The Long Durée in Afro-Modernist Cinema and Literature

full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2015 Panel Proposal
contact email: 
sum188@psu.edu; ctolliver@uh.edu

We solicit papers on afro-modernist literature and film that reveal the usefulness and limits of the long durée as an analytical tool. How do African American and other Black diasporic texts engage the dialectic between modernist aesthetics and philosophical concerns with history? Does this engagement allow to move beyond both the imperative of the present and the idea of origins? Some examples of how the temporal expansion is elaborated by modernist projects are Ralph Ellison’s strategy of “diggin’ in” the temporal layers of the architecture of Rome, the epic poems by Melvin Tolson, the diasporic cartography of Haile Gerima’s films. How does this approach to the workings of history produce an alternative language to discuss the epistemologies of afro-modernism? Do these epistemologies foreground forms of historical agency and aesthetic innovation that resist the devouring inclusiveness of imperial centers? Send a 250-word abstract by March 15 to Sara Marzioli - sum188@psu.edu and Cedric Tolliver - ctolliver@uh.edu.

cfp categories: 
african-american
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
poetry
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond