2019 AALCS AWARDS RECIPIENTS

The African American Literature and Culture Society is proud to announce the recipients of the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Prose, and the Darwin T. Turner Award for Excellence in Scholarship in African American Culture and Literature for the year 2019.

WidemanJohn Edgar Wideman, our Henderson Award recipient, needs no introduction. From his first novel A Glance Away to his most recent collection American Histories, Wideman’s writing career spans five decades during which he has asserted himself as one of the most singular voices in American literature. Wideman’s works have been widely celebrated: he has notably won the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice for Sent for You Yesterday (1984) and for Philadelphia Fire (1990), which also won the American Book Award. His novel The Cattle Killing won the James Fenimore Cooper prize for best historical fiction in 1997. In 1993, he was the recipient of a Macarthur Genius Grant, and most recently in 2016 was elected to the American Academy of the Arts and Letters. Wideman founded and chaired the African American Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of Wyoming, the University of Massachusetts and Brown University.

 

KByerman
Keith Byerman
, our Turner Award recipient, is Professor in the Department of English at Indiana State University and current president of the John Edgar Wideman Society. He is the author of eight books from Fingering the Jagged Grain: Tradition and Form in Recent Black Fiction (1986) to The Life and Works of John Edgar Wideman (2013). He has been Associate Editor for the African American Review and has notably published in College Literature, ALH, CLA Journal, MELUS. Keith is a founding member of the African American Literature and Culture Society and has been Treasurer of the Society for many years.

Award recipients will be recognized and honored during the AALCS Reception and Reading held at the American Literature Association 30th Annual Conference (Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA) on Friday, May 24, 2019. The reception will feature readings from John Edgar Wideman’s work.

Call for Papers: 30th American Literature Association Conference, Boston, May 23-26, 2019.

CALL FOR PAPERS

African American Literature and Culture Society

American Literature Association

30th Annual Conference

May 23-26, 2019

Westin Copley Place

10 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA

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 (http://americanliteratureassociation.org/). We will also consider a limited number of panel proposals (of no more than 500 words).

The notion of ancestry is central to the formation of continuums in African American Literature and Culture. Whether in music, in novels, in polemical texts, or in poetry, the acknowledgment of the elders, of traditions, of memory can take on many forms. For instance, in the wake of the Black Arts Movement, poems eulogizing John Coltrane and Malcolm became a genre on their own. Those poems become occasions to address political struggles, vexed historical moments of the black experience, and deferred dream of equality and freedom. In intersecting ways, Sonia Sanchez and Natasha Tretheway both historicized in verse a mapping of black women experiences, from slavery to contemporary times. They address ancestry but reasserting the cultural significance of history and artistry as resistance.

In recent African American Young Adult Fiction (e.g. The Hate U Give, Ghost Boys, I Am Alphonso Jones), protagonists also evoke the ghosts of black martyrs (Emmett Till, henry Dumas) as a way to re-member and remember a fragmented past, one that can trace lineages, honor those whose suffering and brief life became symbolical of the treatment of African Americans throughout U.S. history. More than assessing notions of influence, those works interrogate the legacy of ancestry, the way contemporary writers revisit, recast, and reaffirm the lives, the experiences, and the sustained cultural meaning of previous generations. So, central questions arise: how do we reread and revisit the past? How do cultural legacies continue to shape our identity, our notion of history? What are the interlinkings between ancestry and canon formation? What figures of the past do we turn to in times of crisis?

 

Topics include, but are not limited to the following:

-Literary dialogues across the tradition: Black writers and the notion of Ancestry

-Black Lives Matter and Young Adult Fiction

-Didacticism, activism and artistry in Black Literary texts

-African American Literature and cultural memory

-Black writers and renegotiations of vernacular continuums

-The Legacy of Black Power in contemporary African American Texts

-Black Past, Bleak Futures: Ancestry in Afrofuturism

-Ntozake Shange: Life and Oeuvre

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 (waller-petersonb@moravian.edu ) and Jean-Philippe Marcoux (jean-philippe.marcoux@lit.ulaval.ca ) no later than January 4, 2019.  Presenters must be members of AALCS by the time of the conference.  Information about the Society can be found at the AALCS website: https://aalcsblog.wordpress.com/ .

Register to AALCS here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 AALCS Award Recipients

The African American Literature and Culture Society is proud to announce the recipients of the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry, and the Darwin T. Turner Award for Excellence in Scholarship in African American Culture and Literature for the year 2018.

 

Singleton

giovanni singleton (image from Harriet: a poetry blog)

giovanni singleton, our Henderson Award recipient, is the author of Ascension (Counterpath 2012), winner of the California Book Award Gold Medal for poetry, and AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper (Canarium Books, 2017). Her poetry appears in many anthologies and is inscribed on the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Cave Canem, and the Napa Valley Writers Conference, as well as a recipient of the New Langton Bay Area Award. She is the coordinator for the Lunch Poems series at the University of California-Berkeley and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts. She has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University and New Mexico State University.

 

 

MicheleElam

Michele Elam (photo by Linda Cicero)

Michele Elam, our Turner Award recipient, is William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Professor of English, and currently Director of the Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University. Elam is the author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (Stanford University Press, 2011), and is Editor of the Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin (Cambridge University Press, 2015). She has published articles in African American Review, American Literature, Theatre Journal and Genre, among others as well as op-eds for CNN, Huffington Post, and Boston Review.

 

Award recipients will be recognized and honored during the AALCS Reception and Reading held at the American Literature Association 29th Annual Conference (Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, CA) on Friday, May 25, 2018. The reception will feature giovanni singleton reading from her work.

Call for Papers: American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, May 26-29, 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS
African American Literature and Culture Society
American Literature Association
25th Annual Conference
May 26-29, 2016
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).

As ALA comes back to California in a year of significant anniversaries (50 years after Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Ture’s “Black Power” speech and the founding of the Black Panther Party not far from here in Oakland) we will be focusing on the theme “Black Power, Past, Present and Future.” Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

*Forms of Black Resistance Before the Black Power Movement
*Black Power in California
*The Black Panther Party and the Arts
*Almost Nation Time: Literature on the Way to Black Power
*Music, Literature, Politics
*Winter in America: Past Nation Time
*From Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter
*Black Power and Gender
*Black Power, Silver Screen

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 Grégory Pierrot (gregory.pierrot@uconn.edu ) and Conseula Francis (francisc@cofc.edu )  no later than January 5, 2015.  Presenters must be members of AALCS by the time of the conference.