CFP: Neo-Slave Novels; 5/10/10; SAMLA,11/5-11/7/2010

full name / name of organization: 
Julie Cary Nerad, Morgan State University
contact email: 

Proposed Special Session
Contemporary Neo-Slave Novels: Re-envisioning Literary and Social Space
SAMLA, Nov 5-7, 2010; Atlanta, GA

Since the publication of Margaret Walker's Jubliee, neo-slave novels have re-imagined the racialized, socio-literary, and historical space originally carved out by nineteenth century slave narratives and abolitionist novels that argued for the basic human rights of people of African descent. But neo-slave novels have continued to capture the American imagination even in this twenty-first century, "post-Civil Rights" era. This session will include papers that explore neo-slave novels published within the last ten years. How do novels such as Toni Morrison's A Mercy, Edward P. Jones's The Known World, or Dolen Perkins-Valdez's Wench imagine, engage, and negotiate both the earlier historical moment and the contemporary racial terrain? How do these writers' goals differ from their literary forebears'? What do these novels suggest about the meaning and price of "freedom" then and now? And how does returning to the socio-historical space of slavery allow these writers to reflect on the current era? Papers should be approximately 18 minutes long.

Please send one page abstracts to Dr. Julie Cary Nerad, Morgan State University, at by May 10, 2010. Please include the abstract in the email text, not as an attachment. Also include your name, academic affiliation, and contact information. Presenters must be members of SAMLA and are limited to one paper presentation at the convention.