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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ralph Ellison at 100

Ralph Waldo Ellison cleverly narrated his visibility in the air that no one can see.

The 28th Annual MELUS Conference & The Ralph Ellison Centennial Symposium

March 6-9, 2014

Downtown Oklahoma City

Sponsored by Oklahoma City University

Going to the Territory: Cultural Geographies of Ethnic American Literature

In his essay “Going to the Territory” (1980), Ralph Ellison wrote that “[i]n the United States all social barriers are vulnerable to cultural styles.” This was so, Ellison recalled, even in the Oklahoma of his youth, where many arenas of public and private life were racially segregated. Although black Oklahomans lived under conditions of “social and political unfreedom,” they enjoyed more than a little cultural freedom: the freedom to give to, take from, and adapt other U.S. and world cultures.

Please join us as the 28th Annual MELUS Conference brings together scholars and creative writers to answer some of the questions raised by Ellison’s essay. How have “social barriers” shaped culture in the U.S.? In what particular ways have ethnic literary cultures crossed social barriers in particular locales and regions, or in the nation at large? And how have these crossings transformed regional, national, and global cultures?

The deadline for proposals has passed. All presenters, chairs, and moderators must be members of MELUS. Membership information can be found on the MELUS website at

Confirmed Speakers include:

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (off-site event, transportation provided)

Todd Bryant Weeks
Poets Joy Harjo and Joe Nevaquaya
Danielle Allen
Phyllis Bernard
Adam Bradley
Al Brophy
Robert O’Meally
Arnold Rampersad
Amrijit Singh
Eric Sundquist
Steven Tracy
Cheryl Wall
Kenneth Warren

MELUS 2014 / Ralph Ellison Centennial Symposium Conference Site: The Historic Skirvin Hotel
1 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Tel: 405-272-3040

Hilton Online Reservation
$149/night [discount rate]

Deadline for conference rate rooms: February 3, 2014
Early conference registration deadline: Feb. 1, 2014
To register, please follow this link:

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