SAMLA 2020: The Harlem Renaissance at 100

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Donovan Ramon (Kentucky State) and Clark Barwick (Indiana University, Bloomington)
contact email: 

South Atlantic Modern Language Association Annual Conference, November 13-15, 2020. Originally scheduled for Jacksonville, FL, and now will be fully online.

The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of African American arts and letters that occurred during the 1920s and 1930s. Over the past century, the Harlem Renaissance has proven to be a foundational yet ever-evolving cultural category, as each successive generation of writers and scholars has engaged with the period in new and different ways. As a result, the canon has continually shifted and expanded through a legacy of rediscoveries. The most prominent rediscovery being the reevaluation of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God during the 1970s, and the continued publications of her previously lost works. In just the last decade, more than a dozen new Harlem Renaissance works have been published. Therefore, 2020 presents an ideal opportunity to take stock of what the Harlem Renaissance now means, especially in an era when we understand identity in increasingly complex ways and have unprecedented access to Harlem Renaissance works and scholarship via the Internet. We invite paper proposals on any aspect of the Harlem Renaissance. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

--The expansive Harlem Renaissance canon
--The publication history of Harlem Renaissance works
--The current role of the Harlem Renaissance in African American literary and cultural studies
--Previously marginalized African American writers, texts, or genres from the 1920s and 1930s
--How the Harlem Renaissance has been remembered in films / documentaries, archives, and online
--How subsequent writers have re-written or engaged with the Harlem Renaissance
--The state of Harlem Renaissance scholarship and its recent trends
--The Harlem Renaissance and feminism
--The Harlem Renaissance and gender and/or sexuality
--The Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement
--The Harlem Renaissance and Hip-Hop
--The Harlem Renaissance and Black Lives Matter
--The Harlem Renaissance and digital humanities
--The Harlem Renaissance and performance studies
--The Harlem Renaissance and interracial / Critical Mixed-Race studies
--The Harlem Renaissance and passing / identity politics 
--Teaching the Harlem Renaissance to 21st century students
--The Harlem Renaissance and geography/ its global reach
--The Harlem Renaissance and class dynamics
--The Harlem Renaissance and the conference theme of scandal/provocation
--The Harlem Renaissance in the next century

Please send 250-word proposals and brief bios to Donavan L. Ramon at and Clark Barwick at by July 1, 2020.