"April in Paris": African American Expatriate Writers

full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association

African Literature
African American Literature
Co-chairs: Tiffany Austin, André S. Johnson

"April in Paris": African American Expatriate Writers

Globalization has become the oft cited contemporary concept for engaging with our ever more intimate world through interconnectivity partly brought on by advances through internet
technology. But what about the experiences of those black writers who were physically travelling abroad to experience the world before these resources became available? Whether they emigrated for political, economic, artistic, or personal reasons, expatriation affected many black writers of note in subject matter and influence. Whether through forced or self-exile, from a sense of cosmopolitanism or artistic freedom, these writers, artists and intellectuals expanded the notions of blackness and left behind works that force us to investigate what it meant and means to enter a "new" home.

We request papers that deal with black writers' relationship to old and new homes as part of their journey to foreign cities. Examining the pull of black writers to France's "passion" for
all art "black," panels could focus on Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright. Other black expatriate writers who could be considered include
Chester Himes, Frank Yerby, Nella Larsen, William Gardner Smith, and even more contemporary writers. Within panels, discussants may want to examine the themes of home, exile, abandonment, isolationism, community, identity politics, and migratory subject hood.

Email 250-300 word abstracts to tiffanyuaustin@gmail.com or andre.johnson@asurams.edu.