Oregon Humanities invites submissions for its Summer 2008 issue on the theme of “Class”
Class, or social status, is perhaps one of the least discussed but most significant forces at work in shaping American culture today. Most broadly defined as a group of people who share common attributes or traits, class figures into everything from last year's subprime mortgage catastrophe, to recent attempts by institutes of higher education (including the University of Oregon) to help lower-income students pay for college, to the sweeping technological changes that at once stratify and unite people across the globe. In a series of articles exploring class and mobility in America, the New York Times noted that though the country has ³gone a long way toward an appearance of classlessness,² over the past three decades class has come to play a greater, not lesser, role in American life.
For the Summer 2008 issue of Oregon Humanities, which falls under the Oregon Council for the Humanities current programmatic focus, "Borders and Boundaries," we are looking for essays and articles that use the traditional humanities disciplines and/or analyses of contemporary culture to explore the theme of class. Writers may wish to explore class in literature, history, arts, and popular culture; social and economic mobility as thebasis of the "American Dream" narrative; the role of class in culture and society; the impact of consumer culture, globalization, and technology on social hierarchies; the notions of merit and privilege; the terms we use when we talk about class (e.g., blue collar, working class, elite); or the difficulty in talking about how class shapes our shared culture.
We welcome all forms of nonfiction writing, including scholarly essays, journalistic articles, and personal essays. 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 1,500 words. All contributors receive an honorarium. Currently the magazine is distributed to 11,000 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 discussion, please submit a proposal or draft by February 11, 2008, to Kathleen Holt, Editor, Oregon Humanities magazine, Oregon Council for the Humanities, 812 SW Washington Street, Suite 225, Portland, Oregon, 97205, or firstname.lastname@example.org.