Founded in 1974, the African Literature Association (ALA) works to promote literary and cultural studies related to, and about, Africa and its diasporic populations. The ALA’s goals are to facilitate an appreciation and an understanding of the works of African writers and artists, delving into their productions through yearly conferences and the publication of the organization’s foremost journal — Journal of the African Literature Association (JALA). Its active membership of 400-500 teachers, scholars, and writers is organized through caucuses that attend to specific areas of interest. JALA, an international, peer-reviewed journal, with an almost two-decade long trajectory, is placing its FIRST call for papers ever related to Afro-Hispanism. Prof. Dorothy Odartey-Wellington and Prof. Dosinda Alvite will coordinate this first volume within JALA dedicated to this area of studies.
We use this timely opportunity to present writers and artists that expand our understanding of the specificity and the challenges of being an Afro-Hispanic subject. This special issue therefore focuses on distinctive Afro-Hispanic creative expression in a diverse range of cultural texts. Furthermore, it privileges critical approaches that are anchored in African and African-diaspora experiences and struggles in relation to various aspects of identity.
In light of the above objective, we invite papers that
a) adopt African and African descendant-centered approaches, and reflect a decolonial thinking. We seek to expand current approaches to Afro-Hispanic texts beyond Westerncentric/Eurocentric hegemonic theoretical perspectives;
b) illustrate the diversity of the corpus of Afro-Hispanic texts that have been produced. In addition to papers on literary texts –poetry, fiction, short stories and theatrical performances– and film, we also encourage studies on orature —rap and slam poetry–– and other forms of popular culture;
c) reflect the dynamic boundaries of Afro-Hispanism and the triangular relationships between Africa, Europe and the Americas.
We strongly encourage papers that push the boundaries of current criticism to develop novel and imaginative approaches to Afro-Hispanic Studies.
Nov. 15, 2022: Submission of abstract (300-500 words) with bibliography (approx. 10 titles) and working title, and a brief biography.
Nov. 30, 2022: Feedback on proposals.
June 15, 2023: Submission of first draft (7,000-8,000, excluding abstract of 250 words and bibliography) of accepted proposals for peer review.
All papers should be submitted in Word and formatted (layout, citations and list of works cited) according to MLA Style (8th Edition).
Papers may be submitted in either English or Spanish.
The publication date of the special issue is expected in 2024.
Dorothy Odartey-Wellington is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Guelph (Canada), where she was awarded a Research Leadership Chair in 2021. She is the editor of Trans-afrohispanismos: Puentes culturales críticos entre África, Latinoamerica y España (2018) and the author of Contemporary Spanish Fiction: Generation X (2008).
Dosinda Alvite (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Associate Professor of Spanish at Denison University. Her research and teaching interest focus on representations of migration, historical memory and gender issues in contemporary Spain, with special attention to Spain-Africa connections. She has published on these topics in various journals such as Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Hispania, Bulletin of Spanish Studies and several book chapters.
Dorothy Odartey-Wellington, Vice-Chair of the Luso/Hispanophone Caucus of the African Literature Association (LHCALA)
University of Guelph