Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 2021: Justice Framed (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

deadline for submissions: 
April 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies
contact email: 

The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies is a fully open access peer-reviewed publication edited by graduate students at The University of Iowa that mixes traditional approaches and contemporary interventions in the interdisciplinary humanities and interpretive social sciences. This year’s issue will challenge and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship through an inquiry into  frames of justice. 


In his "A Letter to My Nephew" (The Progressive, 1962), James Baldwin wrote of courage and change: "It was intended that you should perish, in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go beyond and behind the white man's definition, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention and by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word "integration" means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it." While he spoke to the 1960s American Civil Rights context, Baldwin's words resonate now and elsewhere as a powerful call to self-definition. In this issue, we will explore the theme of justice, broadly conceived, striving for Baldwin's scope and grace.


For its 2021 issue, IJCS seeks submissions from humanities disciplines, including literary studies, film studies, cultural studies, art, and political justice, that explore justice and freedom as well as discipline and deviance. We'll examine frameworks of justice and how they are used to police or protect on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and class, but we also welcome submissions that consider freedom (personal, spiritual, moral, ethical), the disciplining of language, and systems of surveillance. We ask you to look clearly at oppression, but just as importantly, to imagine justice and to explore forms of resistance, community, healing, and agency. 


Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Deviancy, criminality
  • Autonomy and agency
  • Forgiveness
  • Solidarity and community
  • Queer, reproductive, and gendered justice
  • Prison and policing systems, political justice, and legal reform
  • The role of religion and faith in deviance and justice
  • The role of storytelling, art, and the humanities in transforming concepts of justice
  • Witness
  • Borders (geographical, conceptual, ideological, literary, political, and bodily) 
  • Language and culture
  • Courage and sacrifice


Papers must include a coversheet with the following:

a) author name

b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the journal

c) contact information

d) paper title


Papers should be submitted by April 1, 2021. 

We acknowledge receipt and answer all papers submitted. If you do not receive a response within 4 weeks of submitting, please resend your document.

Please email all submissions to:

For further details about this journal, please visit: