Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oregon Humanities magazine invites submissions for its Summer 2009 issue:

For the Summer 2009 issue of Oregon Humanities, the Oregon Council for theHumanities is seeking essays and articles on the theme of "stuff." Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that consumer spending in America has doubled since 1990 to $8 trillion a year and that the $6 billion storage and organization industry continues to grow at a brisk rate. From comedian George Carlin's famous riff on a house as just a place for stuff to Annie Leonard's critical look at American consumption patterns in her popular online short film The Story of Stuff, writers, scholars, and artists have often explored the deep, seemingly inextricable tie between consumerism and the American identity.

This kind of reflection and analysis seems particularly relevant now as Americans grapple with how to match lifestyles that involve the production and consumption of vast quantities of material goods with concerns about finite natural resources and realities of the current economic downturn. For this reason, we are especially interested in writing that explores the conflicts between consumerism and American culture: How do we use stuff as proxies that explain who we are? What can we learn from historical and artistic representations of American consumer culture? Is shopping a patriotic act that keeps America's economy afloat?

We welcome all forms of nonfiction writing, including scholarly essays, personal essays, and journalistic articles. We accept proposals and drafts of scholarly and journalistic features, which range between 2,500 and 4,000 words in length. We accept drafts only of personal essays, which should consider larger thematic questions and run no longer than 2,000 words. All contributors receive an honorarium. Currently the magazine is distributed to 12,000 readers. Essays from Oregon Humanities have been reprinted in the Pushcart Prize anthology and the Utne Reader.

If you are interested in contributing to this issue, please familiarizeyourself with Oregon Humanities and review our writers' guidelines, available on our website (http://www.oregonhum.org/). The deadline for proposals and drafts is January 20, 2009. Please send submissions to Kathleen Holt, Editor, Oregon Humanities magazine, Oregon Council for the Humanities, 813 SW Alder Street, Suite 702, Portland,Oregon, 97205, or kholt@oregonhum.org. No phone calls, please.

No comments: