[Update] Reminder: Turn-of-the-Century African American Print Culture, 9/30/2015

full name / name of organization: 
Lucas Dietrich, NeMLA 2016
contact email: 

Traditional format panel for NeMLA 2016 Convention in Hartford, CT, March 17-20, 2016.

Since its publication in 2011, Kenneth Warren's What Was African American Literature? has sparked controversy for its efforts to historicize African American literature, dating it from the 1890's to the Civil Rights era. Yet if the turn of the century (from the nineteenth to the twentieth) is a crucial moment for the emergence of African American literature, it lacks the apparent solidity and force of both mid-nineteenth-century abolitionist writing and the 1920's Harlem Renaissance. Indeed, while recent collections on African American print culture--from Lara Langer Cohen and Jordan Alexander Stein as well as John K. Young and George Hutchinson--bookend nicely to examine both Early African American Print Culture and Publishing Blackness in the twentieth century, the turn of the century receives minimal attention between the two. This panel seeks papers that explore African American print culture at the turn of the century in order to reflect more critically on the development of African American literature. How might critical bibliographic scholarship re-conceptualize African American literature at the turn of the century? What might case studies--dealing with the publication, manufacture, distribution, and reception of books, periodicals, and ephemera--reveal about this era of transition? In exploring these questions, the panel will focus on the social and material production of African American literature in an era Charles W. Chesnutt described as "Post-Bellum--Pre-Harlem."

Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted using the following link: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15811.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions; however, abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA website in order to be considered.