CFP: Representing Segregation (12/15/06; journal issue)

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Representing Segregation
A special issue of African American Review

African American Review is soliciting papers for a special issue on
Representing Segregation slated for publication in early 2008. Is
there an identifiable literary tradition responding to, representing,
or protesting U.S. racial segregation? Examination of individual
works, authors, genres, or movements are welcome.

Segregation—as an historical condition, a political ideology, a
municipal planning scheme, and a de facto social system—profoundly
shaped the lives of African Americans and other groups in the first
half of the twentieth century, at least. Whether protesting,
rejecting, refusing, or reaffirming segregation, numerous writers have
necessarily responded to the history and experience of racial division
in their literary projects. The past two decades of African-American
literary studies have evidenced great interest in the tropes,
narratives, and legacies of slavery, migration, and diaspora within
the literary imagination. In addition, in recent years scholars have
studied specific practices of segregation in literature, most notably
lynching. A broad inquiry into literatures of segregation is necessary
to account for the literary legacy associated with practices of U.S.
racial segregation.

Possible questions individual articles might ask include, but are not
limited to:

• Is there such thing as a segregation narrative or a Jim Crow
narrative? Is this a formalist, ideological, or historicist project?
• How have the historical conditions of racial segregation
informed narratives of race, nation, and geography?
• What are the aesthetic techniques employed by Black writers to
represent and protest racial segregation? Should these be in
conversation with apologist or white supremacist writers of
segregation literature, such as Thomas F. Dixon?
• Where is segregation located? Is there a geography
underpinning the literary imagination arising from segregation
narratives? What place do segregation narratives have in literatures
of migration?
• What is the relation between literatures of segregation and
literatures of separatism or racial self-determination?
• How and why have writers from different ethnic or racial
backgrounds borrowed, built from, or rejected African American
representations of segregation?
• Can transnational figures and texts like Richard Wright’s
expatriate writings, W.E. B. DuBois’ Ghanaian citizenship, James
Baldwin’s European essays, or June Jordan’s anti-apartheid work show
us how writers negotiate the domestic and the international within
• What does an African-American literary tradition writ large
look like from the vantage of a distinct tradition of literatures of

Send inquiries or proposals to Brian Norman ( and
Piper Kendrix Williams ( Inquiries first by
December 15, 2006; completed papers are due by May 1, 2007. More
information, including a link to the special issue website at

Brian Norman, Ph.D.
Asst Prof, Dept. of English & Philosophy
Idaho State University
office: LA 155 | phone: 208.282.4384

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Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 11:49:38 EST

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