Thinking Its Presence: Race and Creative Writing Conference @ U Montana

thinking_presenceIn Spring 2014 the University of Montana will host an inaugural conference, which we hope may be held annually, moving to other academic institutions after two years on the UM campus. The conference will examine innovative creative writing and scholarship that rethinks the complex, inseparable links between literary forms and the racialized thinking, processes, and histories that have shaped this country since its founding. The title of this inaugural conference comes from scholar Dorothy Wang’s forthcoming book Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry (Stanford University Press, 2013). Wang's book makes the larger case "that aesthetic forms are inseparable from social, political, and historical contexts when it comes to the writing and reception of poetry." For the conference and for cross-genre purposes, we extended this theme to the genre of prose, and welcomed papers and readings to which this and similar critical examinations apply. We hope the conference addresses the relative paucity of discussions on the topic of race and creative writing in the academy in general, and within MFA programs and institutions like AWP in particular, and that the panels and readings will bring to the discipline and teaching of creative writing perspectives from critical race theory, poetics, performance studies, literary theory, ethnic literature, and Native American and Indigenous studies.

In addition to Wang we will feature poets and writers Meena Alexander, Sherwin Bitsui, Benedicte Boisseron, Kimiko Hahn, John Keene, Jess Row, Kathryn Shanley, Carmen Giménez Smith, Lehua M. Taitano, Lois Welch, as well as many other established writers and scholars.

Register here.

Please consider donating—help us make this an annual event that brings this important discussion to institutions across the country.


Keynote Speaker

Dorothy Wang is an Associate Professor in the American Studies Program and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature Program at Williams College. Her main areas of research are twenty-first and twentieth-century English poetry and poetics, avant-garde minority writing, Asian American poetry, and Anglophone Chinese diasporic literature.

Featured Speakers

John Keene | Sherwin Bitsui | Jess Row | Kimiko Hahn | Meena Alexander | Kathryn Shanley

Confirmed Speakers

Meena Alexander | Minerva Allen | Theodore Van Alst | Mildred Barya | Lillian-Yvonne Bertram | Sherwin Bitsui |  Benedicte Boisseron | Catherine Brady | Tisa Bryant | Melissa Buzzeo | Heather Cahoon | Monty Campbell, Jr. | Teresea Carmody | Don Mee Choi | Teresa Mei Chuc | Rachel Cruz | Brett DeFries | David James Duncan | Biswamit Dwibedy | Ben Doller | Sandra Doller | Debra Earling | Samuel Enemy-Hunter | Elizabeth Eslami | Tarfia Faizullah | Sandy Florian | Todd Fredson | Racquel Goodison | Sarah Richards Graba | David Micah Greenberg |  Eric M. Gutierrez | Kimiko Hahn | Quan Ha | Becca Hall | Jenny Gropp Hess | Lily Hoang | Anna Maria Hong |  Aillish Hopper | Jan Johnson | Angelica Lawson | Ella Longpre | Tamara Love | John Keene | Katie Kane | Nicholas Karavatos | Nabil Kashyap | Joy Katz | John Keene | Ruth Ellen Kocher | Jordan Konkol | Youna Kwak | Rosemary Madero |  Marta Mancelos |  Damien-Adia Marassa | Farid Matuk | Darcy Medicine Horse | Tiffany Meiwald | Monica Mody | Caitie Moore | David Moore |  Tracie Morris | Alicia Mountain | Sterling Holy White Mountain |  Carrie Ojanen | Amy Ratto-Parks | Rae Paris | Michelle Naka Pierce | Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey | Santee Ross | Jess Row | Metta Sama | Candie Sanderson | Susan Scarlata | Kathryn Shanley | Aja Mujinga Sherrard | Andrew Smith | Carmen Giménez Smith | M.L. Smoker | Asta So | B.J. Soloy | Gregory Spatz | Neda Spotted Wolf | Christopher Stackhouse | Dylan Suagee | Abby Sun | Vera Brunner-Sung, | Brooke Swaney | Ellie Swenson, | Lehua M. Taitano | Tess Taylor | Karena Youtz | Sarah Vap | Michel Valentin | Dorothy Wang | Elissa Washuta | Lois Welch | Diana Xin | Magdalena Zurawski

Register here.