Panel to discuss two new African-American literature anthologies

Three prominent writers will examine “African American Literature Today” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in Hurst Lounge.

The discussion — sponsored by the African & African American Studies Program and by the Center for the Humanities, both in Arts & Sciences — will focus on a pair of new anthologies, “Best African American Essays 2009” and “Best African American Fiction 2009,” both published by Bantam Books.

Panelists will include series editor Gerald Early, Ph.D., the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and director of the Center for the Humanities. Early will discuss the creation of the new volumes, which will be published annually.

Essayist and St. Louis native Debra J. Dickerson will speak on her role as guest editor of the “Essays” volume. Amina Gautier, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in English in Arts & Sciences and African and African American studies in 2008-09 and assistant professor at Saint Joseph’s University, will read her short story, “Dance for Me,” which was included in the “Fiction” volume by guest editor E. Lynne Harris.

“We expect this will be a compelling and varied presentation about the current state of African-American literature,” Early said, “helping the public to understand why an ongoing anthology series such as this can help strengthen the presence of black literature in the marketplace and in the academy.”

“African American Literature Today” is free and open to the public, though R.S.V.P.s are requested. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call 935-5576.