Hopkins Marks 30th Anniversary of 'Callaloo'
Conference will bring more than 100 writers and scholars to
By Amy Lunday
Poetry and fiction readings, lectures, conversations and
panel discussions will this week
celebrate 30 years of continuous publication of Callaloo,
the premier African Diaspora literary journal,
published by the Johns
Hopkins University Press. More than 100 of the nation's
writers, intellectuals, academics and artists will gather
Wednesday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct.
27, on the Homewood campus for the conference, which is hosted by
the university's Center for
Africana Studies and co-sponsored by the English Department,
Society of Black Alumni, Reginald F.
Lewis Museum and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
"Callaloo has consistently, over the past 30 years,
been at the forefront of publishing fiction,
poetry and literary criticism on the African-American and African
diasporic experience," said Ben
Vinson, professor of history and director of the Center for
Africana Studies. "It continues to be a
leader in this field, and the anniversary celebration
commemorates the scholarly road taken by the
journal since culmination of the height of the civil rights
movement. In the 21st century, as the black
community engages new challenges, this conference also charts
some of the avenues that the literary
community will take in the future. Through scholarly dialogue,
poetry readings and frank discussions
with the community, the conference aspires to serve as bridge
between the intellectual, the artistic
and lay communities."
Writers and scholars who will be reading and engaging in
discussions on writing creative texts
and the culture from which they derive include Carole Boyce
Davies, Lucille Clifton, Thadious Davis,
Brent Edwards, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Thomas Glave, Farah Griffin,
Trudier Harris, Yusef Komunyakaa,
Wahneema Lubiano, John McCluskey, Mark Anthony Neal, Carl
Phillips, Tracy K. Smith and Natasha
Speakers and event moderators from Johns Hopkins are Vinson;
Adam Falk, dean of the Krieger
School of Arts and Sciences; Floyd Hayes, a senior lecturer, and
Neil Roberts, a postdoctoral fellow,
both in the Department of Political Science and Center for
Africana Studies; and representatives of
the Johns Hopkins University Press.
Callaloo publishes original works, and critical
studies of them, by black writers worldwide. A rich
mixture of fiction, poetry, plays, critical essays, cultural
studies and interviews, the highly acclaimed
journal also offers frequent annotated bibliographies, original
art and photography, and special
thematic issues. One of the latter, "Jazz Poetics," was
recognized by the Council of Editors for
Learned Journals as one of the best special issues of 2002.
Over the years, Callaloo has garnered high praise
from noted authors and scholars, including
Alex Haley, who said, "Callaloo is no less than a Mother
Lode of outstanding Afro-American arts and
letters," and Henry Louis Gates Jr., who said Callaloo is
"without a doubt, the most elegantly edited
journal of African and African-American literature being
published today. Its geographical and
linguistic range is as impressive as its range of coverage of so
very many genres."
For a complete schedule of events and speakers, go to the
Africana Studies homepage,
web.jhu.edu/africana/index.html, and click on "Callaloo 30th
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