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Call for Proposals (due 3/15/16)

Who We Are

Who We Are

Celebrating African American Literature and Language - "Race and Resistance"

Penn State University

October 28-29, 2016

In African American literature and language there is a long tradition/s of challenging myriad forms of oppression through the promotion of self-definition, creative expression and aesthetic innovation. In light of the recent social movements and students protests inspired by current attention to various forms of state-sanctioned violence, this year’s conference offers an opportunity to think about and share how African American Literary and Rhetorical Studies, both historically and in a contemporary context, inform and are informed by movements of resistance. These “movements” can span historical and geographical spaces and entail large-scale social action or encompass individual acts of protest and affirmation.  Presenters might consider, for example, how literary form and language intersect with these various movements and can function as sites of domination as well as creative resistance.  In advancing this conversation, the conference organizers invite paper, panel, and roundtable proposals offering various theoretical, critical, and/or pedagogical approaches to resistance as a formal, thematic, social, cultural and/or political strategy within African American literature, language practices, and cultural productions.  Below are some of the areas proposals might consider, but we welcome all proposals, on any period, that take up the conference theme.

  • The Aesthetics/Rhetorics of Social Movements
  • Traditions of Black Radicalism in African American Literature, Language and Culture
  • Black Radicalism in Visual Culture, Print Culture and/or Digital Culture
  • Black Prophetic Traditions
  • Forms of Resistance and Activism
  • Black Radicalism/Resistance at the Intersections of Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality
  • Black Resistance and the Making of Literary History/Canons
  • African American Literature after Ferguson; in the Context of Black Lives Matter
  • Love as Resistance/Transformation
  • Sound and Resistance
  • Hip Hop and Resistance
  • Forms of Digital Resistance
  • Geographies of Resistance
  • The Politics of Genre/Form in Strategies of Resistance
  • Comparative/Transnational/Diasporic Perspectives on Form and Resistance

Proposal Submission: Individual abstracts of 300 words and panel and/or roundtable proposals of 500 words with 100-word bios should be submitted to by March 15, 2016.  *Please submit abstracts as a Word document and format the subject headings as follows:  CAALL Abstract-LAST NAME.  NOTE:  This email is for proposal submissions only.

Questions regarding proposals should be sent to: Shirley Moody-Turner,

Notifications: Email notifications of acceptance will be made in April 2016. Persons whose abstracts are accepted must register for the conference by August 1, 2016.

Conference Registration Fee: $215 by August 1, 2016; $255 after August 1, 2016. The fee includes all instruction and events, deluxe continental breakfast and lunch both days, refreshment breaks, dinner banquet and closing reception.

Please refer back to this website for updated conference information and to register.