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

    Southern Spaces combines innovative scholarship about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South with the tools of digital media. If you are interested in submitting materials to Southern Spaces, please email the editor at to set up an account on the site. Then follow the instructions for submitting. Southern Spaces does not consider previously-published work or simultaneous submissions. Authors may choose at the time of publication whether to retain copyright for their work or license it under a Creative Commons license. All publications, along with their associated media, are securely archived by Emory University's Woodruff Library. We also accept print and media submissions by post.

    Publication Types

    Southern Spaces publishes six different genres of scholarship: articles, photo and media essays, short videos, presentations, reviews, and blog posts. The best way to determine if your work would be a good fit for our journal is to browse the kind of work we have published by following the links to these categories in the "Browse" section of the side-menu.


    Articles are long-form, interpretive or critical pieces that are the result of sustained scholarly engagement with a topic. We prefer that they incorporate multimedia,1 but they may start out resembling journal articles composed for print-based scholarly periodicals. Our articles analyze and explore real and imagined places in the US South; make connections and comparisons between southern regions or locales and places in the wider world; or use textual, archival, and ethnographic data to challenge conventional ways of understanding the people, places, and cultures found in the South. All of our articles write from the perspective of spatial critique.

    Photo and Media Essays

    Photo essays curate collections of original photography or other multimedia to perform the same kinds of critical work articles do: to analyze real and imagined places and spaces in the US South, to make connections between the South and other areas of the world, and to challenge conventional representations of the South. While primarily photographic or media-based, these essays include a critical writing component.

    Short Videos

    Short videos are five to twenty-five minute videos that use visual—as opposed to textual or rhetorical—techniques to advance a critical argument. The three types of videos we generally publish are

    1. Ethnographic: visual scholarship that is concerned with the analysis of culture, often using interviews and performance of particular human activity;
    2. Documentary: journalistic video that seeks to explore its content through a preponderance of visual evidence; and
    3. Lyric: video that engages in sustained critique through affect, refrain, parataxis, and nonlinear sequencing and is primarily neither ethnographic nor documentarian.

    We especially favor work that combines ethnographic, documentarian, and lyric techniques to produce evocative and incisive visual arguments. We typically do not publish narrative or fictional film. Short video submissions often include a short critical writing component.


    Presentations include the media associated with the public presentations of scholarly work. Such presentations include lectures, conference papers and panels, and other scholarly events of interest to the critical study of space.


    Reviews are critical evaluations of recently published books, film, digital projects, music, events, and other art or scholarship that relate to the study of space and place in the US South. Although we appreciate reviews that give synopses of scholarly work, our reviews should address the spatial dimensions of the work's arguments and the place of the work in relation to existing scholarship.

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    File formats

    For primarily textual submissions, please submit a Microsoft Word document (.docx, .doc) or, if your piece requires complex formatting, a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Please send separate image, sound, and video files, even if the media should appear embedded in the text. Here is a chart of acceptable file types. For all media files, use the largest, highest quality version available.


    File Formats



    .docx, .doc, .pdf, .rtf



    .png, .tiff, .jpg



    .wav, .aiff, .mp3

    we prefer uncompressed audio (.wav, .aiff)


    .mov, .avi, .mp4


    For digital projects, please submit in the best file format for the project.

    Document formatting

    Text documents should include a title, an abstract of less than one hundred words, citations in footnotes, recommended resources (divided into "Text," "Web," "Audio/Video," and "Related Southern Spaces Publications"), and page numbers. Please use a legible font and double-spacing. Avoid including your name or any identifying material in your document.

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    We recommend the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, but we also have a few house rules. Please consult our style guide.

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    Intellectual Property

    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."2 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 discourage or "slow . . . down [commercial] re-use of content by requiring that people ask . . . permission."3
    • 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. Reviews, even when solicited, undergo an internal review process and are held to the same standard of quality as our other publications. Our peer review process is designed to provide assurance to readers that all scholarship published in Southern Spaces has attained a standard of excellence, as judged by researchers who have expert knowledge in the pertinent field.

    After an author submits a piece, two members of the Southern Spaces editorial staff review it and determine whether it is an appropriate fit for the journal. At this point, the editorial staff, in consultation with the managing editor and senior editor, may recommend rejection, revision, or proceeding directly to peer review. If an author receives a request for revision and chooses to revise and resubmit the submitted work, editorial staff members will reassess the revised piece to determine whether the author has addressed the reviewers' concerns.

    If the editorial staff and senior editor determine that a submission is ready for peer review, the piece then proceeds to double-blind review by two scholars with expertise in fields relevant to the submitted work. 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. If revisions are called for, authors may review shared comments and have the option of resubmitting or withdrawing their submission from consideration. If an author chooses to resubmit, the senior editor and managing editor will reassess the piece in consultation with its peer reviewers to determine whether it has addressed the reviewers' concerns.

    After a piece has been accepted for publication the senior editor will line edit it in consultation with the author to reach a layout-ready version of the work. At this stage, the editorial staff will also ask authors to verify the permissions status of any associated media. Authors are responsible for acquiring the rights to use all media. The editorial staff will then lay out and copyedit the article. Authors will have the opportunity to review the final version of the laid-out piece prior to publication.

    The managing editor of Southern Spaces will keep all authors informed as to the status of their submissions throughout the process. Published items will not be affiliated with a volume or issue but will be identified by date of publication.

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    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

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    • 1. Realizing that few scholars are experts in online 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.
    • 2. "17 US Code, Chapter 1, Section 101–Definitions," Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School, accessed February 10, 2014,
    • 3. Bethany Nowiskie, "Why, Oh Why, CC-BY?", May 11, 2011, accessed February 10, 2014,