Call for Papers for A Critical Response to Pearl Cleage
Call for Papers Date:
This first-ever critical collection focusing on the cultural contributions of Pearl Cleage will address the full range of literary, essayistic, theatrical, and political texts authored by this prolific feminist writer. This special volume will respond to the need for careful, critical reconsideration of both how Cleage’s work stands alone, and how it can be addressed as being in dialogue with the cultural production of others. The editors welcome contributions on the full range of Cleage’s oeuvre including: essays, poems, journalism, plays, novels and public speeches.
After decades of producing and promoting her work and that of many other black women artists, Cleage is now enjoying a heralded heyday of public attention, that began in the late 1990s, thanks to the selection of her first novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, as one of the early Oprah’s Book Club picks. We have witnessed the trajectory of her immense popularity as a New York Times best-selling author, and yet have not seen the complimentary development of critical essays that would more fully place Cleage’s literary accomplishments into proper contemporary and historical context.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
•The cultural context of Idlewild, MI
•The concept of Free Womanhood
•Black women and the HIV/AIDS epidemic
•Cleage, regionalism, and Georgia (Cleage’s contributions and collaboration with Atlanta Tribune, Live at the Zebra Lounge!, Spelman College)
•Socio-political influence of the Civil Rights Era
•Feminism and her work
•Poetry as a political and historical tool/ Making the personal political
•Pearl Cleage as pop culture
•Cleage and the Oprah Effect (from Oprah’s Book Club to We Speak Their Names at the Oprah Legends Ball)
•Cleage and the activist impulse (HIV/AIDS; the modern day sex slave trade; brothers on the “down low”; domestic violence)
•Cleage as intergenerational bridge-builder, mentor, and role model
•Literature as a conduit of untold history (particularly that of black women)
•Cleage’s work as the nexus of theory and praxis
•Cleage in conversation with a new generation of black women writers (Tayari Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, and others)
Please submit one hard copy and one electronic copy (Word only) of abstracts and completed manuscripts.
Abstracts are due July 30th, 2008.
Completed articles must be received by September 30th, 2008.
Articles should conform to MLA style, and should not exceed 7,000 words in length, including endnotes and fully documented references.
Submissions should also include:
1) a mini-bio (5-10 lines)
2) a C.V. or resume
Tikenya Foster-Singletary, Ph.D.
and Aisha X. L. Francis, Ph.D.
ATTN: Pearl Cleage Project
Clark Atlanta University
223 James P. Brawley Drive
104J Haven Warren Hall
Atlanta, GA 30314 Email: email@example.com
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