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Paper proposals are invited for a panel, 'The 'post-millennial context' and African writing in English', part of the Afican Studies Association UK Biennial Conference 2012 literature stream, 'New Articulations in Africa's Literatures and Cultures', organised by Stephanie Newell and Ranka Primorac.
The conference will be held at the University of Leeds, UK, 6-8 September, 2012.
For more information on the conference, or to submit a paper proposal, please go to http://www.asauk.net/conferences/asauk12.shtml. For more information about the panel, 'The 'post-millennial context' and African writing in English', please contact postmillennialwritingasauk@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is 27 April 2012.
Panel convenors: Kate Haines and Katie Reid, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

The 'post-millennial context' and African writing in English: Writing, production and reception since 2000

This panel seeks to explore the production and reception of African writing in English in a post-millennial context, a context in which seismic events, both national and international, have impacted and reverberated in complex ways on the global, regional, and local dynamics of African writing and publishing. Interlinked with these events - such as the global economic crisis, 9/11, the Arab Spring, violent protest, secession and threatened secession of states - are developments in the publishing environment which have substantially changed the conditions for African writing. These include the commercialization of global anglophone literary fiction and a 'meet the author' culture of international literary prizes and festivals, the launch of the Caine Prize, the impact of new technologies, and the rise of new publishing companies and networks across Africa. The panel aims to open and address debates around who and what might constitute African literature in this context.

The panel will examine the ways in which the African author is constructed as a product for sale in the wake of rapid change, alongside related issues of censorship, ownership and dissemination; the ways in which critical thought, and terms such as postcolonial 'transnationalism' and 'cosmopolitanism' affect African writing; the extent to which African literature is a product of, generates or resists the kind of commercial dynamics commonly seen as globalising, and often read as universalising; and ways in which the post-millennial context has impacted canon-formation in light of competitive international literary markets.

The panel will seek to address questions such as:
How has African writing in English been marketed, read and received across different locations in this period?
How has global and local cultural transmission, and through this the relationships between authors, publishers, critics and readers, altered in a post-millennial context?
How have questions of genre, gender, identity and the location of the writer influenced publication, circulation and reception?
Does the year 2000 represent the beginning of an 'African literary renaissance' or a 'new generation of African writers'?
Do developments in anglophone African writing and publishing since 2000 contest or support established theoretical positions and to what extent do they reflect the rapidity of change and intervene in critical thought to produce new vocabularies, new positions?

We particularly encourage papers that:
• explore global and local transmission across diverse genres of writing - the literary novel, short stories, poetry and drama - as well as those that challenge conventional distinctions through multiple and mutating forms, such as film, performance and new media; the graphic novel; 'coffee table' and art books; literary magazines; and popular literature
• give attention to the book as a material object, including editorial interventions and publication histories, cover design and paratexts
• trace patterns and forms of marketing, circulation and readership within Africa.