For the last 8 years, a group of literary scholars at Pennsylvania State University have organized a series of conferences highlighting different topics associated with African American literature. The themes have included: "Celebrating the African American Novel" (2005); "Contemporary African American Literature" (2009); "African American Literature, Race and Sexual Identity" (2011); and just now "Celebrating Contemporary African American Literature: U.S. and Afro-Caribbean Poetry" (October 25 - 26).
Shirley Moody-Turner and Lovalerie King served as co-planners for the event, but of course, as they noted regularly during the two-day gathering, they had help from a range of supporters, volunteers, and sponsors. Attendees at the conference covered numerous topics, which included keynote presentations by Erica Hunt, Nikky Finney, Kwame Dawes, Keith Leonard, Ishion Hutchinson, and Evie Shockley.
A few notations:
• A Presentation on digital humanities and our poetry dataset
• Photos from the conference
• Erica Hunt: a critical cultural witness
• Nikky Finney's LaVena Johnson poem
• Black arts scholars at Penn State
• Becoming a Poetry Genius and the annotated version