New Chester Himes Criticism-Proposals Due July 2nd.

full name / name of organization: 
Michael B. Gillespie and Gary Holcomb

Eds. Michael B. Gillespie and Gary Holcomb

We are preparing a new collection of critical essays on the work of Chester Himes. The Critical Response to Chester Himes (1999), edited by Charles L. P. Silet, remains the most substantial collection of critical work on Himes. Spanning 1946 to 1996, Silet's volume addresses Himes's entire career and covers all aspects of his writings up to the mid 1990s. What then could be said about the state of critical interest in and attention to Himes in the twenty-first century? Himes's work continues to inspire and influence across disciplines, critical traditions, and media. We believe that the work of Himes remains a subject of renewed interest in a variety of nuanced and rigorous ways that warrants the closer reflection only a volume can provide. With this in mind and coupled with the strong commitment we have received from a university press, we invite scholars and writers to submit an abstract for consideration in our collection, New Chester Himes Criticism. The collection will reprint essays on Himes that have contributed to the study of his work over the last decade. However, the majority of the collection will be devoted to original work on Himes with attention to fiction (novels and short stories), nonfiction (letters, autobiographies, criticism), and film/television adaptations. We welcome critical work devoted to themes or individual texts. Subjects might include but are not limited to Himes vis-à-vis the following:

• Prison Writing
• Violence and Criminality
• Detective/Hard-Boiled/Noir Literature
• Literary Vs. Popular Literature
• Adaptations
• Black Visual Culture
• Black Popular Culture
• Class/Underclass
• Gender (Masculinity and Femininity)
• Sexuality
• Black History and Historiography
• Race as Discourse
• Black Pleasure
• Negritude
• Black Transnationalism/Cosmopolitanism
• Marxism, Communism, Socialism, etc.
• White Supremacy
• Afrosurrealism
• Revolution
• Critical Race Theory
• Black Musics
• Expatriate Deracination
• Ellison, Wright, Baldwin, Reed, etc.

Completed proposals are due by July 2. Your proposals should be 400-500 words and include a brief bio (100 words) with your contact information. Please send your proposals as a Word document to Michael B. Gillespie ( and Gary Holcomb ( We welcome any inquiries or questions about the collection. If your proposal is accepted, completed essays will be due in December and should be no longer than 8,000 words.