Call for Papers

Narrating History, Home, and Nation: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat

This text is the first sustained collection of critical essays engaging the totality of the work of Edwidge Danticat as a novelist and writer of short fiction, memoirist, essayist, filmmaker, activist, and public intellectual. We invite abstracts that examine the ways in which Danticat’s work – inclusive of and beyond her fiction – offers critical commentary on sociopolitical constructions of black diasporic experiences, the function, space, and place of homes, and representation of nationalisms, teasing out the tensions inherent in the confluences of past and present. Through this collection of critical essays, we are working to contribute to the growing body of existing literature on the work of the author. We are especially interested in work which address her publications after 2010.

An understanding of storytelling as an act of resistance and a communal undertaking is central to Danticat’s entire oeuvre, invoked in her fictional characters, in her discussion of her own life experiences, and in her cultural commentary. Danticat’s work revises and counters the histories and imaginaries of America. Given that she is unflinching in her assertion that the work of a writer is to create dangerously, critical engagement with Danticat’s entire body of work is decidedly necessary and essential in these times.

We invite proposals for chapters (7,000-8,000 words) for this edited collection. Possible topics include:

  • Citizenship, (diasporic) identity and performativity
  • Danticat as memoirist, essayist, travel writer
  • Testimonio, witness, dangerous creation
  • Historicity, macro and micro narratives
  • Connections between Danticat’s activist and creative work
  • Construction of home place and space
  • Archives, counter-archives and transnational histories
  • Survival and/or resistance during precarious times
  • Narrativity and form
  • Literary influence and tradition, collective memory
  • Audience and literary reception
  • Danticat as public intellectual
  • Alternate media: audio/radio and film

Bibliography of Primary Sources:
Short Fiction: Krik! Krak! (1996), The Dew Breaker (2004); Novels: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994); The Farming of Bones (1998), Claire of the Sea Light (2013); Young adult novels: Beyond the Mountains (2002); Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490, Untwine (2015), Mama’s Nightingale (2015); Memoir: Brother, I’m Dying (2007), Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (2010), The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (2017), After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti; Anthologies: The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora (2001), Haiti Noir (2011), Best American Essays (2011); Films: Poto Mitan (2009), Girl Rising (2013); Essays: The New Yorker column, and assorted publications.

Please send, abstract (500 words) and bio (150 words) by 20 November 2017 to:

Acceptance of Proposals: 8 January 2018.                 Comments from the Editors: 2 July 2018.
Full Drafts Due: 14 May 2018.                                     Revisions Due: 23 July 2018.