full name / name of organization:
Midwest Modern Language Association
Topic: Pedagogical Approaches to Ethnic American Short Stories
Chair: Andres Stefan Johnson, Florida State University
For the past hundred years, short fiction and short story writers such as Charles Chesnutt, Richard Wright, James Baldwin,
Zora Neale Hurston, Paula Gunn Allen, Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Amy Tan, and Linda Hogan have created a body of short stories that explore the vast complexities of Ethnic American cultures and histories. These stories amount to more than a series of random word play and serious utterances. The short story’s artful play on language and escapist possibilities have allowed these writers to open the cultural and historical doors to readers. This panel seeks to address pedagogical approaches to teaching the works of Ethnic American short story writers in the classroom. Papers may focus on any particular short stories by Ethnic American writers, and/or pedagogical models that illuminate the intersections of Ethnic literature and the short story as genre. The panel is particularly interested in considering Ethnic American short stories as they construct, reconstruct, and often deconstruct the multicultural American experience(s), voice(s), and image(s). If we take into account the words of James Baldwin and believe that “All art is a kind of confession” and that “All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up,” then What insight does the short story offer to its readers and students? What do Ethnic American short stories teach us? What are Ethnic American short story writers “forced” to tell? What are we as scholars “forced” to “confess” and teach? Or more importantly how do we teach the Ethnic American short story? Please Send 200-300 word abstracts by May 12th to firstname.lastname@example.org.