Crafted (Spring 2022)
Deadline for Submissions: May 10, 2021
We seek submissions that examine artisanship and practices of making in the South, past and present. Our goal is to explore how and why things are made, the roles that place and materials play in design and process, and the social and political aims of makers. How do creators of material culture reclaim and reimagine objects, histories, and traditions? In what contexts—pop-up, co-op, studio, workshop, atelier, garage—are they producing and sharing their work?
We are centrally concerned with the ideas that people link to crafted things. Do the values that consumers attach to craftwork also motivate makers? As artisans shape, promote, critique, and mold a product’s reception, how are notions of the South marketed as well? Where, how, and why do makers engage with so-called lost arts?
Further, what questions and practices are important to those makers who wish to resist commodification and appropriation? How might stewardship of folk tradition respond to mass-marketing pressures? And what are the roles of makers operating outside models of capitalist production and consumption, creating work for their own use, pleasure, activism, or social engagement?
Finally, how do artists and artisans perceive projects in local, national, and global contexts? In what ways does art making, in its many expressions, (re)build connections among people? How has the digital age created new ways for makers to create and interact with publics? What might we see of the contrast between the analog and the digital through a considered look at craft and maker?
Submissions can explore any topic or theme, and we welcome investigations of the region in the forms Southern Cultures publishes: scholarly articles, memoir, interviews, surveys, photo essays, and shorter feature essays. Possible topics and questions to examine might include (but are not limited to):
- Recovery and reclamation of local industry and making practices
- Food and agriculture, including reclamation and sustainability
- “Faux folk,” kitsch, or cute objects (selling an idea of the South; aesthetics of “homemade,” “country”)
- Mending, repair, and the reuse ethos
- How-to manuals, cookbooks, and guidebooks (Foxfire and other southern-based publications)
- DIY print culture (prints, posters, zines, books, and comics)
- Music (independent record labels, underground cassettes, and CDs)
- Digital making and hacker culture
- Making as therapeutic or joyful
- Arts and crafts schools, cooperatives, or guilds
- Southern histories of craft cultures and movements
- Entrepreneurship, marketing, and independent business models (from craft fairs to Etsy to fair trade)
- Sewing, knitting, clothing, fabric arts, and questions of fashion
- The gendered language of craft (handicraft, artisanship, hobby, homemade, etc.)
- Objects and processes linked to identity groups
- Fetishizing craft, authenticity, handmade, or analog; local as status symbol
- Innovations in making
- How artisans have met the challenges of social isolation and economic insecurity in the pandemic era
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.