REVISITING RICHARD WRIGHT'S 12 MILLION BLACK VOICES: SAMLA Nov. 4-6, 2016

full name / name of organization: 
Joshua Privett / South Atlantic Modern Language Association
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November 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of Richard Wright's 12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States (1941), a documentary text that juxtaposes Wright's historical analysis of slavery in America with Edwin Rosskam's photographs. This panel seeks to revisit the text from the perspective of recent trends in literary and cultural studies, as well as the conference theme of utopia/dystopia. Possible topics include but are not limited to: pedagogical or theoretical approaches to the text; comparisons of the text to other documentary-style texts, such as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), written by James Agee with photographs by Walker Evans; the genre(s) of the text; the influence of Marxism on Wright; the influence of the Farm Security Administration on Wright; connections between this text and Wright's other works; connections between this text and other African American writers. Topics related to any aspect of Richard Wright's life and work will also be considered. By June 3, please send a 250-word proposal along with a brief CV and any A/V requirements to Joshua Privett, Georgia State University, jprivett1@gsu.edu, for SAMLA, Nov. 4-6 in Jacksonville, Florida.