Call for Papers

Call for Papers – Special Issue

Beyond Charlottesville: Cultural Wars, White Nationalism, and the Peril of American Democracy

Guest Editors:
Travis D. Boyce, San Jose State University

Winsome M. Chunnu, The Ohio University
Due May 15, 2022

August 11–12, 2022 marks the fifth anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2017, White supremacists carried out two days of violence, culminating in the death of Charlottesville native Heather Heyer (killed by neo-Nazi James Fields of Ohio). While the “Unite the Right” rally was grounded in its opposition to the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument, its subtext was White nationalism. This movement had gained momentum during the election of America’s first Black president Barack Obama (2009–2017) and was subsequently inflamed by President Donald Trump (2017–2021), whose rhetoric and policies aligned with White nationalist ideologies.

Since the rally, White nationalism in the United States has become normalized by Donald Trump, the media, and a right-wing political machine. Many of America’s internal conflicts simmer with an undercurrent of racism: immigration, protests during the U.S. national anthem, “cancel culture,” the politics surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, QAnon conspiracy theories, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Critical Race Theory, and “election integrity” or “The Big Lie.” On January 6, 2021, thousands of people stormed the U.S. Capitol with the intention of harming elected officials and overturning the 2020 presidential election. In this riot, like the rally in Charlottesville, a mostly White mob assembled in force, this time to enter the legislature. The shocking invasion led to violence, destruction of public property, injury, and death.

While there are other scholarly and journalistic publications examining the “Unite the Right” rally, this timely special issue looks at how the event, as a stepping stone, furthered the country’s problems. We are looking for original, in-depth articles/essays (a theoretical or practical discussion) reflecting on the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in relation to popular culture and pedagogy. How did it help precipitate current cultural conflicts? In what way was the rally a social turning point for rising White nationalism in our country? How did it help lead further to an imperiled American democracy?

We encourage essays to be based on how the rally relates to cultural issues such as the following:

  • Black Lives Matter versus Blue Lives Matter
  • Protests during the U.S. national anthem
  • Monuments: from Charlottesville to the age of #TakeItDown
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Gamergate
  • 2020 Election / The Big Lie
  • Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol
  • “Cancel Culture”
  • Alt-Right and the rise of hate groups

The writing guidelines for the essays are the following:

  1. Use MLA or APA format.
  2. 5,000–7,000 words (inclusive of abstract, endorse, and works cited)

When submitting an essay, please confirm that your work is

  • not previously published or simultaneously submitted to other journals or anthologies for publication;
  • written in clear, U.S. English;
  • without the use of jargon and language that is discriminatory or inflammatory in nature;
  • conforming to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th edition (2016), or the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Download Special CFP in PDF format.

Call for Papers – Rolling Submissions

Topics are particularly welcomed that address a scholarly examination of popular culture and pedagogy, such as:

  • Relationships between literature, culture, music, technology, gender, ethnicity, and media;
  • Theoretical, practical, pedagogical, and historical examinations of popular culture, including interdisciplinary discussions and those which examine the intersections between American and international cultures; and
  • Interviews, reviews of books, films, conferences, music, and technology.

Types of submissions:

  1. Articles/essays – theoretical or practical discussion of popular culture and/or pedagogy.
  2. Reviews – essays reviewing books, films, games, conferences, etc. as they relate to popular culture and/or pedagogy.
  3. Proposals for Special Issues.

Please review our Style Guide for more information.

Download Call for Papers PDF