This panel addresses the different ways in which antiracist intellectuals in the 1940s and 1950s grounded their non-fiction work in the history and conditions of specific locations. Many of the most notable antiracist writers of these decades meditated on particular regions, neighborhoods or cities in order to make sense of the complexities of the racist social order. One thinks of Horace Cayton and St. Clair Drake’s study of Chicago, Black Metropolis (1945), or Lillian Smith’s interpretations of the South in Killers of the Dream (1949), or James Baldwin’s reflections on Harlem in Notes of a Native Son (1955). But these are only some of the titles within a large and highly differentiated corpus of antiracist analysis and advocacy that entered American intellectual life in this period. Panelists are sought whose work examines an antiracist intellectual and, preferably, a limited set of textual examples in which place plays a dominant conceptual or thematic role. Of special interest are proposals that consider how writers negotiate the specificity of place and universal, antiracist claims.
The American Studies Association Annual Meeting will take place November 3-6, 2005 in Washington, D.C. This year's meeting explores the theme "Groundwork: Space and Place in American Culture."
Please send abstract and one-page c.v. to the e-mail below by January 21.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
American Studies Department
Greenlaw Hall, CB# 3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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