Saturday, October 15, 2011
October 15-16, 2011: Information, Please
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, one of my main ongoing gigs these days is as a scholar-advisor to the American Writers Museum, and specifically to the museum’s NEH proposal for a traveling exhibition; that means that one of my main jobs for the next month or so is to produce a revised narrative for that proposal and exhibition, which are now focused on contemporary/21st century immigrant American writers. Of course I have some ideas about writers on whom we could focus, and I’ve been able to recruit a number of exceptional scholars who are likely to have even better and more interesting such ideas. But since I believe writing and thinking go best, especially at the early stages, when they’re as communal as possible, and since my readers here are clearly among the most discerning AmericanStudiers out there, I wanted to ask for your input as well.
So I ask you: are there contemporary (read: 1990s to the present) immigrant writers—which doesn’t have to mean first generation necessarily, but probably first or second generation, meaning either the writer or his or her parents immigrated; although somebody whose immigrant roots go back further but who writes about questions of immigration and identity in central ways could work too—you think are worth our collective awareness, attention, response? I’d love to hear your thoughts on folks whose works or styles, themes or voices, or for other reasons stand out for you, and would be great possible focal points for this traveling exhibition and the audiences we hope to bring to it (in at least a handful of cities around the country, from mainstays like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles to newer urban hubs like Austin and Miami). Feel free to mention writers in comments here, or if you’d prefer you can email me suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise we’ll seriously consider any and all suggestions!Thanks, more next week,