CFP: Temporality in African Diaspora Literature and Culture (3/29/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
David LaCroix
contact email: 

"Temporality in African Diaspora Literature and Culture" – A Proposed
Special Session
MLA – December 27-30, 2006 – Philadelphia

In the last decade, a growing chorus of scholarly voices have raised
specific issues of time, temporality, and temporal experience in African
American literature. Paul Gilroy, Hortense Spillers, Jacqueline Jones
Royster, Lindon Barrett, Harry Elam, Saidiya Hartman, Michelle Wright,
and others have put time near the center of African Diasporic
expressive, rhetorical, and political practices. As yet, reference to
time is less common than familiar critical discourses of history and
memory, both of which offer ready resources for the study of black
expression and agency. But time provides its own resources: how might we
begin to isolate, explain, and understand them? This proposed session
seeks papers that explore the "timely" aspects and arguments of African
Diasporic writing. What are the tropes, traditions, and topics that
black writers have used in this work? How has black literature
interacted with time in ways both concrete and abstract?

Possible topics for consideration:
- Time consciousness and double consciousness
- The "racial politics of temporality" (Gilroy, adapting Fabian,
Osborne, et al)
- Time as individual, intersubjective, and/or political experience in
the Diaspora
- Pre-emancipation and/or post-emancipation temporality
- Apocalypse, eschatology, renewal, or prophecy in African Diasporic
spiritual literatures
- Regionally specific conceptions of time and their literatures
- Time in black musics
- Diasporic responses to white (supremacist) conceptions of time
- Discontinuity, newness, and innovation in the "changing same"
- Timeless, cyclical, or originary temporalities: values and problems
- Intersections among Western, American, & African (all broadly
construed) temporalities
- Black literary/critical claims to and adaptations of chronotope,
durée, time-lag, etc.
- Haunting and other returns of the past, considered as specifically
temporal phenomena
- Genre-specific constructions of time in black letters

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short CV by March 29, 2006. Email
submissions preferred; hard copy submissions accepted at the address below.

Participants must be members of the MLA by April 7.

Dr. David LaCroix
Department of English
P.O. Box 7387
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
(336) 758 3919 (wk)

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Tue Mar 28 2006 - 09:33:18 EST