Literature of Africa and the Diaspora; SAMLA Nov. 2010; 5/15/2010

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South Atlantic Modern Language Association
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Re-Imagining Africa
For Africans seeking to engage an American and European audience, there is a tension inherent in representing Africa: what stories do you tell to non-African audiences? Do you tell stories of the present, dealing with war and genocide? If so, does this play into stereotypes of Africa as plagued by poverty, disease, and death? Or do you tell stories set in better times, or more prosperous places, and run the risk of creating a work seemingly out of touch or willfully ignorant of real problems on the continent? This session seeks papers that will focus on the literary production of African and African Diaspora writers whose work recreates, responds, counters, or otherwise wrestles with outside, outdated, or clichéd images of Africa. Literary attributes to consider might include any of the following and more: language, characterization, setting, thematic content, voicing, and perspective. Papers should seek to address the question of how African writers re-invent images of Africa and why. By May 15, 2010, please send proposals of no more than 250 words for a 15- to 20-minute presentation to Justin Colussy-Estes, Georgia Perimeter College, at