UPDATE: Charles Chesnutt: The Past and Future, SAMLA (deadline: May 10, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Charles W. Chesnutt Association
contact email: 

South Atlantic Modern Language Association
November 5-7, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia

"Charles Chesnutt: The Past and Future."

The Charles W. Chesnutt Association invites proposals for papers on the topic, "Charles Chesnutt: The Past and Future." In 2006, Henry Wonham published an article in American Literary History entitled "What is a Black Author?: A Review of Recent Charles Chesnutt Studies." In this essay, Wonham suggests that with the explosion of recent scholarship on Chesnutt and the release of so much previously unpublished material by Chesnutt, "the time has come to pause and reflect on exactly who and what Charles W. Chesnutt has become." This panel seeks to do precisely this. While we will consider papers on any aspect of Chesnutt's work, we are especially interested in papers that engage the following questions:

• What is Chesnutt's current status in academic studies? What does this status suggest about the future of Chesnutt criticism?
• What have been some of the critical trends in Chesnutt scholarship? What do these trends suggest about Chesnutt's work or our current scholarly sensibilities?
• What are some new directions in Chesnutt scholarship that offer exciting possibilities for future work?

While these questions are speculative and general, we are especially interested in papers that explore these issues with attention to some of Chesnutt's specific texts. Send abstracts of no more than 500 words by May 10, 2010 via email to Bill Hardwig, Dept. of English, University of Tennessee, at whardwig@utk.edu.