African American Literature Section, MMLA 2019, 11/14-11/17 in Chicago

deadline for submissions: 
April 5, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Almas Khan / Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA)

In The Souls of Black Folk (1903), W. E. B. Du Bois famously conceptualized doubleness as the condition of black life in America, asserting: “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” African American literature has often thematically foregrounded double-consciousness, in addition to representing doubles, doppelgängers, and other forms of duality.

Inspired by the 2019 MMLA conference theme (, this permanent section invites papers and creative presentations on doubleness, broadly construed, in African American literature. Potential topics may include:

  • Double-consciousness in African American literature
  • African American literary texts as doubles, e.g., re-visions of prior texts
  • Doubling and intersectionality in African American literature
  • Doppelgängers in African American literary texts
  • Racial passing as a type of doubling in African American literature
  • Formal duality in African American literary texts
  • Methods of teaching doubleness in African American literature

Please email a file including your presentation title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a brief bio (of up to 250 words) to Dr. Almas Khan at by April 5, 2019.