Updates regarding conference registration and accommodation details will be posted to www.aaadjmu.com/ and will be provided to presenters as the conference date draws...

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Call for Submissions: “Scribes, Griots, Poets: New Writing From West Africa” – Bellingham Review

Posted on Aug 21, 2019

Dear African Literature Association Members, It is our great pleasure to invite you to contribute to a special section of the spring 2020 issue of the Bellingham Review. The section will be dedicated to new writing coming out of West Africa, under the title "Scribes, Griots, Poets: New Writing From West Africa". We would like you to tell us a story you simply ought to tell – we seek voices that need to be heard, words that must be written. We hope to publish powerful voices speaking to what is happening in West Africa now, but with one eye on tomorrow. This special section that showcases literature from this region follows previous international issues that were dedicated to writing from Palestine-Israel, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Canada and received great attention and exposure internationally. Poems, short stories, essays, as well as excerpts from oral and written traditions are welcome. We are seeking original submissions in English; if in translation, the writer must obtain the translator’s permission. We may be able to help locate a translator for French language submissions. We will also consider previously published work that was not published in the U.S. as long as the writer holds copyright. The work should not exceed 5,000 words, and we aim to pay an honorarium for each accepted work. Let us introduce you to the Bellingham Review. We are published out of Bellingham, Washington, at the 49th parallel of the United States, located on the Puget Sound. The Review has existed for more than thirty years, and it is a nationally and internationally known literary journal. In 2002, the Bellingham Review received the 2002 Bellingham Mayor Arts Award, as well as recognition by Newpages.com for innovative content and design. The journal received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 2005, and we’ve introduced many emerging writers to the mainstream literary community and major publishing houses. Please visit our website at http://bhreview.org/ to see more of what we've been doing. Poems, stories and essays from the Bellingham Review have been picked up and reprinted in many venues, including Harper’s magazine, the Utne Reader, and in The Pushcart Prize Anthology (Best of the Small Presses). Also, to the best of our knowledge, the Bellingham Review is the only literary publication to have been part of a major league baseball broadcast. The Review is an exciting place to be, in other words, and we hope to feature your work in its pages. The deadline for submission is January 5, 2020 although earlier submissions would be much appreciated. If you plan to submit, please let us know as soon as possible, along with what you will send and, if pertinent, translator information. Upon...

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Contemporary Black British Women’s Writing

Posted on Jul 16, 2019

Special Issue of Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature Edited by Elisabeth Bekers, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, and Helen Cousins This special issue aims to appraise the burgeoning field of Black British Women’s Writing in a collection of essays that considers the literary innovations of British women of African and African-Caribbean descent since the 1990s. The issue will highlight the centrality of aesthetic creativity in writing by black British women in order to acknowledge their investments in innovation and their challenges to literary tradition. We invite essays that recognize and celebrate the aesthetic qualities of this writing alongside or instead of the more usual socio-critical investigations, which understand the politics of these texts as a type of sociological information. However, the focus on innovation and experimentation should not neglect the political intent of writing that challenges social, political, and cultural issues. On the contrary, the special issue will be framed by an understanding that literary aesthetics, race, and gender intersect to produce/question particular social and material in/exclusions in specific historical and socio-cultural contexts. We welcome essays on the full range of genres (including novels, plays, poems, performance, life writing, essays) that are adopted, and adapted, by contemporary black British women writers. We also seek to draw attention to a wide range of writers, beyond individuals who have gained prominence in recent years; therefore, we encourage contributions discussing authors with developing reputations. Topics might include but are not limited to: Innovation in literary form, for example, through hybrid cross-genre writing, linguistic play, anti-realism, narrative and structural modes that create fragmentation. The ways in which the formal experiments of black British women’s writing ask challenging questions of society. The intersection of race and gender with ideas of literary aesthetics in black British women’s writing. How alternative reading practices can open up explorations of black British women’s aesthetic innovations. The effects a critical focus on aesthetics and innovation has on canon formation for black British women’s writing and beyond. The traditions and norms that limit black British women writers’ artistic expression to “authenticity” and cultural representation. Initial queries and abstracts are encouraged though final acceptance will be determined by the completed essay. Essays should be 6,000-9,000 words (excluding notes), should conform to the endnote style of the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, and should be submitted in Microsoft Word. Please submit essays through email by 1 October 2019 to elisabeth.bekers@vub.be and H.Cousins@newman.ac.uk. Click here for more information:...

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The Postcolonial Novel, Post-9/11 (Winter 2020)

Posted on May 28, 2019

Studies in the Novel is currently seeking submissions for a special issue on “The Postcolonial Novel, Post-9/11,” which will be guest edited by Gaurav Desai (University of Michigan) and published in Winter 2020. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, this special issue invites contributors to address how the postcolonial novel, broadly construed, has been shaped by and in turn responded to the events of 9/11. Even as we extend this call, we want our interlocutors to have a critical stance towards our framing of the topic – is 9/11 an appropriate historical marker of global relevance or does it exhibit a US-centric worldview? Is the designation “postcolonial” still the most effective marker for cultural production post-9/11 when the “colonialism” that it often refers to is overwhelmingly marked by a previous era? Beyond these matters of framing, the issue is interested in papers that consider how postcolonial novels have engaged with topics such as the alleged clash of civilizations, the notion of just and unjust wars, the politics of retribution, the discourse of ‘national security,’ the erosion of civil liberties, the surveillance of the ‘foreigner,’ figurations of the ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism,’ Islamophobia, New Orientalism/Post-Orientalism, the migrant postcolonial novel post-9/11, transnational feminism in a post-9/11 world, US imperialism post-9/11, international responses to 9/11, and inter-ethnic solidarities/tensions in the aftermath of 9/11, among others. We are equally interested in publishing articles that engage with the ways in which 9/11 has shaped both the themes and the forms of the postcolonial novel. Submissions should be sent in MS Word, devoid of personal identifying information. Manuscripts should be 6,000-9,000 words in length, inclusive of endnotes and Works Cited, have standard formatting (1” margins, double-spaced throughout, etc.), and conform to the 7th edition of the MLA Style Manual. Endnotes should be as brief and as limited in number as possible. Illustrations may accompany articles; high-resolution digital files (JPEGs preferred) must be provided upon article acceptance. All copyright permissions must be obtained by the author prior to publication. Questions and submissions should be sent to studiesinthenovel@unt.edu. The deadline for submissions is December 1,...

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