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Afrographics: Visual Cultures of Black Modernism (MSA Columbus)

CFP, 2018 Modernist Studies Association conference (‚??Graphic Modernisms‚?Ě)

Panel proposal for MSA Columbus, November 8-11 2018

Visual culture played a central role in black modernist literary production and in the construction of blackness in modernist literature more broadly. Instances of this role are many: the drawings that framed the publication Fire!, Aaron Douglas‚??s stunning WPA murals, Carl Van Vechten‚??s portraits of young Harlem writers, the optical literary form that structures Ralph Ellison‚??s Invisible Man, Frantz Fanon‚??s visual description of ‚??the fact of blackness,‚?Ě and primitivist depictions of blackness in modernist art. Across all of these instances, the visual and literary feature what Miriam Thaggert refers to as ‚??a dynamic present within early black modernism that is characterized by a heightened attention to and experimentation with visual and verbal techniques for narrating and representing blackness‚?Ě (Images of Black Modernism 3). Our panel seeks to explore how this dynamic remains central to studies of the New Negro or Harlem Renaissance. We invite paper proposals that address the imbrications of visual and literary cultures of the Harlem Renaissance, broadly conceived.

Please submit a 250 word abstract and a short bio to Kelly Hanson ( and Savannah Hall ( by Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Conference Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Conference Starts: November 08, 2018
Conference Ends: November 11, 2018

CFP Submission Deadline: April 21, 2018

For more information, contact: Kelly Hanson