For a proposed special session at MLA 2007:
Black Literature in the Early (Mid)West.
Pre-1900, "West" defined broadly, reflecting changing "frontier" boundaries. The Black press, slave narratives from the (Mid)West, African/Native interactions, Thomas Detter, the Repository of Religion and Literature, the Elevator, the Pacific Appeal, etc.
Abstracts by 28 February 2007 to Eric Gardner (gardner_at_svsu.edu).