Burnaway Announces Editorial Themes and Call for Proposals

By March 16, 2020

Burnaway invites proposals for long-form essays, features, and artist projects tied to three editorial themes that will organize the magazine’s publishing activities for the remainder of 2020.

Building on our commitment to publishing thoughtful, rigorous writing on contemporary art in the South today, Burnaway will expand the magazine by producing long-form articles on three themes annually. Stories, artist projects, and other media related to each theme will be published simultaneously throughout the year in order to produce a cohesive inquiry into aspects of Southern culture and life. As Burnaway is a primarily digital publication, these editorial themes will provide an opportunity to experiment with approaches to online publishing and shake off the chronological and fixed nature of print magazines. We invite our readers and contributors to submit proposals through June 1, 2020.

Want to help bring these stories to life? Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Burnaway’s editorial program today.

Focused on Exurbs and the Rural, the first editorial theme seeks to investigate the distinctive cultural situation of artists and residents in the rural South and parse the fluctuating boundaries between cities, the exurbs, and the rural. As the dynamics of gentrification displace historically urban-dwelling communities from Southern cities into less centralized settings, how are artists and their allies raising questions about the suburbanization of poverty? What roles can art-making and criticism play in clarifying and countering reductive or instrumentalized representations of rural life?

The second editorial theme, Waterways / Water Wars, examines water as a natural resource and cultural reference in the South, acknowledging the geological, historical, and political importance of waterways in the region—particularly the Mississippi River, but also along the Gulf South and Atlantic coast. While neighboring states engage in lengthy disputes over legal rights to rivers and reservoirs, coastal cities and communities face the increasingly dramatic and devastating effects of the climate crisis. In such a volatile moment, how has water become—in addition to being a vital, life-giving resource—a symbol of division, danger, and dispossession?

States of Leisure, the third and final editorial theme for this year, explores fantasies of the Southern landscape as they relate to notions of leisure and recreation. The dominant economies of several Southern cities—Nashville, Miami, New Orleans—are built on extractive tourism industries that exaggerate and profit from certain cultural fantasies, whether country music, the Caribbean, or Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street. The region is also home to the country’s most popular national park, as well as amusement parks such as Dollywood and Six Flags, and the sites of former plantations that have lately drawn attention for their use as wedding venues. How are these disparate phenomena connected through the proximity and shared history of the Southern landscape?

Burnaway will continue to publish exhibition reviews, the To Do List, monthly Call for Artists, News-in-Brief, and other regularly produced articles.

To submit, please send a brief proposal by email Burnaway’s editor at [email protected].

Proposals should be for long-form 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.

Related Stories