The Toni Morrison Society is pleased to announce the return of its Biennial Conference Series. The Society’s Seventh Biennial Conference, “Toni Morrison and her Role as Editor”, co-sponsored by Alfred A. Knopf, will focus on Morrison’s work during her nearly twenty years at Random House. During her tenure there, Toni Morrison shepherded the works of a new generation of Black authors and championed, as in-house editor, one of the most significant collections of Black life artifacts ever published, The Black Book. As Senior Editor, Ms. Morrison set an agenda for Black writing in the 70s and 80s and shaped a role for Black editors, which continues to resonate as the ideal in the publishing world today.
This year’s program features a format of all Plenary Sessions: Keynote Speakers, Plenary Panels, and Discussion Roundtables led by Principal Discussants. [For more information about official participation in the Conference as a Principal Discussant click here]. The Plenary Panels will focus on many aspects of Morrison’s editing career: how she became an editor and how she viewed her role; her impact on the authors whose work she edited; her work on The Black Book, and the ways in which her editing career influenced her own writing; and how her editing career continues to influence the work of younger writers who are navigating the contours of today’s publishing landscape. Roundtable Discussions led by Principal Discussants follow each Plenary Panel.
The Seventh Biennial will also include the Authors’ and Editors’ Luncheon, a gala celebration honoring Ms. Morrison’s 85th birthday, and the twentieth Bench by the Road Placement at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Conference presenters include keynote addresses by Dana Williams, Professor of English at Howard University and Chris Jackson, Executive Editor at Spiegel and Grau, and plenary panels composed of writers, scholars, and critics: Edwidge Danticat, Angela Davis, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Paula Giddings, Tayari Jones, Kiese Laymon, John McCluskey, Howard Rambsy II, Martha Southgate, Quincy Troupe, and Cheryl Wall.
Please join us for what we know will be an exciting and informative conference that explores the impact and sustaining influence of Toni Morrison’s editing career.