Global Black Writers in Translation

Series edited by Vanessa K. Valdés (CCNY), Annette Joseph-Gabriel (Duke), Nathan H. Dize (WUSTL)

The Global Black Writers in Translation series will publish a variety of texts by authors of African descent translated from their source languages into English. The goal is to amplify a body of writing that introduces anglophone readers to the range and complexity of Black literary and cultural production, history, and political thought. Each book will include critical front matter that highlights the translator’s craft and the enduring value of the work. When appropriate, titles will be published as bilingual editions to foster cross-linguistic conversation.

The series will expand existing literary canons and stretch them beyond their current national, geographic, and linguistic limits to foreground global diasporic Black writers. In addition, the series aims to increase the number of Black translators, addressing their historic underrepresentation in the field. Finally, the series will make translated literature written by historically marginalized groups more accessible to readers from all backgrounds, with an emphasis on potential classroom use.

The series editors are eager to assemble a range of texts that explore the full spectrum of Black life and expression. Although expansive in geographic and temporal scope, what unifies the varied texts that will be a fit for the series is their centering of Black experiences. Books that undertake the following are particularly welcome:

  • Works that expand our current understanding of a specific place or community through alternative modes of storytelling
  • Works that explore under-examined topics such as Black childhood
  • Works that take up urgent intellectual and political questions such as climate, the environment, gender, liberation, sexuality etc. from a Black perspective.

Potential genres for Global Black Writers in Translation proposals

  • Poetry
  • Life-writing
  • Topical essays
  • Fiction (including children’s books and YA fiction)
  • Graphic novels
  • Novellas and short stories
  • Plays

Submission guidelines for prospective authors

Submissions should include a cover letter that:

  • Identifies the work and offers an overview of its publication history
  • Summarizes the work and briefly discusses its reach and relevance in the original language, its potential interest for an English language audience, and its fit for the series
  • Indicates whether the rights are available for World English or the United States and provides contact information for the rights holder
  • Includes brief biographies of both the author and the translator
  • Includes the translator’s CV

Submissions should also include a 10- to 20-page writing sample that is representative of the work’s narrative style, literary quality, and engagement with the theme of this book series.

The series also welcomes partnerships with existing foreign-language publishers who maintain lists in Black diasporic writing, especially those working on the African continent. Questions about the series can be directed to Gianna Mosser, Director, Vanderbilt University Press, [email protected].

About the Editors

Vanessa K. Valdés is the author and editor of six books, all of which center the cultural and intellectual production of Black peoples in the Atlantic world. She serves as the Associate Provost for Community Engagement at The City College of New York.

Annette Joseph-Gabriel is the John Spencer Bassett Associate Professor of Romance Studies and associate professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire, translated as Imaginer la liberation: Des femmes noires face à l’empire.

Nathan H. Dize is an assistant professor of French at Washington University in Saint Louis. He has published translations of fiction, poetry, and prose from French and Haitian Creole by acclaimed Haitian writers Jean D’Amérique, Kettly Mars, James Noël, Makenzy Orcel, Évelyne and Lyonel Trouillot, among others.