ALA CFP: Come present with the AALCS in San Diego!

African American Literature and Culture Society Call for Papers

American Literature Association

31st Annual Conference

May 21-24, 2020

Manchester Grand Hyatt
One Market Place
San Diego, 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).

This year’s theme is frontiers and borders. Inspired by the conference location, San Diego, and its border shared with Mexico, the multi-vectorial theme of frontiers invites critical engagements with the ways in which African American writers and thinkers conceptualize and theorize the West and Southwest, its potential for cross-cultural collaborations and creative coalitions capable of transcending national boundaries. The Society encourages scholars to think about the meaning of borders in African American Literature, but also in coalitions with Chicano/a and Latinx writers for instance. Are borders and frontiers only physical manifestations of national identities? Or, can they be textual, ontological, performative? What about crossing borders between rigid definitions of literary genres? What does it mean to write “without” borders, or “against” them? How do black writers engage with the symbol of the frontier?

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

-The meaning of the West or Southwest in African American Literature

-The intertextuality between borders and modes of resistance

-The literary transgressions of multi-ethnic coalitions

-The politics of the border and the black literary imagination

-The symbol of the frontier in African American literature

-Conversations –literary and sociological –between black writers and Latinx.

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.

Submission Information: 

Please send abstracts or proposals to Rachel Carr ( and Jean-Philippe Marcoux ( no later than January 10, 2020. Presenters must be members of AALCS by the time of the conference. Information about the Society and how to join can be found at the AALCS website:


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