25 Years of Affrilachian Resistance: Black Cultural Production in the Appalachian Region

full name / name of organization: 
Shauna Morgan Kirlew/SAMLA
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Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the Affrilachian Poets, a cadre of writers including Frank X Walker, Nikky Finney, Ricardo Nazario Colon, Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Kelly Norman Ellis, Crystal Wilkinson, Crystal Good, and Bianca Spriggs, among many others who continue to shape the literary landscape of the American South. Co-founder, Frank X Walker coined the term "Affrilachia" in an effort to "[challenge] the notion of a homogeneous all-white literary landscape" in Appalachia, and the collective has, indeed, spent two and half decades not only producing work which continues to mount a formidable movement against the myth of an all-white region but also documenting the nuanced realities of an ever expanding global South.

This panel welcomes papers that explore the contours and contexts of Affrilachian literature. We especially welcome papers that address the SAMLA 87 theme "In Concert: Literature and the Other Arts." Other themes that panelists might address in their work include, but are not limited to: cross-cultural identities within Affrilachian poetry and fiction; teaching Affrilachian literature above the Mason-Dixon; reclaiming identity; gendered bodies in the poetry of Affrilachia; intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. in Affrilachian literature; Diasporan intertextual moments in Affrilachian art and culture; Affrilachian voices in Civil Rights and contemporary political movements; Affrilachian writing and the environment.

By June 15th, please send abstracts (250-300 words) and brief bio to Shauna Morgan Kirlew (shauna.kirlew@howard.edu) or Zanice Bond (zbond@mytu.tuskegee.edu). Participants will be notified of panel acceptance by June 17th. The 87th Annual SAMLA Conference will be held in Durham, NC, from November 13-15, 2015.