New Directions in Africana Literature

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association
contact email: 

“New Directions in Africana Literature”


This panel welcomes papers that explore the contours and contexts of contemporary Africana Literature.  We invite presenters to consider potential new scholarly directions for emerging writers of African descent as well as established writers whose recent works address the imperatives of the current moment.  We especially encourage presenters whose work addresses the SAMLA 89 theme, “High Art / Low Art: Borders and Boundaries in Popular Culture.”  Other themes that panelists might address in their work include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary literary works that challenge or disrupt conventional understandings of form and/or genre
  • 21st Century re-imaginings of “diaspora” and global understandings of race and identity
  • Intersectional explorations of race and gender, sexuality, class, etc.
  • Emergent literary platforms for publication and the relationship of literature to social media, digital publishing, multi-media distribution, etc.
  • Contemporary definitions/articulations of Blackness and literary confrontations with themes of post-blackness and post-raciality
  • Literary responses to The Movement for Black Lives and other contemporary political movements
  • Africana writers’ relationship to America in the era of the Obama and/or Trump presidencies
  • Africana writers’ revaluation, reaffirmation, and/or rejection of longstanding black cultural traditions and social, political, and cultural institutions

By June 1st, interested presenters should send abstracts (300 word maximum) to McKinley Melton ( AND Shauna Morgan Kirlew (  Participants will be notified of panel acceptance by June 5th.  The 89th Annual SAMLA Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, from November 3-5, 2017.