RISE: Creative Theoretical Approaches to Cultural Production, Then and Now

deadline for submissions: 
January 18, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
The Gregory J. Hampton Graduate English Student Association of Howard University
contact email: 

RISE: Creative Theoretical Approaches to Cultural Production, Then and Now Call for Papers

Howard University's Graduate English Student Association

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 18, 2024


In “The Race for Theory,” Barbara Christian writes: 

"…People of color have always theorized—but in forms quite different from the Western form of abstract logic. And I am inclined to say that our theorizing (and I intentionally use the verb rather than the noun) is often in narrative forms, in the stories we create, in the riddles and proverbs, in the play with language, since dynamic rather than fixed ideas seem more to our liking. How else have we managed to survive with such spiritedness the assault on our bodies, social institutions, countries, our very humanity? … Among the folks who speak in muted tones are people of color, feminists, radical critics, creative writers, who have struggled for much longer than a decade to make their voices, their various voices, heard, and for whom literature is not an occasion for discourse among critics but is necessary nourishment for their people and one way by which they come to understand their lives better."

These words have not lost their import. Both nationally and globally, movements that seek racial justice, queer justice, environmental justice, and human rights justice rage on. In the U.S., for example, assaults on Trans and LGBTG rights, along with assaults an racial equity are being launched in many ways, most notably through legialation on education. As the cycle of social injustice continues and bleeds into education, and as activists continue to set and define their own terms of progress, how are schelars and creatives theorizing through narrative forms (literary and related forms of cultural production) and how are they bridging the academy and the community? How do their theories rise off the page or out of the works they create? How do Christian's words also allow us to reconsider works created before her essay? How have writers theorized in narrative form over time? Submissions may look to the works of Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Toni Marrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara, Sylvia Wynter, and other notable writers engaging in creative theeretical ways of thinking.

This year, the 7th annual conference of the Gregory J. Hampton Graduate English Student Association at Howard University invites submissions that explore questions of the creative-theoretical in relation to our current and past social, political, and environmental climates. Such questions include but are not limited to the following:

o   How do African diasporic writers theorize through their creative texts?

o   What is the role of the writer-activist both within and beyond the academy?

o   What is the role of creative-theoretical texts in various social movements?

o   What other forms of narrative must we consider when seeking to grasp the full range of creative theoretical production and producers? 


Topics include but not limited to:

Literature, film, photography, video games, visual art, oral art, and other mediums, queer theory, indigenous theory, feminist theory, climate change, African diasporic literatures, comparative literature


Info & Submission:

Email 250-word abstracts to gesasecretary@gmail.com


Important Dates:

1. 18th January, 2024 - Abstract Submission

2. 23rd February, 2024 - Paper approval announcement

3. 27th March, 2024 - Registration, Opening keynote, Open Mic Night

4. 28th March, 2024 - Keynote and Presentations


The Gregory J. Hampton Graduate English Student Association of Howard University