CFP: Reading Southern Art

Rachel Stephens's picture
Call for Papers
March 12, 2021
United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies

Call for papers:

Reading Southern Art



Naomi Slipp, Auburn University Montgomery

Rachel Stephens, University of Alabama


Recently, the art of the American South has received increased attention and scrutiny. Increasingly also, this subject has become one of serious study in the university, and several colleges now offer courses on the subject. Even so, book-length publications on the topic have been slow to develop. Taking our cue from a traditional classroom standard, Marianne Doezema and Elizabeth Milroy’s Reading American Art (Yale University Press, 1998), the editors seek proposals for short, critical readings about art in and of the American South (defined broadly), which will be combined into a collected peer-reviewed volume pitched at the undergraduate classroom and published by a reputable academic press. 


The editors take an expansive view of “the South” with regard to both geography and period and hope to foreground connections between and among regions, colonial and US territories, and nation states. This volume adopts a generous perspective of the individual states that comprise the American South, but also invites studies that examine the region more broadly including the fluctuating borderlines in the South and Southwest, colonial histories, US territorial interests, and narratives of American imperialism within the Caribbean basin. We seek a chronological range of papers from the period of early contact up through the present day and invite considerations of collecting and institutional histories and a diverse range of media, from traditional fine arts, to material and visual culture, ephemera, and architecture. The editors welcome contributions that adopt a range of methodological approaches—such as, critical race theory, feminism, cultural studies, visual and archival absence, ecocriticism, and queer theory—and which foreground the approach and theoretical underpinnings in order to encourage classroom discussion. Finally, we invite essays that attempt to decolonize the study of the American South, and acknowledge and critique the influences of settler colonialism, capitalism, “nationhood,” institutional racism, and patriarchy on the art of the region and its histories. 


  • We welcome proposals for essays of 5-7,500 words, inclusive of footnotes. 
  • Essays may be original unpublished material or versions of previously published scholarship, given that permission to reproduce is provided by the original publisher. 
  • Accepted authors will be responsible for securing high-resolution images and reproduction permissions (when necessary) for their figures. 


Please send an abstract of 500-word or less, plus a curriculum vitae – and/or address any questions – to both Naomi Slipp at and Rachel Stephens at Proposals should be received by March 12, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be given by late March. Manuscript drafts will be due September 30, 2021. 


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