American Women Writers of Color Conference November 1-3, 2013


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American Women Writers of Color Conference

November 1-3, 2013

Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel

Ocean City, MD


Friday, November 1

7:30-8:20 Registration, Terrace Railing, Second Floor

8:30-9:00 Welcome and Continental Breakfast, Crystal Hall 2B

9:00-10:30 Keynote Address by Daphne Brooks, Crystal Hall 2B

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break, Book Exhibit Room, Crystal Hall 2A

10:45-12:15 Session I

12:15-1:20 Lunch, on your own

1:30-3:00 Session II

3:00-4:30 Session III

5:00-6:30 Reading & Reception Michelle Myers, Crystal Hall 2A

Saturday, November 2

9:00-10:30 Session IV

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break, Book Exhibit Room, Crystal Hall 2A

10:45-12:15 Session V

12:15-1:20 Lunch, on your own

1:30-3:00 Special Session VI: Legacy Panel

3:45 Buses depart for Salisbury University

5:00-5:30 Reception, The Bistro, Guerrieri University Center

5:30-8:00 Banquet and Reading with Merle Collins

8:30 Bus Departs for Clarion Hotel

Sunday, November 23

9:00-10:30 Session VII

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break, Book Exhibit Room, Crystal Hall 2A

11:00-12:15 AWWOC 2015 Planning Session, Crystal Hall 2B

12:15-12:30 Closing Remarks, Crystal Hall 2B
DirECTor: Assistant Professor April Logan, Salisbury University
Host Institution: Salisbury University
special Thanks: Department of English, Salisbury University; Office of Multicultural Student Services, Salisbury University; Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Salisbury University; Dining Services, Salisbury University; Motor Pool, Salisbury University
Program Committee:

Assistant Professor Catherine Fung, Bentley University

Assistant Professor Courtney Mohler, Santa Clara University

Assistant Professor Ania Spyra, Butler University

Assistant Professor Shamika Mitchell, SUNY Rockland Community College
Logistical Committee:

Program Management Specialist Clacie Hubbard, Salisbury University

Associate Professor Judith E. Pike, Salisbury University

Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Curtin, Salisbury University

Associate Professor Lucy Morrison, Salisbury University

Associate Professor Joaquin S. Vilá, Salisbury University


Elora Amtower English-Literature Concentration, Salisbury University Class of 2014

Anthony Grayson English-Film Concentration, Salisbury University Class of 2014

Kiristin Wilson Gender and Women’s Studies, Salisbury University Class of 2013


Professor Tom Moriarty, Salisbury University


Abigail Hubbard Art-Graphic Design, Salisbury University Class of 2013

Special Events
Keynote Address: Daphne Brooks

Friday, November 1, 9:00 AM, Crystal Hall 2B

Daphne Brooks, a professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University, teaches a wide array of subjects, including African American literature and culture, performance studies, gender studies, and popular music culture. Brooks has authored two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP. 2006), which received the The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR, and Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005). Her most recent work is Subterranean Blues: Black Women Sound Modernity (Harvard University Press, forthcoming). Brooks has also written countless articles on race, gender, performance, and popular music culture. Some of these include “This Voice Which Is Not One: Amy Winehouse Sings the Ballad of Sonic Blue(s)face Culture” in Women and Performance; “The Write to Rock: Racial Mythologies, Feminist Theory, and the Pleasures of Rock Music Criticism” in Women and Music; and “‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’: Surrogation & Black Female Soul Singing in the Age of Catastrophe” in Meridians.

Brooks is also the author of the liner notes for The Complete Tammi Terrell (Universal A&R, 2010), winner of the 2011 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing and Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia (Sony, 2011). She is also the editor of The Performing Arts volume of The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere Series, eds. Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer (New York: Pro-Quest Information & Learning, 2006).

In addition, Brooks has been the recipient of several fellowships, from organizations such as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2010-2011), the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Program, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. She has also held residence at U.C. Berkeley as a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and at Harvard University as a W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute Fellow.

Reading & Reception: Michelle Myers

Friday, November 1, 5:00 PM, Crystal Hall 2A

Hors D'oeuvres and Drinks

Michelle Myers is a spoken word poet, community activist, and educator. She is a founding member of the poetry group Yellow Rage, a spoken-word duo of Philadelphia-based Asian American female poets. Myers is also an Associate Professor and Chair of the Learning Lab/Student Academic Computer Center Department at Community College of Philadelphia. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Temple University. In all of her work, Myers is dedicated to raising awareness about social injustices and building positive relationships across communities.

Her poetry group, Yellow Rage, was featured on the first season of the critically-acclaimed HBO television series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry and performed live in the first live Def Poetry Jam show at the 2001 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO. Throughout Myers’s solo career, she has performed across the country, from the 2010 Philadelphia Fringe Festival show “Whose City?,” in support of the Media Mobilizing Project, to the 2010 GirLFest Hawaii in Honolulu, which advocated the prevention of violence against women and girls through education and art.

Recently, in March 2013, Myers kicked off her national book tour for her solo poetry book The SHE Book, which was released in the spring of 2011. In November 2011, her show The SHE Project was presented at The Painted Bride Arts Center. All proceeds from the book support Odanadi, an anti-trafficking organization that rescues and rehabilitates women and children in India.

Reading & Banquet at Salisbury University: Merle Collins

Saturday, November 2, 5:30 PM, The Bistro, Guerrieri University Center

Merle Collins, who is Grenadian, is a writer of poetry and fiction. She has published two novels, Angel and The Colour of Forgetting, two collections of short stories, The Ladies are Upstairs and Rain Darling, and three poetry collections, Because the Dawn Breaks, Rotten Pomerack and Lady in a Boat. Her work has appeared in several anthologies as well. She is also producer of the video documentary Saracca and Nation (2009). Her most recent publication, published by Peepal Tree Press this year (2013), is a biography entitled The Governor’s Story: Authorised Biography of Dame Hilda Bynoe, which is about the first woman governor in the British Commonwealth, Dame Hilda Bynoe, who was Governor of Grenada from 1968 to 1974.

Collins is also Professor of Caribbean Literature at the University of Maryland. She holds a B.A.(English, Spanish, History) from the Mona, Jamaica campus of the University of the West Indies, an M.A. in Latin American Studies and Certificate in Translation (Spanish into English) from Georgetown University in the United States, and a Ph.D. (Government) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is also founder of the Maryland-based Carivision Community Theatre, which is presently working on another production of the play Chupucabra, written by the Guyanese Paloma Mohamed.
Special Session: Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers Panel

Saturday, November 2, 1:30-3:00 PM, Conference Room II

Legacy is the only journal dedicated to the study of seventeenth- to early twentieth-century American women writers. After a panel discussion, The “Racialized Private Text” and African American Women’s Archives, Legacy editor Jennifer S. Tuttle will discuss the journal’s submission process and answer questions from the audience.

9:00-10:30 AM Keynote Address, Crystal Hall 2B: Daphne Brooks

Session I

I-A. Toni Morrison’s Influences and Readership

Conference Room II

Chair: Susan McCarty, Salisbury University

1. “Counting Feet: Moving through Memory in Morrison’s Beloved

Emma Schneider, Tufts University

2. “Women of Faith and Systems of Religious Power in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy

Christine Payson, Tufts University

3. “Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: The Critique of Patriarchy and History’s Lost Opportunities”

Philip Goldstein, University of Delaware

4. “Toni Morrison’s Coming Home to Broad and Deep Readership”

Sarah Robbins, TCU (Texas Christian University)

I-B. Life Writing

Conference Room III

Chair: Namorah Gayle Byrd, Gloucester County College

1. “Crow Indian, Crow American, American Indian: The Autobiographic Identities of Alma Hogan Snell”

Lynn Domina, SUNY-Delhi

2. “Restoring Indigenous Blues and Jazz Women through Song and Story”

Barbara Tracy, Southeast Community College

3. “‘Speak Pieces’: Zora Neale Hurston and the Performance of ‘Color’”

Mariel Rodney, Columbia University. “

4. “More Than Just the Help”

Jervette Ward, The University of Alaska Anchorage

I-C. Black Women/Black Arts

Conference Room IV

Chair: Juanita R. Comfort, West Chester University

1. “‘I’ve Always Known I Was Colored’”:  Strategies of Personal Disclosure in Essays by Nikki Giovanni”

Juanita R. Comfort, West Chester University

2. “‘Han me dat there broom so I can clean up yo mess!’: Black Arts Movement Women Poets and the Struggle to Mend the Black Community and Society”

Brittany Hull, West Chester University

3. “step back world./ we be splendid”

M. Nzadi Keita, Ursinus College

4. “Architecture of Literature: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye as a Response to Richard Wright’s “Blueprint for Negro Writing””

Renae Donald, West Chester University

Session II

II-A. Mothers and Mothering in Contemporary Women’s Literature

Conference Room II

Chair: Carla Verderame, West Chester University

1. “Inspired ‘to become free’: Motherhood as Motivator in the Life Writing of Harriet Jacobs and Assata Shakur”

Judy Scheffler, West Chester University

2. “Mothers and Mothering in Louise Erdrich’s The Beet Queen

Carla Verderame, West Chester University

3. “Mother Monster: Reading the Ill Mother in Rhina Espaillat’s Poetry”

Nancy Kang, University of Baltimore

II-B. New Critiques of Colonialism

Conference Room III

Chair: Manav Ratti, Salisbury University

1. “Gestures of Belonging: The Professor’s Daughter and the Languages of Longing and Belonging”

Tru Leverette, McGill University

2. “The Outsider-Within: Exploring Maryse Condé’s I, Tituba, the Black Witch with Black Feminist Thought”

Tabitha Lowery, Texas Tech University

3. “Women and ‘The New Black’: Neo-anticolonialism in Poetry of the Twenty-first Century”

Shauna Morgan Kirlew, Howard University

II-C. Intersection Americas: Women Creating Space in a Geographic Borderland

Conference IV

Chair: Amy B. Hagenrater-Gooding, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

1. “Navigating Place/Constructing Space: Affrilachian Women Writing the Self”

Amy B. Hagenrater-Gooding, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

2. “Crossing Space, Bending Time, Changing Form: Yellow Woman, Mestra, and Shape-Shifting Femininity”

Gabriela Vlahovici-Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

3. “Poetas de Puerto Limón: Afro-Costa Rican Poets of the West Indian Diaspora Writing Limón”

Carole Champagne, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Session III

III-A. African American Women and (Re)Presentation

Conference Room II

Chair: April Logan, Salisbury University

1. "Ellen Craft on Trial, 1878: A Challenge to the Politics of Race and Respectability." 

Barbara McCaskill, The University of Georgia

2. “Eliza Potter’s Authority on White Woman’s Sexuality”

Martha Pitts, Louisiana State University

3. “‘Whoever she was, she comes to us like this’: Women as Historicized Props in Natasha Trethewey’s Thrall

Tareva Johnson, University of Georgia

4. “Revictimization in Tyler Perry’s for colored girls

Amy Branam Armiento, Frostburg State University

III-B. Redemption and Reinvention

Conference Room III

Chair: Eva Tettenborn, The Pennsylvania State University

1. “Unspeakable Things Spoken Incessantly: The Psychological Consequences of ‘Telling’ in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora

Licia Morrow Hendriks, The Citadel

2. “The Ancestral Call in Tananarive Due’s Texts”

Venetria Patton, Purdue University

3. “Gayl Jones ‘Unbound’: The Healing (1998)”

Barbara Webb, Hunter College

4. “The Makings of an Urban Industry: Teri Woods, Readers/Writers, and the Street Lit Movement”

Marquita Smith, McMaster University

5:00-6:30 PM Reading and Reception, Crystal Hall 2A: Michelle Myers

Session IV

IV-A. New Approaches

Conference Room II

Chair: April Logan, Salisbury University

1. “‘Review 3—No Title’ Recovering The Arena’s Long Lost Review of Contending Forces

Karin Hooks, Lorain County Community College

2. “All in the Family?: Black Masculinity and Diasporic Identity in Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood

Kerstin Rudolph, The College at Brockport, SUNY

3. “A Queer Reading Of Pauline Hopkins’s Winona as a Reclamation of Black Sexuality”

C. Daniel Redmond, Tufts University

4. “Finding Frances Harper’s Feminism”

Jen McDaneld, University of North Carolina

IV-B. Geographies of Identity

Conference Room III

Chair: Shamika Mitchell, SUNY Rockland Community College

1. “Mapping Mobile Minorities in Cristina García’s Monkey Hunting

Emily Yoon Perez, University of Maryland, College Park

2. “The Luxury of Our (Grand)Mothers’ Gardens: Tenderness, Intersectionality and the Everyday in Helen María Viramontes’s ‘The Moths’”

Omar Figueredo, Cornell University

3. “‘If Only No One Would Look Intruded Upon’: Defamiliarizing Space in Gwendolyn

Brooks’s Maud Martha

Maleda Belilgne, Duke University

4. “Domesticity Deconstructed: Ann Petry’s The Street and The Narrows

Sandra Wilson Smith, Shippensburg University

Session V

V-A. Reproduction and Resistance

Conference II

Chair: Diane Illig, Salisbury University

1. “A Womb of Her Own: Harriet Jacobs’s Articulation of Transgressive Black Womanhood in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Destiny Birdsong, Vanderbilt University

2. “Reproductive Resistance in Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

Suzanne Uzzilia, CUNY Graduate Center

3. “Claiming African American Grief: The Slave in Mourning in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Eva Tettenborn, The Pennsylvania State University

4. “The Short Plays of Zora Neale Hurston”

Nita N. Kumar, University of Delhi

V-B. Creating Beauty from Violence: Writers of the Black Arts Era

Conference Room III

Chair: John A. Nieves, Salisbury University

1. “Everytime they kill a black boy…”: Police Brutality Against Children in Poems by Audre Lorde, Jayne Cortez, and June Jordan”

Tara Betts, Binghamton University

2. “Sonia Sanchez, embracing the black aesthetic, and writing freedom: political poetry ain’t always pretty”

Kia Reed, Virginia Commonwealth University

3. “Telling Acts: Troubling Testimony in Toni Cade Bambara's Those Bones Are Not My Child

Kelley Wagers, The Pennsylvania State University

4. “It’s Not Too Late: Exposing the Black Girl-Child Victim of Incestuous Rape in The Bluest Eye and Push

Lt. Col. Candice Pipes, United States Air Force Academy


The “Racialized Private Text” and African American Women’s Archives

Conference Rooms II and III

A Panel Sponsored by Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers

Chair: Jennifer S. Tuttle, Legacy Editor

1. “And Other Ornaments”: Black Atlantic Seamstresses and the Practice of Letters in the Early Caribbean

Danielle Skeehan, Sam Houston State University

2. “Entrancing Issues: Harriet Wilson, the Colored Medium, and the Problem of the Spiritualist Archive”

Katie Simon, Georgia College

3. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Translating the French-Language Diaries of Mary Church Terrell”

Jennifer M. Wilks, University of Texas-Austin

4. “Public and Private Selves in Two Domestic(ated) Spiritual Autobiographies by Black Women”

Martha Pitts, Louisiana State University
5:00-8:00 PM Banquet and Reading, Salisbury University: Merle Collins


Session VII

VII-A. Women’s Actualization and Alienation in the Harlem Renaissance

Conference Room III

Chair: James King, Salisbury University

1. “The Master’s Tools: The Inevitable Loss of Self-hood in Quicksand and Comedy American Style

Simone Savannah, University of Kansas

2. “‘It Had Grown Into a Machine’: Modernist Critique and Themes of Racial Indeterminacy in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun and Nella Larsen’s Quicksand

Christopher Allen Varlack, Morgan State University

3. “‘So—being a woman—you can wait’: A discussion on ‘On Being Young – a Woman – and Colored,’ The Purple Flower and Exit: An Illusion, three works by Marita Bonner”

Brandon Hutchinson, Southern Connecticut State University

VII-B. Surfacing Trauma: Investigating Representations of Black Female Sexuality

Conference Room IV

Chair: Cherise A. Pollard, West Chester University

1. “The ‘P-word’ Exchange: Representing Black Female Sexuality in Contemporary Urban Fiction”

Cherise A. Pollard, West Chester University

2. “Voluptuous Vixens: Weight, Race, and Sexuality in Alice Walker’s ‘Her Sweet Jerome’ and Nnegest Likké’s ‘Phat Girlz’“

Amber Reed, West Chester University

3. “The Feminist Female Vampire: Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling

Merry G. Perry, West Chester University

4. “Post-Traumatic Sex Disorder, Slavery and its Aftermath: Black Women’s Sexuality in Toni Morrison’s Sula and Gayl Jones Corregidora

Rochelle Sample, West Chester University

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Planning Session for AWWOC Conference 2015 & Closing Remarks, Crystal Hall 2B


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