American Literature Association: Charles W. Chesnutt panels

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Bill Hardwig, Charles W. Chesnutt Association
contact email: 


Charles W. Chesnutt Association

American Literature Association

28th Annual Conference

May 25-28, 2017

The Westin Copley Place

Boston, MA


The Charles W. Chesnutt Association welcomes abstracts (of no more than 300 words) for presentation at two sessions on the work of Chesnutt at the 2017 ALA conference in Boston.


Session One: Chesnutt and Justice

Notions of justice are central to the majority of Chesnutt’s literary works.  In an early chapter of his novel Marrow of Tradition, he writes, “The negro question . . . plunged the nation into a bloody war, and it will trouble the American government and the American conscience until a sustained attempt is made to settle it upon principles of justice and equity.” William Dean Howells famously commented in a review of the novel that Marrow  "had more justice than mercy in it.  The book is, in fact, bitter, bitter."  How is justice defined in Chesnutt’s work?  How is it defined by other leading social voices of the era?  What is the relationship between justice and “bloody” conflict in Chesnutt’s work?  We invite all submissions that examine the role of justice in Chesnutt’s writing, as well as this writing in relation to definitions of justice in the wider post-reconstruction context.


Session Two: Open Topic

We invite submissions on all topics regarding Chesnutt as an author, scholar, and citizen.


Please email an abstract (of no more than 300 words) and a brief (1-2 page) CV by January 15, 2017, to program chair, Bill Hardwig,