Saturday, February 14, 2015

Transnational Literature--CFP on the New Black and New Negro

The New Black and The New Negro: Generational Tensions between Blackness, Colorlessness, and Post-Black
Special Feature: Volume 8, no. 1, November 2015
Guest Editor: Kinitra D. Brooks, University of Texas, San Antonio

A class of colored people, the ‘New Negro’,  ... have arisen since the War, with education, refinement, and money. – Cleveland Gazette, 28 June 1895

There are constructive channels opening out into which the balked social feelings of the American Negro can flow freely…. One is the consciousness of acting as the advance-guard of the African peoples in their contact with Twentieth Century civilization; the other, a sense of a mission of rehabilitating the race in world esteem from that loss of prestige for which the fate and conditions of slavery have so largely been responsible. 
– Alain Locke in The New Negro, 1925

The ‘new black’ doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The ‘new black’ dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.  – Pharrell Williams, Oprah Prime (2014)

I'm tired of being labelled. I'm an American. I'm not an African American; I'm an American ... And that's a colorless person– Raven Symone, Oprah Prime (2013)

The words of music producer Pharrell Williams and actress Raven Symone initiated what is now referred to as the ‘New Black’ or ‘Millennium Negro’ Movement. Critical race theorists have implied that these musings hearken back to another African American cultural movement of self-articulation, that of ‘The New Negro’. Transnational Literature is calling for scholarly papers and poems that critique and explore the themes and theories interrogating the possible connections between these two socio-political cultural projects. We welcome papers and creative works that include but certainly are not limited to the following topics:

* The New Black v. The New Negro
* Contemporary ahistorical manifestations of Blackness and questions of critical legitimacy
* Global Perspectives of The New Black
* Transnational Black Cosmopolitan Identity and Culture
* The New Black’s connections to The Talented Tenth
* The New Negro/Old Negro and The New Black/Old Black
* The Importance of Class
* Postcolonial/Neocolonial Blackness in the African Diaspora
* Problematising prescriptive racial identities 

Transnational Literature invites unpublished papers not currently under consideration by any other publisher. Article submissions should be 4000-6000 words in length and should include an abstract of approximately 150 words in addition to a brief author biography. 

Please consult the submission guide –

Please submit all finished works and queries to by May 10, 2015.

Transnational Literature is a freely accessible, fully refereed international e-journal published twice a year by the Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

Dr Gillian Dooley
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, English
Special Collections Librarian
Editor, Transnational Literature
Editor, Writers in Conversation

Central Library
Flinders University
GPO Box 2100

08 8201 5238 (work)
0413 625 560 (mob)
Transnational Literature:

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Leatrice Fountain 1924-2015

     Leatrice Gilbert Fountain was one of several major American readers brought to the work of Anthony Powell by his obituary in The New York Times. It took a certain sort of curiosity, though, for someone who had never before heard of the series to pick it up, read all twelve volumes, and become a devoted Powell fan. When Leatrice began this new readerly adventure, she was 76, the same age as Powell himself when he began to compose his Journals, and, like Powell, Leatrice used her final years to read widely, appreciate droll stories and applaud admirable values.
     Leatrice was the daughter of John Gilbert, the silent-movie actor whose career never recovered after the turn to the talkies, and Leatrice Joy, a prominent actress of that era. Her parents divorced early, and Leatrice’s childhood saw her shuttling between parents and schools, but learning a lot about life early. Leatrice lived in Ireland after 1945, and was unhappily married, but then returned to the US, marrying John Fountain, who she described as “the nicest and smartest man there ever was.” In the 1980s, Leatrice wrote a biography of her father, Dark Star, wand was frequently in demand as a speaker among aficionados of the silent-movie era. But her scholarship ranged widely: she took courses at Cambridge on medieval history and had a rigorous knowledge of the era that stretched from Alfred the Great to Richard II.
      When I could not go to the 2001 Eton conference,, Leatrice totally unexpectedly called me up and inviteding me to a meeting at her house, where I gave the paper I failed to give at Eton. Also invited was Tom Wallace, AP’s former American publisher. This was the genesis of the Northeast chapter of the Anthony Powell Ssociety, of which Leatrice was the godmother and presiding spirit, the jovial cynosure of our company at the beloved Silvermine Tavern.
       Leatrice, also like AP, was a great lover of cats and a sage observer of people and their quirks. She applied this wittily to the characters in Dance, showing especial insight into Stringham, Many of her gems were written down in a notebook, which, she lost at one of our gatherings. But her wise perceptions about Powell’s world will remain alive among the many friends who shared them with her.

Powell Course at New York Society Library

I am teaching a course this spring on the first 6 novels of A Dance To The Music of Time. It will be held at the New York Society Library, 11:00 AM to 12:30 AM on the following dates: March 19, April 16, May 14, and June 4.
It is $50 for all four sessions, $15 for one session.
You also must be a member of the library, which costs $270 for a full year, $200 for a half year. I have been a member for some years and find it more than pays of itself in terms of books you would have otherwise bought being able to borrow, and good availability unlike the public library system. Also I have made very many good friends through my membership.
See below for the course description
  • Anthony Powell’s A Dance To The Music of Time is one of the longest and most absorbing novels in the Englishlanguage—with twelve books, hundreds of characters, and an astonishing broad coverage of British and world culture from 1914 to 1971. We will read the first six books of the series, taking the story from Eton in the 1920s  up to the beginning of World War II, and meeting such unforgettable personages as enigmatic, aristocratic Stringham, the hearty businessman Templer, the promiscuous bohemian Gypsy Jones, and the saga’s two major characters—our astute, sophisticated narrator, Nicholas Jenkins, and his nemesis, the obtuse, ambitious Kenneth Widmerpool. We will immerse ourselves in the social history of England in the 20th century; life, love and loss in these changing times; the tragedy of two world wars; and a philosophical perspective that embraces both the merriment and melancholy of the human condition. Reference books by Hilary Spurling and Mr. Birns will help make sense of Powell’s tragicomic epic increasingly valued as one of the great masterpieces of world literature