Living Legacies: Literary Responses to the Civil Rights Movement

full name / name of organization: 
Laura Dubek
contact email: 

Fifty years after the March on Washington, students of American history, literature, and media studies learn about the civil rights movement from (auto)biographies of movement leaders, archival footage of major events, narrative and oral history presented in documentaries such as Eyes on the Prize (PBS), civil rights museums and special exhibits, annual commemorations, and retrospective analyses provided by critical race scholars in response to contemporary events. This edited collection will explore how poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists, and filmmakers—at the time and since—have contributed to our understanding of the civil rights movement and its legacy.

Topics might include (but are not limited) to the following:
Memoirs of civil rights activists
Lillian Smith, the south, and white civil rights activists
Langston Hughes's Jesse B. Semple as civil rights activist
Justice, Alabama & Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
James Baldwin's nonfiction, fiction, & drama
Mississippi & Alice Walker's Meridian
Chicago & Gwendolyn Brooks's poetry
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun
Katori Hall's The Mountaintop & the Remaking of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oral History & Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls
The civil rights movement & Children/Adolescent literature
Toni Morrison's Dreaming Emmett
Virgil Tibbs & In the Heat of the Night
The civil rights movement in film: Mississippi Burning to The Butler
Visual Rhetoric: Emmett Till & Trayvon Martin
21st century depictions of the civil rights movement in popular culture

Please send a 750-1000 word abstract and one paragraph bio to Laura Dubek, Middle Tennessee State University,, by June 1, 2014. A book proposal, with a proposed TOC and the editor's essay on Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, will be sent to an academic press. Projected publication for the book is fall 2015.