anansi“A Is for Anansi: Africa, the Future, and the Urban Landscape,the second conference hosted by the Institute of African American Affairs, aims to deepen and diversify the cannon, conversation and scholarship of the literature as told by its most influential critics, scholars, teachers and producers. The need for more in-depth analysis and for more information, critical evaluation, and publications on this topic still remain. The conference will look at these and consider other questions and issues as well.

Free and open to the public. Space is limited.

Please RSVP at (212) 998-IAAA (4222)

For more information please visit:

Book Sales & Rare Books Display

Youth Performance by Impact Repertory Theatre

Participants include:

Michelle H. Martin (University of South Carolina)

Nancy D. Tolson  (Author/Scholar)

William Loren Katz (Author)

Meena Khorana (Morgan State University)

Varian Johnson (Author)

Deborah Menkart (Teaching for Change)

Christine Taylor-Butler (Author)

Georgina Falu (City College of New York-CUNY)

Kathleen T. Horning (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Zetta Elliott (Author/Borough of Manhattan Community College-CUNY)

Nnedi Okorafor (Author/Chicago State University)

Vicky Smith (Kirkus Reviews)

Stacy Whitman (Tu Books, Lee & Low Books)

Ivan Velez, Jr. (Planet Bronx Productions/DC Comics/Marvel)

Tony Medina (Author, Howard University)

Coe Booth (Author)

Terry Williams (New School for Social Research)

K.C. Boyd (Wendell Phillips Academy High School)

Rashidah Ismaili (Poet/Educator)

Elana Denise Anderson (PhD candidate, Howard University)

Vivian Yenika-Agbaw (Penn State University)

Anika  Selhorst (City Lore)

Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Author/New York University)

Katharine Capshaw Smith (University of Connecticut)

Ashley Bryan (Author/Artist)

Pat Cummings, (Author/Artist)

Eloise Greenfield (Poet/Author)



Friday, November 9th, 2012 – Opening Reception

6-6:30 pm

● Opening KEYNOTE

6:30-8:00 pm

Perceptions and Realities:  When Color Blinds and Reveals

Perceptions of how notions of whiteness/blackness, both implicit and implied, are presented and their effects. Borrowing a page from Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark, whiteness and blackness in the literary imagination

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Registration – 9-9:30 am

9:30 – 11:00 am

Fantasy: The Final Frontier

The scarcity of fantasy/science-fiction books featuring children of African decent


11:00 – 12:30 pm

Children/Youth panel:   “If I Ruled the World” (tentative title)

As a teacher / publisher / writer / reader how they see themselves in the world and how they are depicted. If they were in control and in power/what would they teach, assign to read, defending it why and why not.

Lunch – 12:30 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 3:00 pm

Urban Landscape: Stories for a Global World, Realism and Dominant Images

The lure of urban life and culture, its offerings and sacrifices. What the urban landscape does to the literature and vice versa. How the black urban experience is interpreted and reimagined. How does dwindling rural development and shifts to urban landscapes fragment and reconstruct lives and cultural retentions?

3:00 – 4:30 pm

Africa Imagined

“What is Africa to me” remains a fundamental question in all Africana studies. How African culture is identified, constructed in the literature.

4:30 – 5:00 pm


5:00 PM


Tribute to Ashley Bryan, Pat Cummings, William Loren Katz, and Eloise Greenfield