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If Beale Street Could Talk: Memphis (Blues) Diaspora (NeMLA 2020)

Boston, MA
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: NeMLA 2020
Categories: American, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2020-03-05 to 2020-03-08 Abstract Due: 2019-09-30

In the 1970s, like other urban or "chocolate cities" (Hunter and Robinson, 2018), Memphis, after the assassination of Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, was not only home to the Blues, but also becoming a place where African Americans were making gains in political power, creating soul music in resistance to racist power structures and against black respectability politics.

By referencing Memphis, home of the blues narrative, both Baldwin and Jenkins have written and visualized a space which shows Black love and optimism struggling to exist under the gaze of an authoritative surveillance which seeks to extinguish both.

This is a call for papers for a panel discussion on how places in the American South are used in music, literature, and/or cinema serve as spaces for African American/Black cultural understanding. In particular this panel is looking or papers that describe or explain how Baldwin (1974) and Jenkins (2018) use Beale Street in name to narrate and visualize Black life in 1970s Harlem and beyond.

Please submit an abstract (300 word limit) and short bio (100 words) to the NeMLA portal 

https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/18262 no later than September 30, 2019.




Antonio Jenkins