Undergraduate Student Emerging Scholars Panel: August Wilson Society 2020 Colloquium 

CALL FOR PAPERS: cropped-august-wilson-society-logo-jan-2017-1.jpg

Undergraduate Student Emerging Scholars Panel:
August Wilson Society 2020 Colloquium 

August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented
August Wilson African American Cultural Center
980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
March 12 – 15, 2020

Submissions Due: November 1, 2019
Notification for Accepted Submissions: December 1, 2019 

The August Wilson Society (AWS) seeks essay submissions for its 2020 Biennial Colloquium Undergraduate Student Emerging Scholars Panel. Papers may consider any topic related to August Wilson studies.

A total of three submissions will be selected for the panel. Each panelist will have fifteen minutes to deliver their paper. Additionally, papers will receive critical feedback during the session from a select panel of scholars. Submissions are welcome from anyone currently enrolled in an undergraduate program.

The highest quality papers will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Originality
  2. Quality of writing
  3. Quality of research
  4. Critical and/or theoretical approach

Submissions should be 7-8 pages in length, double-spaced, 12 pt., Times New Roman font. Please use either Chicago or MLA style citations.

All submissions must include your name, paper title, school affiliation, and contact information (telephone number and email address).

E-mail your completed essay submission as an MSWord attachment to augustwilson2020@gmail.com.Please type “AWS Undergraduate Panel BTA Emerging Scholars Panel” in the subject heading.

Pedro Alvarado & Chelsea Adams
August Wilson Society Undergraduate Colloquium Coordinators



Inaugural Edition of the August Wilson Journal Published on June 21, 2019

Mural 5 cropped avatarBy Michael Downing

I’m happy to announce that the inaugural edition of the August Wilson Journal has been published (officially, on June 21, 2019).

The August Wilson Journal is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online scholarly journal, promoting the study, teaching, and performance of Mr. Wilson’s work.

The journal invites scholarship on August Wilson, including literary analyses, biographical research, performance studies, historical research, interviews, bibliography, notes, and book/performance reviews.  All critical approaches welcomed.  Submissions will be judged by acknowledged experts.

Material may be submitted directly via the journal website.  Simply create an account and initiate a new submission as an author.

Audio and video submissions are encouraged and will be considered.  Works of verse, drama, or fiction will not be published.

Send questions to the editors care of:

Michael Downing

This project is a culmination of more than four years and approximately 1,000 hours of work.  Thanks to the publisher, the University of Pittsburgh, for their unceasing support.  Thanks, also, to the team of authors, reviewers, advisers, and supporters.

Click here to view the issue.

Click here to visit the journal’s front page and see the call for papers.

Slide Show for American Literature Association May 2019: Boston

Open Access Publishing: Pros, Cons, Pitt, and the August Wilson Journal

Click here for PDF.

August Wilson House Celebrates Playwright’s 74th Birthday

$1M Donation from Richard King Mellon Foundation Helps August Wilson House

By Catherine Minnick
Contributing Writer

august-wilson-block-party 2019

On Saturday, April 27, the August Wilson House and Pittsburgh Hill District held their fourth annual block party honoring August Wilson’s birthday. The block party was presented by Dollar Bank and sponsored by 17 local organizations and companies within the community.

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the playwright and to enjoy the nice weather.

Jordan Snowden of Pittsburgh City Paper reported that there was a record number of attendees at the block party.

The celebrations closed Bedford Avenue from Manilla Street to Ledlie Street for over 115 vendors and food trucks. Live music and performances by various organizations in the community also participated.

To top off all the engaging events, a large donation was given to the August Wilson House. The Richard King Mellon Foundation, which has been preserving and protecting SouthWestern PA heritage since the 1940s, donated $1 million to help with the restoration of Wilson’s house, something that has been in the works for over a decade.

“We are deeply grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for their support and their belief in our project and our vision,” said Wilson’s nephew, Paul Ellis Jr.

Ellis currently owns the August Wilson House and has also founded the nonprofit Daisy Wilson Artist Community, so named after Wilson’s mother. The Daisy Wilson Artist Community was founded to begin efforts to preserve the playwright’s home and the large donation will help realize that goal.

One of Wilson’s desires while still living was that he wanted to contribute back to the community. He wanted his home to help others.

“He wanted it to be useful to people,” said Rob Pfaffmann, an architect who owns the firm Pfaffmann + Associates.

He and his company have drawn up the blueprints for renovations of the house. The donation is a step towards preserving the August Wilson House and keeping the spirit and life-goals of Wilson still strong.

Also at the block party, a children’s area was in front of Wilson’s childhood home that had events like face painting, an ice cream truck, and a foam party from Radioactive Events Center Inc. Children and adults played around in the foam with it reaching two feet high in some spots.

Studio Capezzuti of Pittsburgh was present with a dozen life-size puppets that visitors could interact and dance with. The mobile glass blowing hot wheels of Pittsburgh Glass Center also held live demos of the craft while at the block party.

The block party ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Dollar Bank Main Stage, located in the middle of the closed block, held hourly contests and a lip sync battle. Kiki Brown, from radio station WAMO, won the battle and the trophy belt with her performance of the song “Diva” by Beyoncé.

Other performances at the Dollar Bank stage included Baby JWay, Brothamans, DJ Selecta, Friendz of Funk, L.O.S., Ibeji Drum Ensemble, Gallo Locknez, Kanti Kasa, One Harmony, Rudolph Strothers, Nia Dance Ensemble, and Sheila Beasley. Roland Ford, a well known soul line dancer and instructor, was also present for the celebrations

August Wilson Journal Call for Papers, Part 2 (October 2018)

Mural 5 cropped avatarBy Mike Downing

I thought I would recycle this announcement, now that six months have passed…

The August Wilson Journal released its initial call for papers this past April.  Material has been coming in steadily and we are aiming to publish our first edition in the second half of 2019.

Participation is encouraged.  We seek subscribers, as well as authors.  If you are interested in subscribing to this open source, online publication, please visit the website and create an account by clicking on the “Register” tab on the navigation bar and fill in the blanks.  If you want to register as an author, please check the author box on the registration page.

After the first issue, the deadline will be rolling and we will publish as submissions allow.

Detailed information on submissions, the editorial team, contact information, and journal policies are all available on the journal website.

The website is here: augustwilson.pitt.edu.

The Call for Papers is here.

Note: Pitt is the official publisher and will not allow your contact information to be used for anything but journal business.  The editors fully support this.  You don’t have to worry about spam from us; just journal business.

You may also want to check a summary blog post, available here.

If you have questions, please contact me through the journal website.  Thanks for your interest.

The August Wilson Author Society of the American Literature Association Releases its Call for Papers for Boston Conference (ALA CFP 2019)

2013 ALA panel on August Wilson: Marian Wolbers, Larry Glasco, Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, Michael Downing (l-r)

By Mike Downing

The August Wilson Author Society of the American Literature Association has released its Call for Papers for the upcoming conference in Boston in May 2019.

The CFP is available here: ala-august-wilson-cfp-2019 (1)

Harry Elam, Jr. Article from 2017 Related to Wilson’s ‘The Ground on Which I Stand’

By Mike Downing

Came across this article by Harry Elam Jr. the other day and wanted to post the link.