Art as Liberation in the Black Fantastic

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Third Stone Journal

Across the African diaspora, art was a form of expression and liberation at times of widespread cultural oppression, enabling artists of color to resist the tradition of silencing while preserving their histories, traditions, and more in ways that could be passed down intergenerationally. While much art worked to fulfill a political purpose by pushing for equality and liberty in oppressive cultures, other works aimed at achieving liberation by way of celebrating Black cultural forms, from the cutting-edge music of Erykah Badu to that of Janelle Monae. Eager to explore art as liberation in the Black fantastic, Third Stone solicits submissions of art, music, creative writing, short films, scholarship, digital content, and more on the liberatory function of art inside and outside of U.S. borders. 

Scholarly Work

In addition to accepting traditional articles, Third Stone is particularly interested in multimodal content and serving as a hub for Black digital humanities as we explore how art can serve to liberate peoples of color from oppressive climates and cultures across space and time. How do literature, art, music, and/or film break the chains that confine Black peoples, relegating them to a second-class status, if considered citizens at all? How do these modes of emancipatory expression celebrate Black talent as people of color work to carve out their place in a growing and increasingly complicated world? Interested contributors might consider addressing the following topics, though pieces (textual, sonic, or otherwise) are certainly welcome on a range of other considerations. Scholarly work should be no longer than eight thousand words, not including endnotes and references.

  • Intersections of Black Studies and Digital Humanities in the Twenty-First Century
  • The Black African Digital Diaspora--Mapping Black Histories and Black Futures
  • Identifying Early Afrofuturists--New Approaches to Literature of the Harlem Renaissance Era
  • The Space of the Imagination--Probing the Archives of Binyavanga Wainaina
  • Interrogating Simultaneous Utopianisms--African Futures in the Art of Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga
  • Music as Liberation--Afrofuturists in the Tradition of Jimi Hendrix
  • From Sun Ra to Janelle Monae--Liberation in the Afrofuturist Musical Tradition
  • Unapologetic Blackness--Diasporic Visions in Beyonce and Other Contemporary Black Musicians
  • The Tethered Explained--Jordan Peele’s Us through the Lens of the Black Fantastic
  • Black Panther as the Black Fantastic--Visions of the African Diaspora in Black Hollywood, Past & Present
  • Creative Work

In our effort to honor the diverse modes of expression popularized throughout the African diaspora past and present, Third Stone values creative works for inclusion in each issue. This includes visual art, music, creative writing and more that engages the theme selected for that particular issue. How can we work to visualize the Black fantastic in artistic form? How can we shape our words and our music to explore the intersections of past, present, and future as we trace the Black experience at large? 

Film: One piece of no more than 10 minutes

Music: One to three pieces

Poetry: One to three pieces as a Microsoft Word or Rich Text file

Prose (Non-Fiction or Fiction): One piece as a Microsoft Word or Rich Text file 

Visual Art: One to three pieces with 300 dpi resolution saved with no compression

For multimedia submissions, please write up a narrative abstract of no more than 250 words describing the submission. The narrative abstract will be published as a supporting document. Videos must be accompanied by a transcript. The corresponding transcripts and narrative abstracts will be copy edited for clarity and readability.

Multimedia should be submitted in one of the following formats:

  • Flash/HTML5 Audio MP4a, mp3,

  • Flash/HTML Video (flv, mp4, RTMP)

  • QuickTime Audio (aac, aif, mid, midi, mov,wav)

  • QuickTime Video (3g2, 3gp, mov, mpg, mpeg)

  • RealAudio (ra, ram)

  • RealVideo (ram, smi, smil)

  • SWF format (swf)

  • Windows Media Audio (wma)

  • Windows Media Video (avi, wmv)

  • WMV, AVI, MOV, MPEG, GIF

  • Vimeo

  • YouTube

  • Other rich media

Bibliographic Annotations

Third Stone is also excited to build a comprehensive annotated bibliography of source material on the Black fantastic, including traditional print sources (books, magazines, journal articles, newspapers, and reviews) and digital media (audio, video, film, and websites). Entries should be approximately 750 to 1000 words in length, featuring a brief summary of the source, analysis of its significant concepts and/or themes, and a brief reflection on intersections with other source material with which the author is familiar. Entries will be vetted through the same process as articles so that contributors can be credited for each published entry to the annotated bibliography.

Interested contributors should view the Author Guidelines for Third Stone at https://scholarworks.rit.edu/thirdstone. Please use the submission portal in the lefthand menu to submit work for consideration.

For inquiries, please contact Third Stone at 3rdstonejournal@gmail.com.