CFP: Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, “Under Fire” section

Critical Arts: south-north cultural and media studies

The post-millennium world has seen a rapid escalation of violent conflicts in the Middle East, West, Central and some areas of Southern Africa, and ongoing civil wars and human rights abuses in a variety of other regions across the world. As a means to engage these developments, Critical Arts instituted a new Section, “Under Fire”.This is in keeping with its interpretation of cultural studies as a form of praxis, of experience, and of strategic intervention, in which individuals find themselves caught up in broader process over which they may have little or no control.

The aim of this section is to invite short (anything up to 2000 words) theorised autobiographies, authoethnographies, and dramatic narratives of what it is like living under fire, of the relevance of cultural studies in such circumstances, and how it could be deployed to challenge such conditions. The original Call emanated from a number of unsolicited submissions we had been receiving from colleagues in Palestine and Zimbabwe, letters from friends in Israel, and marginalised groups in South Africa, and from academics whose research and work is pilloried by hostile authorities. The exigencies of being under fire make it hard to find the discursive space in which participants can catch enough breath to speak the truths of their own participation:

·         When does a culture of resistance lose focus, becoming a culture of violence as an end in itself?
·         At what point can one recognize when legitimate defence against violence has suddenly become indistinguishable from the Warsaw Ghetto?
·         How can we turn war-talk into justice-talk, without provoking war-mongers to renewed efforts?
·         In a world with a global view of even the most local eruption of violence, how can those under fire on opposite sides of the street, the valley, the river, the sand dune find enough space to escape the solidarities of occupation, of resistance, and develop a language of restitution, restoration, Reformation, in the face of corporate and state reaction?
·         Closer to our sites of research, when does academic managerialism and bureaucratisation of research become offensive, anti-humanist and self-destructive? The academic enterprise is under fire itself, as are many employed within it.

“Under Fire” hopes to become such a space, and we do not expect to define what will make submissions acceptable or not. The object is for those who have had enough, to speak in the ways they believe those across the camp or the river might attend to them. The “Under Fire” submissions should reflect not just the pressures of a personal involvement within a context of oppression, occupation, or resistance; it should carry a clear indication of just how this involvement tests the cultural studies tradition. In this “test” the writers’ experience must draw not only on the cultural studies method of examining texts and contexts, but should also use the writer’s own context as the critical touchstone for pushing the cultural studies envelope.

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be made online via ScholarOne Manuscripts at (in cases where internet connectivity is not conducive to a ScholarOne submission, we will still accept manuscripts submitted via email to the Critical Arts office. Send to Kieran Tavener-Smith at and/or editor-in-chief, Keyan Tomaselli, at ).

Submissions should be original works not simultaneously submitted elsewhere, if up to 2000 words in length including any references. Referencing should be done according to the Chicago manual of style.

Critical Arts URLs:
Author Services:

Critical Arts Home Page:

eJournals Archive (1980-1992):

Indexes listing Critical Arts:

Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) [ISI ranked]; Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Alternative Press Index; ARTBibliographies Modern; British Humanities Index; Film Literature Index; Humanities International Index; Index to South African Periodicals; International Bibliography of Social Sciences; International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts; M L A International Bibliography; Periodicals Index Online; R I L M Abstracts of Music Literature

Categories: Calls for & opportunities

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