Call for Papers: 29th American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, May 24-27, 2018


African American Literature and Culture Society

American Literature Association

28th Annual Conference

May 24-27, 2018

Hyatt Regency San Francisco
5 Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA


The African American Literature and Culture Society invites abstracts (of no more than 250 words) for presentations at the annual conference of the American Literature Association ( We will also consider a limited number of panel proposals (of no more than 500 words).


In our current social and political moment, protest, activism, and their discontents present challenges of interpretation, historiography, and narrative.  2018 marks the anniversary of a number of critical moments in the history of black protest in America, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 student protest leading to the creation of the first black studies department at San Francisco State University. In response to these events, this year we will be focusing on themes of activism and protest in African American literature and culture, in and outside the academy. Topics include, but are not limited to the following:


-Writing Respectability Politics: The Nineteenth Century and Today

-Writing Protest before the Black Arts Movement: The Harlem Renaissance and the 1940s

-The Black Arts Movement & Its 21st Descendants

-Black Women’s Rhetoric and Representation of the Civil Rights movement

Literary and Cultural Memories of black Assassinations (such as Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Hutton, Fred Hampton)

– Reading Iconic Collective Action of the Civil Rights Movement in the Age of #blacklivesmatter (including the sit-in, the march, the riot, and more recently, kneeling)

-Diasporic Imaginations of Martin Luther King Jr.

-San Francisco’s “Mission District”: Interracial coalitions and Literature of Protest

Umbra and Umbra: Latin/Soul (a literary journal and poet support group published in NYC in the 1960s and California in the 1970s)

-Literary Collaboration, Cross-pollination, and Interactions between “Third World” Writers

-Activism in the Academy: Discourses of the Black Studies Program

While we welcome papers on the above themes and subthemes, we also strongly encourage submissions on any topic related to African American literature and culture.

Please send abstracts or proposals to Belinda Waller-Peterson ( ) and Jean-Philippe Marcoux ( ) no later than January 7, 2018.  Presenters must be members of AALCS by the time of the conference.  Register here.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s