An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections

Submission Guidelines

Southern Spaces combines innovative scholarship about real and imagined spaces and places of the American South with the tools of digital media. Realizing that few scholars are experts in website design, we are eager to work with authors, photographers and videographers in the process of producing image, sound, and video files for submissions. We are committed to assisting scholars at varying levels of technological proficiency.

If you are interested in submitting materials to Southern Spaces, please email the editor at to set up an account on the site and then follow the instructions for submitting. A submission will not be considered if it has been previously published or is concurrently under consideration by another journal or press. Copyright for essays published in Southern Spaces is retained by the authors. All images, video, and sound files associated with published submissions are securely archived by Emory University's Woodruff Library. If you choose to submit by post, we accept flash drives, DV tapes, CDs, or DVDs containing your manuscript, images, sound files, etc.

For questions or additional information, please contact:
Jesse P. Karlsberg, Managing Editor
Southern Spaces
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Emory University 
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, Georgia 30322-2870

For more information about submissions, please select from the links below:

Publication Types 

Articles are critical multimedia pieces exploring the real and imagined places of the US South, or making connections and comparisons between the US South, southern regions, and other areas of the world.

Photo essays are collections of original photography that explore real and imagined places of the US South, or make connections and comparisons between the South, southern regions, and other areas of the world. They include a short critical writing component.

Short videos focus on a particular space or place in the US South. They can range from thirty-second vignettes to fifteen-minute edited documentaries. They often include a short critical writing component.

Presentations include video clips, audio samples, images, and texts from exhibits, conference proceedings, campus events, lectures, interviews, and readings that concern the study of the US South.

Reviews are critical analyses of recently published books, films, music, events, and digital projects relating to real and imagined places of the US South, or making connections and comparisons between the US South, southern regions, and other areas of the world.

Featured images are single photographs that capture a particular space or place in the US South. Submissions should include a title, place where the photograph was taken, and the year in which it was taken.

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Text and HTML Files

File Types: The text and/or framework of the submission file is formatted in ASCII, HTML, or Microsoft Word. If the submission file is in Microsoft Word, the author's name should be removed from the document's properties. All URL addresses in the text should be activated (e.g., <a href="" target="_blank"></a>).

Style Guide: The Chicago Manual of Style, most recent edition. (If you are submitting from a scientific discipline, please contact the managing editor to discuss appropriate citation styles.)

Word Limit: Southern Spaces does not have a word limit. However, longer essays tend to range between six and eight thousand words.

Abstract: All submissions should contain a short abstract of no more than one hundred words.

Notes: Text portions of submissions should include citations as appropriate based on incorporated research. These citations should appear in full as a numerical sequential footnotes or endnotes in the text document.

Recommended Resources: All essay submissions should contain a recommended resources section at the end. This section should be divided by format into the following categories: Print Materials, Video/Audio, and Links. Print Materials include articles and books relevant to the piece. Video/Audio should contain any films related to the subject matter. Links include the titles of online resources, such as library collections and online articles or information pages, as well as their active urls.

Acknowledgements: If desired, these should appear at the end of the text before the Recommended Resources.

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Image, Sound, and Video Files

  • All image, sound, and video files should be submitted in separate files.
  • The author either owns all submitted image, sound, and video files or has obtained permission from the copyright holder(s) to use all image, sound, and video files prior to submission.
  • All submitted image, sound, and video files clearly indicate credits and provenance, adhering to the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style. (If you are submitting from a scientific discipline, please contact the managing editor to discuss appropriate citation styles.)

Image Files: All figures and images should be submitted in the largest, highest quality version possible for archiving purposes.

  • Scanning from prints (grayscale or color)
    Preferred: 600 dpi or higher, millions of colors (true color)
  • Scanning from negatives or slides (grayscale or color)
    Minimum accepted: 2400 ppi or higher, millions of colors (true color)
  • Original digital photograph (grayscale or color)
    Preferred: 600 ppi or higher, millions of colors (true color)

Sound Files: All sound files should be submitted in an editable format (such as .wav, .aif, .mp3, .mpeg, .au), preferably as digitized files copied to a mass storage medium (like CD-R) or emailed.

Video Files: All video files should be submitted in an uncompressed format (such as .avi or .mov), preferably as digitized video files copied to a mass storage medium (like DVD-R) or, alternatively, as clips archived onto a mini-DV tape with an accompanying list of names and corresponding time code numbers for all clips.

If you have any questions about media formats, please contact the managing editor.

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Editorial Style and Recommendations 

The complete Southern Spaces editorial style sheet covers essential rules, as well as house variations. For more detailed information on punctuation, capitalization, the treatment of numbers, quotations, and abbreviations, please consult the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the standard reference at Southern Spaces.


  • South. Southern Spaces prefers writing that treats "the South" as an imagined geography that has had important political and historical consequences but that rarely exhibits cultural homogeneity. Discussions of "the South" on Southern Spaces should attempt to recognize the constructed nature of the South as well as regional and local variations within the South.
  • Region, regional. Southern Spaces prefers to reserve the terms "region" and "regional" for smaller geographical units within the area commonly understood as "the South." The nineteenth-century term for a large geographic division within the United States, "section," may be used to refer to the entire South. The easiest way to avoid "the region" or "regional" to refer to the South as a whole is to simply use "the South" or "southern" whenever possible. 
  • Subregion, sub-region. Southern Spaces does not designate any part of the country as a subregion. Therefore, submissions should refrain from the use of this term.
  • African American, black. Southern Spaces prefers African American and/or black (lowercase "b") for both the noun and the adjective.
  • US, American. Southern Spaces prefers US rather than American for political and historical contexts. 
  • South, southern, southerner. Southern Spaces capitalizes such references as "South" and "North" but does not capitalize such references as "southern" or "southerner" or "northern" or "northerner." 
  • Civil rights movement. Southern Spaces does not capitalize "civil rights movement."


  • Avoid the passive voice. Use of the passive voice can lead to weakly worded prose. Because the passive voice doesn't assign an actor to the verb in a sentence, it often makes for unclear language. While authors should try to avoid the passive voice, don't go to unreasonable lengths if using the active voice seems awkward or unnecessary. Use your best judgment, but strive to use the passive voice sparingly.
  • Use descriptive adjectives with care. While words and phrases such as "innovative," "flexible," "the greatest," and "intensive" serve a useful purpose in communicating a sense of energy, they lose their punch when they are not followed by examples. When you use terms like these, back them up with specific, concrete examples.
  • Pay close attention to punctuation. Scour your article for any and all instances of incorrect punctuation. To readers who notice such things, mistakes as seemingly minor as an incorrectly placed apostrophe or colon can undercut the message you are trying to communicate. Also try to avoid awkward punctuation. Exclamation points, for example, should be used rarely, if ever. It is best to eliminate them wherever possible.
  • Keep content correct and current. Be vigilant about keeping all time-sensitive content current and up-to-date.

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Copyright Statement

Copyright for contributions published in Southern Spaces is retained by the authors, with publication rights granted to the journal. Content is free to users. Any reproduction of original content from Southern Spaces not published under a Creative Commons license must a) seek copyright from authors and b) acknowledge Southern Spaces as the site of original publication.

However, Southern Spaces also offers our authors the option of distributing new work published in the journal under a Creative Commons license. Beginning in 2014, in addition to retaining copyright of their work, authors may now elect to license their work under the following Creative Commons licenses.

  • Using a CC BY (attribution) license, authors allow their work to be freely distributed, copied, and performed, as long as users give credit to the original work. A CC BY license also allows for derivative works. An author might choose this license if she wants to provide the greatest opportunity for reuse.
  • Under a CC BY ND (attribution, no derivatives) license, users are free to copy, display, distribute, or perform the original work with attribution. Users may not make derivative works, such as those "consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship."1 An author might choose this license if she wants to retain the exclusive right to make such modifications.
  • A CC BY NC (attribution, non-commercial) license allows for copies, distribution, display, or performances of a work by attribution, but only for non-commercial uses. This license also allows for derivative works. Authors might choose this license if they wish to prohibit commercial publishers from republishing their work without obtaining further explicit permission. Authors should be aware that since much academic publishing is commercial, this license may "discourag[e] or at least slow . . . down [commercial] re-use of [their] content by requiring that people ask . . . permission."2
  • The CC BY NC ND (attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives) license is the most restrictive choice offered by Southern Spaces. Users may copy, distribute, display, or perform a work, but only for non-commercial purposes. No derivative works are permitted. Authors might choose this license if they wish to permit greater distribution of their work without permission than would be possible if retaining copyright, but restrict commercial entities from republishing their scholarship, and prohibit all from making modifications to their work without permission.

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Peer Review Process

All Southern Spaces essays, photo essays, and short videos pass through a rigorous peer review. Our peer review process is designed to provide assurance to readers that all essays published in Southern Spaces have attained a high standard of excellence, as judged by researchers who have expert knowledge in the pertinent field. 

Upon submission, each proposed Southern Spaces essay is screened for conformation to the journal's submission guidelines. After determining that the submission's format and content are appropriate for the journal, the proposed essay is then sent through a double-blind peer review by two reviewers selected by the editorial board. Names of reviewers will not be released to authors, nor will reviewers know the identities of authors whose work they review.

Reviewers are asked to evaluate the submission critically with respect to conformance to the journal's scope. Other factors considered include an examination of the work's significance, methods, academic rigor, responsiveness to the latest literature and debates, conclusions, references, and overall presentation (including the use of audio-visual and web-based materials when available and pertinent). Southern Spaces editors may forward questions from reviewers to the authors for clarification. After the initial review process has been completed, the editorial board will decide whether to accept, reject, or ask for revisions to the submission. If revisions are called for, authors may review shared comments and have the option of re-submitting or withdrawing their submission from consideration. The managing editor of Southern Spaces will keep all authors informed as to the status of their submissions throughout the process.

Submissions will be published individually at the time of their acceptance by the editorial board. Published items will not be affiliated with a volume or issue but will be identified by date of publication.

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