Location: Bowdoin / Africana Studies / Establishing the Past: Problems in 19th Century African American Literary Studies

Africana Studies

Symposium Overview

A One-Day Symposium at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Friday April 9, 2010
Bowdoin College
Nixon Lounge - 3rd floor of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library
Corner of College and Maine Streets - Brunswick, ME

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. edited and introduced The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a novel written by Hannah Crafts in the late 1850s.In the past decade scholars have uncovered or recovered a number of texts that challenge the definition and scope of African American literature. In 2002, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. edited and introduced The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a novel written by Hannah Crafts in the late 1850s. Appearing for the first time in print, the New York Times Book Review called the novel “a remarkable historical discovery” and Gates’s meticulous introduction to the novel provides a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the discovery. In his efforts “to print the novel as it appeared in the original holograph,” Gates reproduced the novel with Crafts’s revisions and errors, which she had crossed out in the original version. As a result, readers are presented with a novel that resembles the original in almost every way.William Andrews and Mitch Kachun in their 2006 edition of Julia C. Collins’ 1865 novel, The Curse of Caste; or, The Slave Bride take the work of recovery a step further. Calling this novel “A Redisovered African American Novel,” the editors take the audacious step of composing an ending to the novel that its author, having died before completing the novel, left unfinished.

 
William Andrews and Mitch Kachun in their 2006 edition of Julia C. Collins’ 1865 novel, The Curse of Caste; or, The Slave BrideThese newly discovered novels, pose useful challenges to the definition of African American literature in the twenty-first century. This symposium brings together leading figures in early African American literature to discuss the changing contours of tradition as they confront editing works of early African American literature today.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Tess Chakkalakal, Asst. Professor
Africana Studies, Bowdoin College
tchakkal@bowdoin.edu
207-721-5150

Establishing the Past: Problems in 19th Century African American Literary StudiesSponsored by Africana Studies, Academic Affairs, and the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library

This event is free and open to the public