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[Update] Essays on Pearl Cleage
full name / name of organization:
Tikenya Foster-Singletary, Ph.D. and Aisha Francis-Samuels, Ph.D.
Call for Papers
This first ever critical collection focusing on the cultural contributions of Pearl Cleage will address the full range of literary, essayistic, theatrical, and political texts authored by this prolific feminist writer.
After decades of producing and promoting her work and that of many other black women artists, Cleage is now enjoying a heralded heyday of public attention, that began in the late 1990s, thanks to the selection of her first novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, as one of the early Oprah’s Book Club picks.
Like many contemporary African American women writers including Thulani
Certainly, there is a dearth of critical considerations of many of black women writers. However, given her popularity and acclaim, Cleage in particular has not received the critical attention required to unpack the importance of her unique subject position as both a serious regional writer who centers herself in black womanhood, and one who has garnered mass appeal and maintained a cross-over audience.
We have witnessed the trajectory of her immense popularity as a New York Times best-selling author, with a multi-book contract from Random House and yet have not seen the complimentary development of critical essays that would more fully place Cleage’s literary accomplishments into proper contemporary and historical context. The Spring/Summer 2009 special issue of Obsidian, which includes four essays on Cleage (including two by these editors), is an exception.
This special edited volume will extend this work to create a body of critical materials that can deepen the appreciation for Pearl Cleage’s extraordinary literary accomplishments. There continues to be a need for careful, critical reconsideration of both how Cleage’s work stands alone, and how it can be addressed as being in dialogue with the cultural production of others.
We invite scholars, artists, writers, and activists to submit papers for consideration in this edited volume. We welcome contributions on the full range of Cleage’s oeuvre including: essays, poems, journalism, plays, novels and public speeches.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
Completed articles must be received by April 30, 2011.
Submissions should include:
Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please send all materials in Word only to firstname.lastname@example.org and Tfosters@spelman.edu with the subject line “Pearl Cleage Project.” As soon as possible, please inform the editors of your intention to submit. Essays should conform to MLA style and not exceed 7,500 words, including endnotes and fully documented references.