Special issue of Southern Cultures:
Art and Vision (Summer 2020)

Guest Edited by Teka Selman
Deadline for Submissions: September 23, 2019

Southern Cultures encourages submissions from scholars, writers, and artists for our special issue Art and Vision, to be published Summer 2020. We will be accepting submissions for this special issue through September 23, 2019 via Submittable.

We are seeking words and work that examine artistic expression in and about the South—the mediums, methods, and narratives that inform our perceptions of and desires for the region. What is the role of creativity in picturing the past, present, and future of a multifaceted region that has multiple times reinvented itself, that is ever-evolving?

The South has played a pivotal role in the the making of American culture, whether through countless cultural contributions in the form of blues and jazz and literature and culinary arts, or through the lasting and devastating aftereffects of slavery and segregation. What does it mean to make work in a place that is both reviled and revered? How have artists living in the South taken up the challenges of creating in a region whose visual output rarely receives the same level of attention and acclaim of the Northeast and West Coasts? What do artistic communities in the South look like? Could it be true that there is such a thing as “southern art” and, if not, how do visual artists from or working in the South complicate that notion? Who are the makers pushing forward new narratives and ideas across the region, and what do they have to say?

The art we create reveals attitudes about what the South is and means (or what we wish it were and meant). In can likewise act as an agent of understanding and debate, capable of fostering both empathy and chaos. We will explore the many complex ways that the visual arts envision the South; and how attitudes and ideas about the region manifest across a variety of media, styles, and expressions. In gathering and interpreting the art that southerners have created and are creating, this issue seeks to explore visions of the South that begin to imagine its pivotal role in an uncertain future.

Submissions can explore any topic or theme related to visual expression in the South, and we welcome explorations of the region in the forms Southern Cultures publishes: scholarly articles, memoir, interviews, surveys, photo essays, and shorter feature essays. We hope that submitters will interpret the idea of the visual South broadly.

Possible topics and questions to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to):

As Southern Cultures publishes digital content, we encourage creativity in coordinating print and digital materials in submissions and ask that authors submit any potential video, audio, and interactive visual content with their essay or introduction/artist’s statement. We encourage authors to gain familiarity with the tone, scope, and style of our journal before submitting.