Call for Papers: Home

Home (Fall 2024)

Guest Editors: Rhon Manigault-Bryant and Blair LM Kelley

Deadline for Submissions: February 12, 2024

Southern Cultures encourages submissions from scholars, writers, and artists for a special issue, Home, to be published Fall 2024. We will accept submissions for this issue through February 12, 2024. This issue, the capstone to the journal’s thirtieth anniversary, will explore home as a place that many of us seek, a place that is always “there,” or a place to which we may wish to return. We will accept submissions through February 12, 2024.

Contemporary works of literature, anthropology, religious studies, geography, sociology, and history have readily explored the ways that notions of home are laid bare in the archives, records, wills, oral histories, Bibles, tall tales, and community narratives. This work is complicated for people of the American South, a region where notions of home are never simple and where, for some, the red clay of home is always intermingled with the blood of our ancestors.

What is the meaning of home? What image does “home” evoke: A house? A backyard? A tree? A place of worship? Mountains? Fields? Countryside? Cityscape? Temporary Shelter? A photograph? A text? A graveyard? An ancestor? Trauma? Sanctuary? Nostalgia? Return?

Home holds dualities and contradictions: celebration and lament; threat and safety; disaster and sanctuary; stability and mobility; ownership (heirs’ property) and displacement (gentrification, climate catastrophes); rootedness and migration; steadiness and instability; happy reunions and complicated returns.

We are seeking critical reflections of home that invoke the necessity of grounding in place, understanding that while the meanings of home are myriad (and both universal and discrete), the word home, as a concept, invokes something for everyone. What does home mean for a particular community in a particular place? How do we understand our home in relation, and perhaps opposition, to communities near and far? How have understandings of home changed sociohistorically, amid globalization, climate catastrophe, and shifting geographies? What is it to make a home? What is it to be unhoused/homeless/landless? How have our conceptions of home shifted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Submissions can explore any topic or idea related to the theme, and we welcome investigations of the region in the forms Southern Cultures publishes: scholarly articles, memoir (first-person or collective), interviews, surveys, photo and art essays, and shorter feature essays.

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

  • Interrogations of genealogy
  • Intersections of self, family, and geography
  • Explorations of the power of collective return
  • Questions of land holding, land rites (rights), and land ownership
  • The complications of home in the afterlives of slavery, lynching, racial massacres, segregation, and violence/hate crimes against religious and ethnic groups
  • Surprising intersections of home in the past and present
  • The unexpected elements that invoke home
  • The pageantry of homecoming and homegoing
  • Street performance, grandeur, and fashion as remembrances of home

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. For full submissions guidelines, please click here.

Header image by John M. Hall, Home of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer from “Sacred Spaces.”
Loose Leaf