What, when & where
August Wilson Society 2020 Biennial Colloquium:
August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented
August Wilson African American Cultural Center
980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
March 12 – 15, 2020
Throughout his prolific literary career, August Wilson devoted his work to capturing the experiences of the African-American people in the twentieth century. His tireless efforts resulted in the much-acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning American Century Cycle plays and other works that interrogate the joy and pain of a people struggling to “find their songs” in a complex and, at times, deeply fractured and prejudicial world.
Since its founding in Spring 2006, the August Wilson Society (AWS) has steadily pushed to increase awareness of August Wilson and to expand the conversation surrounding his important contributions to both the African-American literary tradition and cultural discourse at large. Arguably, Wilson lived his own life on the margins and formulated an aesthetic of resistance that pushes back against stereotypes and that valorizes once victimized depictions of African Americans.
. . . And yet, despite impressive advances in August Wilson Studies, so much of Wilson’s life, work, and legacy remain on the margins—understudied and underrepresented. Organizers of the August Wilson Society’s 2020 Colloquium, August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented, seek to remedy this and, in the process, push August Wilson Studies into unchartered areas that, thus far, have been either treated tangentially or completely neglected. AWS invites proposals for panels, roundtables, individual papers, workshops, and other presentations that focus upon topics currently considered to be “on the margins.”
August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented will build upon previous AWS national gatherings and explore an even wider range of voices and topics from artists, grade school educators, high school students, community leaders, activists, and academics. Directors, actors, dramaturgs, historians, educators, scholars, politicians, and poets are especially welcomed!
Interested participants might consider the following suggested list of topics—or some modification thereof. Explorations outside of the topics below are also welcomed:
Wilson as (Political) Activist
Wilson on Religion
Wilson and the Blues
Dramaturgs, Dramaturgy, and Dramaturging Wilson’s Drama
Designing and Tech(ing) Wilson: Lighting, Scenic, Costume, Projections, Etc.
Wilson around the World: Diaspora, Transnationalism, and Globalization
Wilson and Feminism/Womanism
Queer, Quare, and Querying Wilson’s Oeuvre
Integrating Wilson into High School Curricula
Wilson and/as Critical Black Pedagogy
Wilson’s Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Relationships
Wilson and (African-American) Foodways
Young Actors and Wilson
Wilson’s Relationship to Visual/Fine Arts
Wilson and His Insights into Cultures across Geographic Spaces
Wilson as Literary Forebear
How I Learned What I Learned: August Wilson and the Power of Art
Deadline & how to apply
Deadline for Proposals: September 16, 2019
Potential participants must submit a 250- to 500-word proposal detailing how the planned project engages with the colloquium theme, as well as a brief biographical statement (no more than three sentences in length) for each participant.
Proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org under the heading “colloquium submission”
Address inquiries to Khalid Y. Long, PhD, AWS Vice President and Colloquium Chair. Notifications for Accepted Proposals: No later than October 29, 2019
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Photo credits: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/12/23/archives-august-wilson-fences-film-lou-bellamy