CFP (Conference): MLA 2018: Institutional Histories of African Literature panel

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    Wendy Laura Belcher
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    @wendylbelcher

    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>The pre-1990 African literature forum of the Modern language Association is preparing to host a panel at the next MLA conference, in New York<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>on 4–7 January 2018.<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span></span></p>
    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>The<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>panel is titled “Institutional Histories of African Literature.” The organizers invite papers that<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>focus on the histories of such institutions that have incubated or supported African literature anywhere on the continent before 1990. This may include (a) a single academic journal, including those published outside of Africa like<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif;”>Research in African Literatures</span><span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>or<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span></span><i><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #252525;”>Présence Africaine, </span></i><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>(b) one or several magazines<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>in a particular language (say Yoruba or Amharic)<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>that published poetry,<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>short stories, essays, literary criticism and reviews;<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>(c) theaters or other performance spaces like cafes; (d) African literary prizes such as the Caine prize or the Noma award; (e) university departments on the continent that taught or supported literature; (f) libraries and archives that preserved literary materials; (g) conferences like the African Literature Association conference; and so on.</span></p>
    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>Presentations may cover the origins of the institution(s), how it grew and changed over time, its impact on culture or<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>influence on history, the personalities involved,<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>what controversies it was involved in, and so on.<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>Institutional histories are not easy to write, given how scattered the originators often are and<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>the spottiness of their archives. But, these twentieth-century institutional histories may be lost if we don’t now interview the originators and so on. </span></p>
    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>All proposals must focus on institutions that began<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>before 1990. Those that began before 1980 or even 1970 would be appreciated. A special issue in a peer-reviewed journal will be proposed, so even if you don’t think you can attend the conference, please send an abstract anyway.</span></p>
    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>Anyone with research on the institutions related to African Literature before 1990 is welcome to submit a short abstract (100-200 words) naming the institution on which the scholar would like to present,<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>and including the scholar’s<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span>full name, title (if any), institution (if any), and short bio by March 1. Please send it to </span><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif;”>wbelcher@princeton.edu</span><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>.<span class=”apple-converted-space”> </span></span></p>
    <p style=”line-height: 19.8pt;”><span style=”font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; color: #424242;”>The MLA does not provide funding for transport or lodging.</span></p>

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