Call for Abstracts/Papers: Expanding the Criticism of Alice Walker's Short Fiction and Non-Fiction Works

full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Allen Varlack, Morgan State University
contact email: 

Most noted for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, Alice Walker has cemented her place in American literature, capturing the struggles and journeys of African-American men and women throughout the American South. Significantly less critical attention has been given, however, to her short fiction and non-fiction works—a canon that aspires to reclaim her mothers' gardens and share those once unspoken African-American tales. This call for paper is aimed at soliciting abstracts and potential articles for a proposed collection on the short fiction and non-fiction of Alice Walker.

Proposed articles will examine multiple texts, instead of a close reading of a single text, and will engage a variety of core themes integral to understanding Walker's body of work. Themes may include but are not limited to:
- conflicts of class and race in the lives of Walker's fictionalized characters
- struggles for empowerment and self-acceptance
- heritage and the African/African-American lineage
- religion and spirituality in the African-American identity
- the search for ancestral "gardens" as an aesthetic project
- threads of artistry in non-traditional platforms, such as gardening, quilting, etc.
- conflicts of tradition and modernization, or generational difference
- gender roles/expectations and the subversion of those roles/expectations

Submission Information
Please submit an abstract of 300 to 500 words in length no later than June 30, 2013, as an E-mail attachment (Word, PDF or RTF) to the editor at Completed drafts (8,000 to 10,000 words) will also be accepted and are encouraged. In the corresponding cover letter, include a brief description of the proposed essay and a brief biographical statement (noting your past publications, academic affiliation, etc.). Notifications of acceptance will be provided no later than July 12, 2013, via E-mail.

Please note that accepted abstracts will be submitted along with the proposal and sample chapters as we seek a publisher for this exciting and necessary project.