CfP question: Essays and art from the humanities

by | Nov 26, 2020 | Calls for paper | 0 comments

Issue #6: ‘Community’ – deadline Wednesday 2 December 2020

Question, the interdisciplinary postgraduate journal of the South West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, invites submissions for its summer 2021 issue.

Theme: Community

Sometimes it takes a shock to give meaning to the everyday. In 2020, the seemingly mundane concept of ‘Community’ has taken on a powerful role in public discourse. With the casual encounters we once took for granted now suspended, we have been forced to adapt to new forms of careful, pre-planned social contact. ‘Community’ has become something we have to organise, to create. New, highly specific communities have sprung up everywhere – from office group chats to volunteer aid groups, from those looking to help others to those simply looking for diversion. Whether online or in person, ‘Community’ is touted as something that will see us through the present disruption. Indeed, the term has been raised to a mythical status, with talk in the media of an imagined ‘national community’ coming together at this moment of uncertainty. For all our reduced physical interaction, ‘Community’ has nonetheless become one of the most important ideas of our time.

Issue 6 of Question invites researchers to explore how we might interpret the concept of ‘Community’. Ideas might include the following:

  • Communities as units of human society: town, neighbourhood, household, family
  • Formal, organised communities, such as clubs, societies and associations
  • Community as activism: charities, trade unions, campaign groups
  • Networks of kinship and friendship
  • Literary and artistic communities
  • Online communities
  • Communities of political or religious belief
  • Community through common experience e.g., labour, trauma, travel
  • National and transnational communities based on location, shared history, culture, language, ethnicity 
  • Communities as exclusive spaces – marginalisation and oppression of perceived outsiders
  • Community in the natural world

In April, several British cities witnessed the sudden appearance of bold, colourful posters that stated: ‘Be kind. Let’s look out for on another. Community is kindness.’ This message – the brainchild of the Jack Arts creative agency – was simple but misleading. By defining ‘Community’ as a vague abstract noun, do we not gloss over the constant stream of social encounters, discussions, conflicts, exclusions, negotiations and unifications that make communities? 

It is the task of Arts & Humanities researchers to think critically about the things they encounter. In 2020, the term ‘Community’ became central to public discourse. Moving into 2021, we must begin to ask what this word truly means and consider how concepts of ‘Community’ will shape our society in the decade ahead.

Submission guidelines:

We welcome proposals of 250 words for:

  • Academic essays (max. 3000 words)
  • Creative content including prose, poetry and drama (max. 3000 words)
  • Original translations, translation commentaries or translation reviews (max. 2000 words)
  • Reviews (max. 1000 words)
  • Collections of visual artwork, including paintings, illustrations and photography
  • Blog posts (500 – 1000 words)

Please include your name, home institution, primary subject and title of your proposed piece.

We are also looking for a featured artist to provide illustrations that will be both displayed on the cover of and inside Issue 6. If you would like to apply, please submit a 250-word abstract describing your proposed work and include the words ‘FEATURED ART’ in the email subject line.

Proposals will be anonymised by the Submissions Manager before they are considered by Subject Editors. If your proposal is accepted by Subject Editors, you will have until late January 2021 (date tbc) to submit a first complete draft. Essays, translations and reviews will then be subject to an anonymous review by the Subject Editor and two peers. If your draft passes the peer review, you will subsequently begin a direct back-and-forth editing process with the Subject Editor to fine-tune the article before publication.

Please note that Subject Editors reserve the right to ask for revisions or, if necessary, reject an article based on the outcome of the peer review process.

Blog posts and creative content will be reviewed anonymously by Subject Editors alone. Visual artwork will be reviewed directly by the General Editor.

Please submit your proposal to by Wednesday 2 December 2020.

We aim to respond to proposals by Friday 18 December 2020.


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