Posted by Michael Downing
Original press release

The August Wilson Society 2020 Biennial 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.

Since its founding in Spring 2006, the August Wilson Society (AWS) has steadily pushed to increase awareness of August Wilson and to expand the conversation surrounding his important contributions to both the African-American literary tradition and cultural discourse at large.  Arguably, Wilson lived his own life on the margins and formulated an aesthetic of resistance that pushes back against stereotypes and that valorizes once victimized depictions of African Americans.

… And yet, despite impressive advances in August Wilson Studies, so much of Wilson’s life, work, and legacy remain on the margins—understudied and underrepresented.  Organizers of the August Wilson Society’s 2020 Colloquium, August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented, seek to remedy this and, in t

he processpush August Wilson Studies into unchartered areas that, thus far, have been either treated tangentially or completely neglected. AWS invites proposals for panels, roundtables, individual papers, workshops, and other presentations that focus upon topics currently considered to be “on the margins.”

August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented will build upon previous AWS national gatherings and explore an even wider range of voices and topics from artists, grade school educators, high school students, community leaders, activists, and academics. Directors, actors, dramaturgs, historians, educators, scholars, politicians, and poets are especially welcomed!


Interested participants might consider the following suggested list of topics—or some modification thereof: Wilson  as (Political) Activist; Wilson on Religion; Wilson and the Blues; Dramaturgs, Dramaturgy, and Dramaturging Wilson’s Drama; Designing and Tech(ing) Wilson: Lighting, Scenic, Costume, Projections, Etc. ; Wilson around the World: Diaspora, Transnationalism, and Globalization; Wilson and Feminism/Womanism; Queer, Quare, and Querying Wilson’s Oeuvre; Integrating Wilson into High School Curricula; Wilson and/as Critical Black Pedagogy; Wilson’s Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Relationships; Wilson and (African-American) Foodways; Young Actors and Wilson; Wilson’s Relationship to Visual/Fine Arts; Wilson and His Insights into Cultures across Geographic Spaces; Wilson as Literary Forebear; How I Learned What I Learned: August Wilson and the Power of Art. Explorations outside of these topics are also welcomed.

Potential participants must submit a 250- to 500-word proposal detailing how the planned project engages with the colloquium theme, as well as a brief biographical statement (no more than three sentences in length) for each participant.

Proposals should be sent to under the heading “colloquium submission”

Inquiries should be address to Khalid Y. Long, AWS Vice President and Colloquium Chair.

Deadline for Proposals:September 16, 2019

Notifications for Accepted Proposals:No later than October 29, 2019

Constanza Romero to Attend Upcoming August Wilson Society Event

By Michael Downing
(from press releases)

The August Wilson Society has received confirmation that Constanza Romero, August Wilson’s widow, will stop by Howard University on September 19 to offer remarks at the August Wilson Society’s VIP Reception and Fundraiser in support of the August Wilson Society and the launch of the August Wilson’s Ground Lecture Series.

To register for “Cornbread, Biscuits, and Coca-Cola: Foods and Food Practices in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle Plays,” click here.

Constanza Romero has served as the literary executor of the estate of August Wilson since 2005. Countless works by the late playwright have been produced nationally and abroad under Romero’s guidance.

As a producer, Romero helmed the Manhattan Theater Club’s Broadway production of JITNEY, in 2017, and Broadway’s FENCES, in 2010. Both won Tony Awards for Best Revival. With the release of Wilson’s FENCES as a major motion picture in 2017, Romero served as a key participant speaker with the film’s promotional screening tour and facilitated conversations about Mr Wilson with stars Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.

Ms. Romero’s costume for the character Aunt Ester in GEM OF THE OCEAN can be viewed along with other Wilson memorabilia at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In another important step toward building and protecting August Wilson’s literary legacy, Romero has finished collecting the materials for August Wilson’s archives for future residence in a research library.

As a costume designer, Ms. Romero’s Broadway credits include THE MOUNTAIN TOP, FENCES (Tony Nomination), GEM OF THE OCEAN (Tony Nomination), SEVEN GUITARS, and THE PIANO LESSON.

She resides in Seattle with her daughter Azula Romero Wilson, finding time to practice her other passion, creating poster art for theaters and other non-profit organizations.

August Wilson Society
2400 6th St NW
WashingtonDC 20059-0001