Critical Insights: Alice Walker's The Color Purple (Deadline June 18th)

deadline for submissions: 
June 18, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Jericho Williams, Spartanburg Methodist College

2022 will be the 40th anniversary of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. With a goal of celebrating this work and introducing it to a new generation of readers, this is a call for proposals for original critical essays about the novel.


The volume will appear in spring 2022 as part of the following subset of Salem Press’s Critical Insights collection: Salem Press - Critical Insights: Works


Designed for high school students and undergraduates, the book will offer new approaches to The Color Purple. It will feature ten critical readings essays (5,000 words), plus four additional chapters (4,000-5,000 words) focusing on specific approaches to the novel, including a “critical lens” chapter, a chapter exploring the influence of its time period, a chapter comparing the novel with a similar work, and a critical reception chapter. Since the audience consists primarily of upper-level high school and undergraduate students, abstracts and essays should be relatively jargon-free and comprehensible to a more general audience.


Although all essays proposals will be considered and additional proposed topics are encouraged, some possibilities include:


  • The Color Purple’s relationships with sequels The Temple of My Familiar or Possessing the Secret of Joy or Walker’s other writings
  • Black Lives Matter movement
  • #MeToo movement
  • theology or spirituality
  • critical race theory
  • affective or materialist approaches


If you are interested in contributing to this project, please submit an abstract of approximately 200-300 words and a brief CV to by Friday, June 18th. Selected authors will be notified by Friday, June 25th, and first drafts of essays will be due by Monday, September 6th.  For accepted essays, each contributor will receive a $250 honorarium.