This past fall, I had the privilege of presenting a paper at the 92nd annual conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), which was held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The theme of the conference was “Scandal! Literature and Provocation: Breaking Rules, Making Texts.”
I presented a paper titled “‘Countdown to zero’: Systemic Racial Oppression and Black Social Death in Wideman’s ‘Newborn Thrown in Trash and Dies'” as part of a panel titled “Can Scandal Promote Societal Change? Perspectives in Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture,” a special topics panel chaired by Prof. Sean Dugan (Mercy College). (You can watch the presentation here.)
Additionally, I had the privilege of co-chairing a special topics panel at SAMLA with Prof. Desire Ameigh of Wallace Community College and Thomas University. The title of our panel was “Scandalous Profession(al)s: Sovereignty, Authority, and Secrecy” and featured presentations by Samantha Gilmore (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Meghan Hodges (Louisiana State University), and Rachelle Cho (independent scholar).
It was a wonderful event comprising excellent scholars and robust discussions, and I thank everyone who made this event possible.