Black Rhetorics: Written and Performed (NeMLA 2024)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Nicole Lowman
contact email: 

Seeking 250-word abstracts for a panel session at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) annual convention in Boston, MA, March 7-10, 2024.

Northeast Modern Language Association - University at Buffalo

All submissions must be made through the following link: View Session (

Black Rhetorics: Written and Performed

In their 2018 book, On African-American Rhetoric, Keith Gilyard and Adam Banks argue that “African-American Rhetoric is concerned with both the liberation of Black people and their participation in all facets of life in a multi-ethnic, multicultural society. As a field of study, it traces the arc of strategic language use by African-Americans as incorporated in forms such as slave narratives, spirituals, poetry, fiction, speeches, music, film, memes and other forms of online discourse.”

This session seeks abstracts that consider Black rhetorics in the senses Gilyard and Banks describe above and those that consider Black performance rhetorics, such as dance, public appearances, drag, music video, stage/concert performance.

Presentations might, but are not required to, engage with the conference theme by suggesting in what ways Black written and performance rhetorics might be considered surplus (profit, excess, surfeit, leftover, unwanted, leisure).