Saturday, August 11, 2012

Call for Papers: Faulkner and the Black Literatures of the Americas (conference at the University of Mississippi)

Post date: Saturday, August 11, 2012
Deadline: 31 January 2013

In 2013, the 40th annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, will explore the relationships between Faulkner’s oeuvre and a hemispheric corpus of black writing, with a particular emphasis on African American literature and intellectual production, from slave narrative to the contemporary era of Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, John Edgar Wideman, Maryse Conde, Charles Johnson, Gloria Naylor, David Bradley, Randall Kenan, Edouard Glissant, Erna Brodber, Jesmyn Ward, Edwige Danticat, and so many others. We hope to chart the lines of engagement, dialogue, and reciprocal resonance between Faulkner and this vital body of literature.

Who are Faulkner’s most significant black precursors, his formative black literary and cultural influences? Who are his principal black cohorts, national and international? And who are his most formidable black successors and literary heirs? What common problems can we identify in these bodies of work, and what common—or, indeed, instructively divergent—approaches to those problems and strategies (discursive, figural, technical) for dealing with them? How has black literary production in the Americas affected how we read Faulkner’s work today? (How) does Faulkner’s oeuvre pose different challenges, rewards, and threats for black women writers than for their male counterparts—and what about the legacy of black women’s literature for him? How might this sort of comparative inquiry clarify or illuminate the ways in which writers of the Americas grapple with the impact of slavery and the plantation, colonialism, nationalism and empire, racial violence and terror, race-mixing, poverty and underdevelopment, Jim Crow, migration and diaspora, the Civil Rights Movement, and the role of the writer in collective life? How might it honor what Albert Murray identified as the fundamentally miscegenated quality of American (national and hemispheric) literature, culture, and life?

We especially encourage full panel proposals for 75-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by two-page abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted two-page abstracts for 20-minute panel papers and individually submitted manuscripts for 40-minute plenary papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi. Plenary papers, which should be prepared using the 16th edition of the University of Chicago Manual of Style as a guide, consist of approximately 5,000-6,000 words and will appear in the published volume.

Session proposals and panel paper abstracts must be submitted by January 31, 2013, preferably through e-mail attachment. For plenary papers, three print copies of the manuscript must be submitted by January 31, 2013. Authors whose plenary papers are selected for presentation at the conference will receive a conference registration waiver. All manuscripts, proposals, abstracts, and inquiries should be addressed to Jay Watson, Department of English, The University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677-1848. E-mail: Decisions for all submissions will be made by March 15, 2013.


For queries/ submissions: