CFP for Southern Cultures issue: Inheritance

Katharine Henry Discussion

Call for Papers

Southern Cultures: Inheritance

Guest Editor: Malinda Maynor Lowery (Emory University)


Southern Cultures, the award-winning, peer-reviewed quarterly from UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South, encourages submissions from scholars, writers, and artists for a special issue, Inheritance, to be published Fall 2022. We will accept submissions for this issue through October 18, 2021, at .


The Fall 2022 issue grapples with inheritances: personal, familial, communal, national, and global, as well as political, social, cultural, economic, legal, and intellectual. “Inheritance” invites a multi-generational perspective on an object, a story, an archive, or other memento (broadly defined) that remains with us. Inheritances can be tied to place or to people whose identities are, by force or by choice, separated from their geographic locations of origin. Whatever their origin, we recognize that inheritances are cultural constructs and therefore matters to be reckoned with—to be challenged and critiqued—rather than left unquestioned. We seek submissions that explore what we have inherited, how, and from whom. As contributors reveal, define, and engage with inheritances, we invite them to reflect on what we bring forward and what we must leave behind; what we have reckoned with and the consequences of failing to reckon.


What might inheritance and reckoning mean for social movements? What events, which communities, and which ethical frameworks are missing from these conversations? Among many important approaches to “Inheritance,” the lived experience of Indigenous people in the American and global Souths informs the issue’s reflections on place, identity, and origin. In particular, we seek works that help us define and measure efforts to reckon with the facts, truths, myths, and stereotypes about Indigenous people that we have inherited. Works that recognize the presence of Indigenous peoples in today’s social movements and solidarities are of special interest in this moment and for our future. Reckoning must precede collaboration and reconciliation. There are consequences when Indigenous people are erased from the discussions of solidarity, allyship, identity, and belonging, and when they are relegated to the margins of American political systems and political philosophies. We invite submissions that center Indigenous people as long-standing stakeholders in the region and the nation, rather than as objects of remembrance or inheritance for scholars to study.


Submitters should imagine how the subject of their work might address questions about labor, gender, class, race, ethnicity, social movements, and related topics for undergraduate students as well as members of Southern Cultures’s broad readership. Essays and creative works for this issue will seek especially to engage undergraduate readers with interests including the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, environmental sciences, health, law, and government.  We envision essays that are grounded in the specifics of experience and community by authors who design accessible work. Our society stands to benefit from young people who fully understand all that they inherit, and when and how they can create an inheritance for others.


Submissions can explore any aspect of the theme, and we welcome explorations 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 explore might include (but are not limited to):


  • What constitutes an authentic reckoning with intersectional identities in the US and Global South today?
  • What histories and origin stories must we know to recognize and reckon with the complexity of America’s political, social, and cultural palette?
  • How does Indigeneity get defined, historically and in the present day, in the South and the nation?
  • How do the experiences of Indigenous peoples in the United States resonate with those in the global South?
  • What reckoning must we undertake to understand and act upon calls to decolonize?
  • Where do concepts like “nation,” “sovereignty,” “territory,” and/or “federal recognition” succeed, and where do they fail to support the human and civil rights of the people of Native nations and settler nations?
  • How do Indigenous epistemologies reshape ways of belonging crafted through oral history, material culture, foodways, music, and literature?
  • How are relationships to place fundamental to our definitions of belonging?
  • What happens when we are separated from our places of birth or origin?
  • Why do origins matter? Should they?
  • Unexpected alliances and accidental or spontaneous protests
  • Family secrets and ghost stories
  • Adoption, alienation, and reconnection
  • Success and failure in reckoning and reconciliation
  • Genealogies of heritage, culture, wealth, and thought
  • Legal precedents and their impacts


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. Those whose institutions subscribe to Project Muse can read past issues for free via To read our current issue, access our submission guidelines, or browse our content, please visit us online at