Theorizing Compassion: Activism and Global Citizenship in the works of Alice Walker

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Andrew Price, Mount Union College
contact email: 
priceaj@muc.edu

Theorizing Compassion:
Activism and Global Citizenship in the works of Alice Walker

Panel to be presented at the 2010 meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association. Montreal, April 7-11.

Over the course of her long career as poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist and social activist, Alice Walker has an avowed commitment to “the survival of [her] people, whole.” From an initial grounding in Black peoples’ experiences of economic and social hardship in the rural, segregated South, Walker’s conception of “wholeness” has evolved to encompass a complex, pluralistic kinship network among and between: women, men and women of various social and ethnic backgrounds, humans, animals and the planet itself. Her creative work explores and theorizes the redemptive power of compassion as a foundation for spiritual, social and political revolution(s). As Walker herself puts it in a recent blog posting, “[w]hen all is lost, or nearly lost, tenderness remains. We can offer what we are” (codepink4peace.org/blog/2009/02).
We propose a panel discussion of global citizenship as defined and re-defined against the frame of Alice Walker’s work as “theorist of compassion.” Papers – approximately 20 minute presentations – addressing any aspect Walker’s work, from disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary perspectives are invited; papers addressing issues of the body and/or embodied spirituality are particularly welcomed. Send 250 word abstracts to Dr. Andrew J. Price at priceaj@muc.edu

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
gender_studies_and_sexuality
theory