Call for Papers: The African-American Literature Track at CEA 2021

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Allen Varlack, Arcadia University
contact email: 

Call for Papers: The African-American Literature Track at CEA 2021

April 8-10, 2021 | Sheraton Hotel, Birmingham

The College English Association welcomes proposals for presentations on the general conference theme: Justice. Birmingham’s notoriety as a focal point of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Birmingham Campaign, the imprisonment of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the writing of his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” is matched by the city’s renown for forging steel, founding Veteran’s Day, and hosting the USA’s second-oldest drag queen pageant. Whether it is past conflicts over racism or current struggles over race, the rights of women, or the LGBTQ community, Birmingham and Alabama are places where the right to justice for groups and individuals has been ignored, debated, defended, and championed. Birmingham is also home to the College English Association’s 2021 national conference, and we invite you to join us to explore the many ways in which justice has been portrayed in literature, taught in classrooms, and fought for by both individuals and communities.

CEA invites proposals from academics in all areas of literature, language, film, composition, pedagogy, and creative, professional, and technical writing. We are especially interested in presentations that feature topics relating to justice in texts, disciplines, people, cultural studies, media, and pedagogy. For your proposal, you might consider these concepts related to Justice:

  • resistance: protesting injustice
  • equality: shifting perceptions of race, class, cultures, regions, genders, sexualities
  • discourse: employing rhetoric and argument
  • reclamation: spotlighting forgotten or unknown texts, authors, and cultures
  • physicality: placing the body/publishing the text in contested spaces
  • movements: challenging the status quo through ideas, genre, or form
  • legitimacy: considering literature and the law
  • education: teaching empathy and dialog
  • individuality: combining the personal and political

Submit a proposal at no later than October 1, 2020.


General Call for Papers

The College English Association also welcomes proposals for presentations in any of the areas English departments typically encompass, including literature criticism and scholarship, creative writing, film, composition, technical communication, and linguistics. We also welcome papers on areas that influence our work as academics, including but not limited to student demographics, student advising, academic leadership in departments and programs, student/instructor accountability and assessment, and the place of the English department in the university.


For more information on how to submit proposals, please see the full CFP at, or reach out to the Special Topics Chair in African-American Literature, Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, via Email at


Note that all presenters at the CEA 2021 conference must become members of CEA by January 1, 2021. To join CEA, please go to