CFP: African-American Literature at the College English Association Conference, April 5-7, 2018

Christopher Varlack's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2017
Florida, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Literature

CFP: African-American Literature at the College English Association Conference, April 2018
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
Address: 333 1st St. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 | Phone: 727.894-5000

The College English Association (CEA)—a gathering of scholar-teachers in English studies, now welcomes proposals for presentations in the area of African-American literature for our 49th annual conference. Interested participations should submit a proposal at

Conference Theme

The CEA welcomes proposals for presentations on the general conference theme: “Bridges.” The Sunshine Skyway Bridge crosses Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg, called the Sunshine City in honor of its Guinness Record for most consecutive days of sunshine (768). St. Petersburg is home to historic neighborhoods, distinguished museums, contemporary galleries, and a wide variety of dining, entertainment and shopping venues. St. Petersburg is also home to the College English Association’s 2018 national conference, where we invite scholar-teachers to join us at our annual meeting to explore the many bridges that connect places, texts, communities, words, and ideas.

CEA thus invites proposals from academics in all areas of literature, language, film, composition, pedagogy, and creative, professional, and technical writing. We are especially interested in diverse and innovative presentations that build bridges between and among texts, disciplines, people, cultures, media, languages, and generations.

Special Topic: African-American Literature

Each year, the College English Association offers a dynamic range of panels related to African-American literature and culture. As we consider the conference theme of “Bridges,” scholars and teachers alike are encouraged to probe, among other interests, 1) the thematic and/or theoretical bridges that link texts across time and across the diaspora, 2) the ideological bridges of African-American cultural movements such as the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement, 3) the transatlantic bridges connecting, for instance, African-American literature with that of European modernism, as well as 4) the interdisciplinary bridges between English, sociology, psychology, and political science that inform our understanding of African-American texts and their overall representation of the African-American condition. Additional areas of consideration include:

  • Bridges between disciplines, languages, or generations
  • Bridges between races, classes, cultures, regions, genders, or sexualities
  • Cultural or ideological bridges in literary, scholarly, or theoretical works
  • The bridge as construct, form, metaphor, motif, or icon
  • Connections between text and images or sound
  • Bridges between theory and practice, reading and writing, writer and audience
  • Building bridges between teaching and scholarship; faculty and administrators; professors and students
  • Bridges as physical artifacts and symbols of industry and technology
  • Digital humanities as a bridge between worlds
  • What bridges connect, support, and pass over

General Call for Papers

CEA also welcomes proposals for presentations in any of the areas English departments typically encompass, including literature criticism and scholarship, creative writing, composition, technical communication, linguistics, and film. We also welcome papers on areas that influence our work as academics, including student demographics, student/instructor accountability and assessment, student advising, academic leadership in departments and programs, and the place of the English department in the university.

Additional Information

The submission period for the 2018 CEA conference is between August 15 and November 1, 2017. For more information on how to submit, please see the full CFP at Note also that all presenters at the conference must become members of CEA by January 1, 2018. If you have additional questions or concerns about CEA or the conference in general, please contact us at For specific inquiries regarding the African-American literature call, please contact the Special Topics Chair, Christopher Allen Varlack, at

Contact Info: 

Christopher Allen Varlack, PhD
Department of English
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, Maryland 21250

Contact Email: