EVENT Jan 04
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Not Without Laughter: Langston Hughes and His Contemporaries (MLA 2024)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Organization: Langston Hughes Society
Event: MLA 2024
Categories: African-American, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2024-01-04 to 2024-01-07 Abstract Due: 2023-03-31

CFP: Langston Hughes Society Panel at the Modern Language Association

January 4-7, 2024, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Not Without Laughter: Langston Hughes and His Contemporaries


The Langston Hughes Society is pleased to invite proposals for a guaranteed session to be held at the 2024 Modern Language Association Convention (MLA2024) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Langston Hughes often reacted to injustice with anger mixed with humor. His celebration of life in the face of oppression and sorrow can be seen in works from “I, Too” through the Simple stories. For Hughes, the use of joy was not to diminish the cruelty of racial, political, and economic oppression, but rather to sharpen his criticism of inequality, inhumanity, and injustice. For Hughes, who made much use of blues forms and themes, the ability to find creative joy in the midst of sorrow was central to resistance and resilience; it was an integral component to maintaining one’s humanity and advocating for change. In keeping with the Presidential Theme for the 2024 convention, “Celebration: Joy and Sorrow,” the Langston Hughes Society invites proposals for a panel focused on Hughes’s or his contemporaries’ celebration of life as a reaction to, intervention against, and creative antidote for injustice.

Please send proposals of 250 words to both Dr. Richard Hancuff (lhsociety.secretary@gmail.com)  and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack (lhsociety.president@gmail.com) no later than March 31, 2023. Note that presenters must be members of the Langston Hughes Society and the MLA by the time of the conference in order to present. Please indicate any AV equipment needs in your email. 

For more information on the Langston Hughes Society and our ongoing work, please visit our website at www.LangstonHughesSociety.org.


Richard Hancuff