African American Literature and Culture Society at the 31st American Literature Association Conference, San Diego CA, May 21-24, 2020

deadline for submissions: 
January 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
African American Literature and Culture Society


African American Literature and Culture Society

American Literature Association

31st Annual Conference

May 21-24, 2020Manchester Grand Hyatt
One Market Place
San Diego, CA



The African American Literature and Culture Society invites abstracts (of no more than 250 words) for presentations at the annual conference of the American Literature Association (  We will also consider a limited number of panel proposals (of no more than 500 words). 


This year’s theme is frontiers and borders. Inspired by the conference location, San Diego, and its border shared with Mexico, the multi-vectorial theme of frontiers invites critical engagements with the ways in which African American writers and thinkers conceptualize and theorize the Southwest, its potential for cross-cultural collaborations and creative coalitions capable of transcending national boundaries. The Society encourages scholars to think about the meaning of borders in African American Literature, but also in coalitions with Chicano/a and Latinx writers for instance. Are borders and frontiers only physical manifestations of national identities? Or, can they be textual, ontological, performative? What about crossing borders between rigid definitions of literary genres? What does it mean to write “without” borders, or “against” them?


Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

-The meaning of the Southwest in African American Literature

-The intertextuality between borders and modes of resistance

-The literary transgressions of multi-ethnic coalitions

-The politics of the border and the black literary imagination

-The frontier and the American canon

-Conversations –literary and sociological –between black writers and Latinx.



While we welcome papers on the above themes and subthemes, we also strongly encourage submissions on any topic related to African American literature and culture.


Please send abstracts or proposals to Rachel Carr (, Jean-Philippe Marcoux ( and Sabrina Evans ( and no later than January 30, 2020.  Presenters must be members of AALCS by the time of the conference.  Information about the Society can be found at the AALCS website: