African American History and Culture
in the Aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement
This conference will focus exclusively on the end of the 60s and more particularly on the crises and the tragic violence which marked the decline of the Civil Rights Movement. The questions related to the definition of the "event" (how does an event relate to an "action" ?; how is an event discursively constructed ?; what is its impact ?) will be at the core of this meeting between historians, experts in African American history of the period (63-70), and literary or cultural critics in the field of African American Studies.
Writers, photographers have been invited to bear witness to the place of the event in their work or to talk about their action in the events of the time. Invitations have been sent to Sonia Sanchez, Jamaica Kinkaid, Nikki Giovanni, John Edgar Wideman.
The context is that of the "radicalization" and decline of the Movement: 1963, the assassination of young black girls in a church in Birmingham; the apex and the decline of the Movement; black nationalist movements; the Black Panthers; the Nation of Islam; the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X; the urban riots, the utopian trends and their bloody repression.
Theoretically, we shall focus on the concept of "event": relationship between an event and historical time, "iconization" of the instant, irruption into reality, re-presentation and representative character of the event, violence and the event, repetition and the event, the wearing down of the impact of an event, etc.
We shall address the question of the relationships between History, historiography and historical fiction along the following lines:
Necessity and constraints of historical record: place and construction of the event in historical discourse.
Transformation, displacement, allusion(s) to the event in fiction, either by writers of the period (and more particularly poets) or by contemporary authors (Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Toni Morrison, Edgar Wideman);
"Biographemes": instants in an individual life-story and event, links between autobiography ( place of the "I" ) and inscription into history;
Responses of the graphic and visual arts, in the cinema and the theater (drama and historical event)
1963-1970 and contemporary consciousness: return of the event or on the event (trial for the Birmingham murders this year, for instance);
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (University of Tours) or email@example.com (University of Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Sponsored by GRAAT, CEAA (President: Michel Fabre), University of Caen (contact Alice Mills)
University of Tours
3 rue des Tanneurs
37041 Tours France
Phone 33 2 47 39 22 19
fac 33 2 47 39 50 24 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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