" Race, ethnicity and publishing " - MARCH 23-24, 2012 - AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE

full name / name of organization: 
LERMA (Laboratoire d'Etude et de Recherches sur le Monde Anglophone) - Aix-Marseille Université

Since the 1980s, the development of ethnic and post-colonial studies has induced scholars to examine texts from the margins, that had previously been either neglected or forgotten; it has also revived our readings of what we had come to consider " classic " literature. Scholarship in Book History or Print Culture in Anglophone countries has also contributed to renewing approaches in literary sudies and the history of literature. Yet ethnic and minority authors have only recently been made the focus of Book History, as a recent article by Leon Jackson on the timidly growing alliance between book historians and scholars of African American cultures of print has underlined (" The Talking Book and the Talking Book Historian ", Book History, vol. 13, 2010, p. 251-308). In 2001 Graham Huggan published his important study of The Postcolonial Exotic: Marketing the Margins, followed in 2007 by Sarah Brouillette's Postcolonial Writers in the Global Literary Marketplace. For the United States, of particular note was the publication in 2006 of John K. Young's Black Writers, White Publishers: Marketplace Politics in Twentieth-Century African American Literature.

We propose to contribute to this developing field, by further exploring the relations between center(s) and margins, through the analysis of the role played by racial and ethnic factors in the process of publication. This conference will focus on the conditions and circumstances of publication, in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, for so-called ethnic and racial as well as postcolonial authors, and strive to shed some light on their relations with their editors and publishers. We will also examine the emergence of " ethnic " publishers in publishing fields largely dominated by " non-ethnic " groups.
How do these authors and publishers negotiate between the market, assimilation and cultural resistance? To what extent do racial prejudice, discrimination, and multiculturalism, help or hinder the publication and promotion of these authors? How does one work within niche markets, or faced with an absence of market of any kind? Are writers necessarily " exploited ", or do they, in turn, understand and use the market?

These are just some of the questions that such a subject raises. We welcome papers on fiction and non-fiction, the canon and more confidential works, from the XVIIIth to the XXIth century, and combinations of paratextual, historical, economic and sociological approaches. Below is a list of suggested topics:
- the promotion of American and British authors of racial and ethnic origins
- author/ editor/ publisher relations
- distribution of books
- contribution of " external " agents, i.e. abolitionist societies, patrons...
- censorship and self-censorship...

The papers will be delivered in English or in French. Abstracts (approx. 400 words) and a brief resume should be sent before March 31, 2011 to the organizing committee

Cecile.Cottenet@univ-provence.fr Sophie.Vallas@univ-provence.fr