Introducing Our 2021 Editorial Themes

Burnaway invites proposals for longform essays, features, and artist projects tied to three editorial themes that will organize the magazine’s publishing activities during 2021.

Stories, artist projects, and other media related to each theme will be published simultaneously throughout the year. We invite our readers and contributors to submit proposals through March 15, 2021.

Stories in Word of Mouth will focus on speech, dialects, multilingualism, and oral traditions across the American South, a region distinguished by the amount of attention its residents receive for the ways in which they speak. Through field recordings, folk songs, and other sonic forms, artists and others possess a vast archive for examining the dynamics between language, identity, and art.

Belief and Fiction seeks to address questions of spiritual and religious faith, artistic world-building, cultural enclaves, and historical narratives. As is perhaps best exemplified by the immersive environment of Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden, Southern artists have long grappled with the dual influences of their religious heritage and their own world-building impulses. Stories and artist projects in this series should explore relationships between belief and fiction, attempting to understand why and how we create narratives—cultural, religious, political, or otherwise—in order to navigate our lives.

Nodes and Networks will investigate the ways physical and digital systems, cultural intersections, and interconnected webs of information provide alternative models for understanding the South’s present, history, and future. From online communities and virtual forums, to artists’ current attempts to hack and recode cultural circuits, to exploring how algorithms have filtered human interaction, how can thinking of our world in networked terms change our understanding of the past and interrupt our assumptions about the future?

To submit, please send a brief proposal by email to Burnaway’s editor-in-chief at [email protected]

Proposals should be for longform essays, interviews, experimental art criticism, artist projects, or other ambitious forms of writing about art. Though we will continue to publish exhibition reviews, we will not be accepting pitches for reviews related to these themes. Proposals should include two samples of previous writing.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to accommodate all proposals and please note we may not be able to send responses to each pitch received.