UPDATE: [African-American] "Activist, Feminist, and Writer: Examining the Legacy of Maria W. Stewart"

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Fran L. Lassiter
contact email: 

40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Feb. 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency - Boston, Massachusetts

In September 1832, Maria W. Stewart became the first American woman to
deliver a political address before an audience of men and women; thus,
establishing her as the first African American female political writer in
the United States. Using history, the Bible, and her African heritage to
frame her texts, Stewart’s work represents early examples of classic
Black Nationalist and feminist ideology. Her prophetic speeches
anticipated the debates on vocational training versus a liberal
education, double-consciousness, social revolution of the 1960’s, and
even today’s ongoing debate about female and African American
presidential candidates. Yet, Stewart remains an underappreciated voice
in much of the critical analysis of nineteenth-century political and
social thinkers. While Marilyn Richardson’s Maria W. Stewart, America’s
First Black Woman Political Writer: Essays and Speeches contains
Stewart’s secular speeches, few critical sources examine Stewart’s
secular and religious texts as part of the African American literary

We seek papers that examine Maria W. Stewart's work as part of the
African American oral and written tradition, and her life as a feminist,
social critic, and writer. Papers on any aspect of her work are also
welcome. Please send one-page abstracts (300-500 words) to Dr. Fran L.
Lassiter, University of the District of Columbia, at
flassiter_at_netzero.net by September 15, 2008. Please include the
abstract as a Microsoft Word attachment and also include your name,
academic affiliation, and contact information.

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Received on Sat Jun 07 2008 - 05:18:53 EDT