The Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies and the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) will co-sponsor the 23rd annual MELUS Conference at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane, April 2-5.
Founded in 1973, MELUS endeavors to expand the definition of American literature through the study and teaching of Latino American, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American, and ethnically specific Euro-American literary works, their authors and their cultural contexts.
More than 100 scholars from around the world will convene to present scholarly works devoted to this year’s theme, “Poetic Justice: Imagination, Empowerment and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the U.S.”
Multi-ethnic literatures in the U.S. narrate the stories of individuals and peoples and illuminate flaws and potentials found in societies, nations, laws, ideologies and ideals like equality and freedom.
Presenters will address issues including ethnic identity formation and re-visioning, empowerment of marginalized populations in the U.S., oppression resistance, freedom, expression and social justice.
Michael Hames-Garcia, director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality Studies at the University of Oregon, will deliver the keynote address, “The Limits of Imagination: Mass Cultural Production, Race and the U.S. Prison Crisis,” at the noon luncheon on April 3.
Colleen Lye, associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, will present another keynote speech, “Ethnic Studies in Retrospect and Prospect,” on April 4 at the evening banquet.