In Search of Justice: Language, Literature, and the Activist Spirit (Deadline Extended to October 31st!)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
College Language Association
Call for Proposals
82nd Annual College Language Association Convention

“In Search of Justice: 

Language, Literature, & The Activist Spirit”  

April 10-13, 2024

Hilton Memphis

939 Ridge Lake Boulevard

Memphis, TN 38120 

There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice if we only know how to find it.” 

– Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Crusade for Justice

The College Language Association (CLA) invites papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops for its 82nd Annual Convention, to be held in our founding city of Memphis, Tennessee. CLA particularly encourages submissions that focus on the theme, “In Search of Justice: Language, Literature, & The Activist Spirit.” CLA invites participants to reflect upon the overarching concerns for justice and the activist strategies for securing justice, individually and collectively, that  have long permeated the work of Black diasporan writers, artists, and critics. How have cultural production and creative expression been utilized in the quest for justice? How have language and literature been infused with the activist spirit? Through research and pedagogy, how have scholars, journalists, and activists illuminated these concerns in the past, present, and future?

CLA welcomes proposals on Languages and Literatures in English, World Languages and Literatures (proposals in French, Spanish, and Portuguese are strongly encouraged), Linguistics, and Cultural Studies. We invite scholarly and critical inquiry across a range of geopolitical contexts and historical periods. Potential topics might include:

  • Relationships between Literary, Artistic, Social, Political, and Cultural movements
  • Activism and Geopolitical Contexts, Distinctions and Parallels between Movements across Place
  • Race, Gender, Queerness, Disability, and Intersectionality in Activist Writings
  • Understudied Literary Figures, or “Familiar” Figures in Need of New and Revised Scholarly Attention
  • Negotiations of Multiple Audiences and Various Publics, within Frameworks of Hierarchical Power
  • Literary Activism and Critical Interventions in Black Feminist and Black Male Studies
  • Relationships between Genre and Activist Strategy
  • Language Justice, Linguistic Justice, and Intersections with Race, Ethnicity, and Power
  • Collaborations and Debates Among and Between Writers of a Shared Historical Moment
  • Literary Activism and Contested Narratives of Citizenship
  • History and Memory in Shaping Collective Understanding of Literary Activism
  • Honoring the Activist Spirit through Pedagogical Practice
  • Creative Writing and the Continuing Legacy of Activism in Language and Literature
  • Critical and Scholarly Responses to Literary Works, Movements, and Figures


Deadline: October 31, 2023 — Submit proposals to