CFP: [African-American] Toni Morrison Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Jenny Terry
contact email: 

Toni Morrison: New Directions
Symposium: University of Durham, 25th June 2009

Don’t be afraid. My telling can’t hurt you in spite of what I have done
[…] One question is who is responsible? Another is can you read?
Toni Morrison, A Mercy (2008)

Call for Papers:

We invite proposals for contributions to a one day symposium intended to
examine the work of the contemporary African American novelist and critic
Toni Morrison. The main emphasis of this event will be on exploring new
approaches to Morrison’s body of writing as well as on the author’s own
more recent publications. With the arrival of the novel A Mercy (2008),
and other twenty-first century publications such as The Book of Mean
People (2002), Who’s Got Game?: Three Fables (2003), Love (2003) and the
collection What Moves at the Margins: Selected Nonfiction (2008), a fresh
opportunity for reflecting on Morrison’s current position, reception and
output is offered. The recent appearance of a second special issue of
Modern Fiction Studies on the author (2006), The Cambridge Companion to
Toni Morrison (2007) and Toni Morrison: Conversations (2008) might also
suggest the meeting of a critical juncture.

We welcome a wide spectrum of responses but possible topics might include:

• Comparative work considering Morrison alongside other writers
• New theoretical approaches to the fiction
• Exploration of the author’s recent work (i.e. post-Jazz
• Examination of the different modes and genres employed by
Morrison (for example, her writing for children; her non-fiction and
critical commentary; her involvement in the Margaret Garner opera)
• Interdisciplinary and / or ‘non-literary’ approaches
• Morrison as public intellectual and / or Morrison’s self-
• Studies of the reception of Morrison and / or the responses of
different readerships
• Teaching Morrison / teaching Morrison in different contexts
(including outside of the U.S.)

Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Jenny Terry
( and Kate Nicol ( by 20th
February 2009. Papers should be 20 minutes in length.

Toni Morrison: New Directions is seeking British Academy funding and we
hope to be able to support the attendance of postgraduate speakers. The
University of Durham and University College Dublin are collaborative
partners in the organisation of the event.

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Received on Sun Dec 14 2008 - 09:08:49 EST