Abstracts being solicited for a special session at SAMLA 88 (SAMLA 88
November 4–6, 2016 Jacksonville, Florida) on African American Utopias.While the slave narrative tradition provided what Maria Varsam has called "concrete dystopias,” African American writers like have responded with utopian visions at least since Phillis Wheatley sung of a soul “unbounded” in the freedom of imagination. This panel will be interested in works that explore the utopian speculations in works like Sutton Griggs’ Imperium in Imperio and Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy, as well as those developed by Harlem Renaissance writers and more recently by writers such as Touré, in Soul City, Fred D'Aguiar Children of Paradise, and of course Octavia Butler’s Parable series. Also of interest are investigations of the Utopian visions of works not usually classed as Utopias, such might be found in Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. Please respond with a 250 word abstract, brief bio (one or two sentences) and a/v requirements by June 3 to Tom Cassidy at email@example.com.