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

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