MLA 2017 January 5-8 Philadelphia

full name / name of organization: 
Melville Society
contact email: 

Melville and Black Lives Matter

This panel seeks papers that address how Melville's art both speaks to racial crises and mediates philosophical dilemmas, political unrest, concepts of history etc. Black writers (Ralph Ellison, C.L.R. James, Toni Morrison, George Lamming, David Bradley, and more) turned to Melville's literary forms and provocative content to engage historical and political transformation in the Americas. What is it in Melville's aporias, assemblages, and abstractions that we can continue to excavate for it's relevance to social conflict—especially conflict where racial/ethnic/queer difference is performed, expressed, and/or represented? Topics may include but are certainly not limited to: attention to interventions by one or more of the black writers mentioned above; racial violence; police brutality; prison reform/abolition; the rise/fall imperial states; totalitarianism; race and neoliberalism; New World Slavery; inequality in Latin America; US/Middle East turmoil.

Please send 250 word abstract and short bio to Chris Freeburg: ccfreeburg@gmail.com by March 15