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African Literature, #Metoo, and #BlackLivesMatter

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Organizer: Anne Gulick

Co-Organizer: Lindsey Green-Simms

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This seminar invites papers that examine what it means to teach and think about African literature in the contemporary political moment and to think through the implications of examining U.S. and continent-based movements in parallel.  Papers might address the following questions: What might African literature and its transnational proclivities tell us about race politics in the US, solidarity movements across the Atlantic, and hashtag resistance? What role might African literature play in discussions of global feminism, the applicability of queer and queer of color critique outside of the US, and intersectionality more broadly? How are we to conceive of African writers like Chimamanda Adichie or Teju Cole or Uzodinme Iweala as U.S. public intellectuals? What might African literature tell us about the shared political aspirations between Africans and African-Americans, the similarities between civil rights and decolonization, or the impossibilities of shared resistance? What are the possibilities and risks of asking U.S. students to read their own experiences and political contexts through the lens of apartheid-era South Africa, to identify with African protagonists, or to imagine themselves in solidarity with students on the other side of the Atlantic?
 
Papers might also address how stories of African immigration (both intra- and intercontinental) speak to the current immigration crisis and uptick in xenophobia in the U.S. and they might choose to take on any of the above questions from a historical perspective. Papers that address film and media are also welcome.
 
Please address questions to seminar co-organizers Lindsey Green-Simms (lgs@american.edu) and Anne Gulick (agulick@mailbox.sc.edu). Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted through the ACLA website https://www.acla.org/annual-meeting between Thursday, August 30, at 12 noon EST and Thursday, September 20, at 9 a.m. EST

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