Midwest Modern Language Association Convention-"Exploring the Black W(hole): African American Speculative Fiction"

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Tiffany Austin
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Exploring the Black W(hole): African American Speculative Fiction
The African American literary tradition early on included the realm of speculative fiction, and more specifically, science fiction. From works of Martin Delany, Pauline Hopkins, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Dumas, and George S. Schuyler to the contemporary writing of Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delaney, and more recent acknowledged works of Andrea Hairston and Tananarive Due, African Americans have written within the genre. Sheree R. Thomas's Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora focuses on this at times overlooked aspect of African American literature and its practitioners. We seek papers that explore the works of the abovementioned authors along with writers such as Charles R. Saunders, Ishmael Reed, Toni Cade Bambara, Virginia Hamilton, and Jewelle Gomez through the invisible/visible or outer/inner lens of "race." Of consideration in paper proposals should be the ways these writers in black diasporic modes explore the supernatural and science. We also welcome papers engaged with the theoretical approaches to the genre and concepts like Afrofuturism that explore the relationship between African diasporic practices and technology.
250-300 word abstracts should be sent to Tiffany Austin at tiffanyuaustin@gmail.com by April 5, 2015.