Southern Cultures

Southern Cultures is an award-winning, peer-reviewed quarterly of the arts, history, and cultures of the US South, published by UNC Press for the Center for the Study of the American South, where it is housed. Interdisciplinary and art-forward, it is unusual among scholarly journals for also reaching a popular audience. 

Contributors include Bancroft, National Book Award, Pulitzer, Peabody, PEN America, James Beard, and Best American Comics winners, as well as leading artists, photographers, and political figures. Southern Cultures has readers around the world in more than 70 countries (and counting).

We welcome submissions from thoughtful writers and artists inside and outside the academy in the forms that we publish: scholarly articles, interviews, photo essays, memoir, poetry, and shorter feature essays. Because we have both a scholarly and informed general readership, we are especially interested in reader-friendly articles and essays that deal with southern topics in a broad and accessible manner while retaining scholarly rigor. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you read Southern Cultures for tone and style before submitting your work. For full submissions guidelines, visit .

For questions of style, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., and follow the Chicago Manual of Style Citation Quick Guide for guidance on formatting endnotes. For spelling and hyphenation, please consult Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. 

We do not accept simultaneous submissions and ask that you do not submit your work elsewhere while it is under consideration at Southern Cultures.

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The Queer South (Spring 2025)

Guest Editors: Hooper Schultz (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Jaime Harker (University of Mississippi)

Deadline for Submissions: June 10, 2024

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, The Queer South, to be published Spring 2025. We will accept submissions for this issue through June 10, 2024.

Both within and outside the South, people have told the story of the queer South—from cultural and literary ventures RFD, Feminary, and Naiad Press to activist groups Southerners on New Ground and SisterSong to storytellers Dorothy Allison, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Nick White. Still, both silenced and emerging stories of the queer South remain to be told. The US South is fruitful ground to explore “queer” as shorthand for nonnormative identity. In this call, we include trans, ace, and other identities; political movements and activist collectives; different ways of being unbounded by identity or geography; critiques of the use of queer; and new forms of being and imagining. As a landscape where ideological battles over family life, gender, and sexual politics continue to unfold, the South is crucial terrain for doing this meaning-making as well as critically examining the ever-changing context of queerness in the present day.

We seek submissions that explore queerness past, present, and future in the South. How have queer and trans people made sense of themselves and their surroundings, their loved ones, their adversaries, and their labor in the region? How have they desired, created, imagined, struggled, and resisted? How does queer activism cross boundaries of race, gender, class, and sexuality? How do environmental, anticapitalist, and anti-imperial issues map queer concerns in the South? How are trans and gender-nonconforming people intertwined, distanced, and enmeshed with queer identity?

We call for submissions that consider the broader narratives and concepts of queerness and the South. How do we complicate the “southern-ness” of antiqueer violence, familial rejection, and narratives of escape to the northern metropole and other diasporas? How is the “queer South” complicated by the larger South? What tensions—and similarities—do rural and urban Souths hold for queerness? What do we make of queer family, community, cultural practices, and world-building in the South? We encourage work that considers queer Indigenous and two-spirit identities, as well as internal and external migration. The queer Souths of all southerners and the multiplicity of their racial and ethnic identities are critical to this volume—building on the groundbreaking work of E. Patrick Johnson and LaMonda Horton-Stallings.

We also welcome submissions that move beyond the range of topics and questions suggested here. Submissions should explode the boundaries of geography, chronology, and identity. We accept investigations of the region in the forms Southern Cultures publishes: scholarly articles, memoir (first-person or collective), interviews, surveys, photo essays, and shorter feature essays.

Possible topics and questions to examine include (but are not limited to): 

  • Queer activism across intersectional boundaries, coalitions, and issues; antiracist and anticapitalist campaigns
  • Transing the queer South; the place of transness within/out queerness
  • Intersectionality, queerness across and between race, class, gender, age, and religion
  • Pinkwashing
  • Digital arts and production
  • Family and parenthood, including the creation of nonnormative family structures
  • Archiving and community work
  • Queer ecologies and landscapes
  • The global queer South
  • Public and historical memory
  • Narratives of abjection, violence, and escape, particularly as they relate to larger stigmas about southerners and the South in general
  • Music, art, food and other expressive forms, and queer people’s impact on them
  • Institutional representation and elite capture
  • Appalachia as queer South (or not)
  • Queerness in the context of southern cultural traditions—the “confirmed bachelor,” the “old maid”
  • Queering “the South,” exploring/exploding boundaries of geography and identity
  • The Black queer South and queer of color critique
  • Queer anti-urbanism (Herring) and the queer potentials of rurality; landdykes
  • Movement, migration, and Indigeneity
  • Labor, class, poverty, and economics
  • Antitrans legislation, queer book banning in the South, and resistance to both

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. For full submissions guidelines, please click here.

Southern Cultures