Call for Contributions on the Works of Léon Gontran Damas

Dr. Hanétha Vété-Congolo (Bowdoin College) is calling for contributions for a “Léon Gontran Damas: A Thorough Negritude,” a special issue of Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afro-Latinoamericanos, as a tribute to the poet on the 100th anniversary of his birth in early 2012.

Description: Born on March, 28th, 1912, the Martinico-Guyanese Négritude thinker and poet, Léon Gontran Damas, is the one the exponents of the transformative ideas of Négritude, who has been generally overlooked. Only a handful of academic analyses can be found on his writing and his contributions to Négritude. Yet, Damas is the very first one of the three thinkers and poets– Césaire, Damas, and Senghor–to have published works within the conceptual domain of Négritude. Additionally, the particularities of his writing—poetically and politically intense—are the elements that make Négritude a thorough revolutionary movement.

Aimé Césaire affirmed that, had Damas not imprinted his poems with his astoundingly incandescent power, his [Césaire’s] Notebook of a Return to my Native Land would probably never have been written. Explicitly entitled, “Pigments,” in the mid-thirties, Damas’ first collection of poetry was seized and banned by the French Administration.

To celebrate and commemorate Damas’s powerful creativity and thought, Dr. Vété-Congolo requests articles on his works in French, Spanish, English, or Portuguese. These peer-reviewed articles should follow the writing standards of the MLA and be no more than 30 pages long, double spaced (including footnotes and bibliography). Articles should be submitted electronically, no later than October 30, 2011, to mvete@bowdoin.edu.

For more information on Damas, see http://english.emory.edu/Bahri/Damas.html (in English) and http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ile.en.ile/paroles/damas.html (in French)

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