The second day of the CAAP conference in Wuhan reversed the order of the previous day, with concurrent sessions starting early (8:10 AM) followed by plenary sessions in the afternoon. I went to the ethnic lit sessions first thing, where I heard work on Derek Walcott (this by Elizabeth Eck, visiting from the USA on a mini-Fulbright), Ralph Ellison, Nuyorican Poetry, Sherley Anne Williams, John Edgar Wideman, Rita Dove, Toni Morrison, Chicano Poetry, Nadine Gordimer, etc. As you can see from this list, the conference was not entirely restricted to poetry, and the list of topics very much reflects what we might find at your average literature conference in the U.S.A. It did strike me that the Wideman paper was on the earlier novel The Lynchers, and that there was a paper on debates on African American literary theory, both topics often missing from U.S. conferences. The Chinese follow a different panel organization model from what we are used to in America; some panels had as many as eight presenters.
The afternoon offered two plenary sessions. During the first, I presented a portion of my continuing work on Umbra poet Lloyd Addison, as a case study in recovery of African American avant gardes. I was joined on that panel by my old friend Yunte Huang, addressing the soundscape of American poetry, and conference organizer Luo Linaggong, who spoke on sound in the work of Sonia Sanchez. (Following the conference I was able to send Professor Luo a photo I took of Sonia Sanchez wearing the Chinese jacket he had presented to her during his residency in Philadelphia.) The response to our papers came from Youngmin Kim, who I had met at one of the American poetry conferences at the University of Maine. After a tea break, the second plenary brought papers from John Zheng (who teaches in the U.S.A.), Akitoshi Nagahata, who spoke about a posthumous collection of works by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Zhang Yuejun. The conference closed out with a ceremony and banquet, much toasting with "spirits" at all tables -- but that was not the end. Several scholars were staying over for further lectures to the CCNU grad students.