New Criticism and Pedagogical Directions for Black Women Writers

LaToya Jefferson-James's picture
Call for Papers
July 22, 2019 to August 30, 2019
Tennessee, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, African History / Studies, Atlantic History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Literature

This is the second CFP.  The last edition of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature came in two volumes and contained just under 3,000 pages.  With so many writers and so much volume, one would think that the writers of the Black belletristic tradition were covered between those covers.  Yet, Black women writers of the contemporary era are poorly represented.  On the other hand, other works by Black women writers were carefully selected through a veil of respectability politics and as a demonstration of an accepted metanarrative that anchors Black women writers theoretically to their male cohorts.  For example, Ann Petry's The Street is routinely taught as a Black woman writing in Richard Wright's Naturalist/Urban Realism tradition.  However, Petry's entire text, and not the excerpt included in most anthologies, is polyvalent and can be taught in a multiplicity of ways.  While Chesnutt is lionized (and rightfully so), Pauline Hopkins remains under-theorized and more than likely undertaught.  Her contributions to the advancement of the African American short story are not explored thoroughly.

In order to more fully represent Black women writers, New Criticism and Pedagogical Directions for Black Women Writers (currently under contract to be published by Lexington Books 2020), seeks to fully represent Black women's literary production through a collection of pedagogical and theoretical essays.  The collection is arranged chronologically and geographically: The Past, the Gift of the Caribbean, and the Afro-Future.  We seek essays on African American women writers of the 19th century, Afro-Caribbean women writers, and Black women science fiction writers.  While the response to the initial CFP has been overwhelming, we need these writers covered in order to round out the collection fully.  

1.  Jarena Lee/Sojourner Truth

2.  Gwendolyn Brooks

3.  Alice Childress

4.  June Jordan

5.  Lucille Clifton

6.  Una Marson

7.  Louise Bennett

8.  Merle Hodge

9.  Marina Maxwell

10.  Myriam Warner Vierya

11.  Jean Binta Breeze

12.  Elizabeth Nunez

13.  Gayl Jones (not Corregidora)

14.  Alice Walker (not The Color Purple

15.  Wanda Coleman

16.  Suzi Lori-Parks

17.  Bernice McFadden

18.  Natasha Trethewey

19.  Nikky Finney

20.  Tanarive Due

21.  Nnedi Okorafor

22.  N. K. Jemison

23.  Nisi Shawl

24.  Andrea Hairston

25.  Jennifer M. Brissett

26.  Eva Shockey


If you currently teach these writers or if you are interested in writing about them, please send a brief bio and an abstract (200-300 words) to blackwomenwritershome@gmail.comBios and abstracts are due by August 5, 2019.  A decision will be made and participants will be notified by no later than August 31, 2019.  If chapters are accepted, final drafts are to be 20-25 pages long, including the bibliography. 

Contact Info: 

LaToya Jefferson-James, Ph.D.

Adjunct Instructor, English

University of Tennessee Martin-Somerville

Southwest Tennessee Community College