On Thursday, April 21, 2013, Richard Iton, Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University, passed away after a long bout with leukemia. In honor of his work, Mark Anthony Neal and I are co-editing a special issue of Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. The Call is below:

With his book In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era, Professor Richard Iton sought to index the “minor key sensibilities” of Black Politics in the forms on the “underground,” the “vagabond” and the “deviant.” His work represents the best of what cultural theorist Stuart Hall imagined more than 40 years ago when he began to formulate what would later be known as Black Cultural Studies. 

Iton was also well known for his scholarly generosity with his students and colleagues. It is in this spirit that SOULS is announcing a special issue that is generative of that life and that work. We invite papers that wrestle with, address and engage some of the themes and dilemmas that defined Richard Iton’s career. Topics may include issues related to the African diaspora, performance, the black left, black imagination, or gender and sexuality. Papers should address these topics with some reference, at least indirectly, to Iton’s work, influence and legacy.

I would add that we are also looking for works that examine the interplay between the explicitly cultural and the explicitly political (campaigns and elections, political development, public opinion, political ideologies, state bureaucracies, issues of political economy).

The final submission deadline is Midnight February 28, 2014.


SOULS only accepts unsolicited manuscripts by electronic submission. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by members of our Editorial Working Group (EWG) and our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), as well as other affiliated scholars.
All submissions must include a cover letter that includes the author’s full mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers, and professional, organizational or academic affiliation. The cover letter should indicate that the manuscript contains original content, has not previously been published, and is not under review by another publication. Authors are responsible for securing permission to use copyrighted tables or materials from a copyrighted work in excess of 500 words. Authors must contact original authors or copyright holders to request the use of such material in their articles. Authors must also submit a three to five sentence bio, an abstract of their article of not more than 100 words, and a brief list of key words or significant concepts in the article.
Submissions should be addressed to:
Professor Barbara Ransby, Editor
Prudence Browne, Managing Editor

DCP: In the pattern of the critical black intellectual tradition of W.E.B. DuBois, Souls articles should include the elements of “description,” “correction,” and/or “prescription”: thickly, richly detailed descriptions of contemporary black life and culture; corrective and analytical engagements with theories and concepts that reproduce racial inequality in all of its forms; and/or an analysis that presents clear alternatives or possibilities for social change.
Originality: Articles should make an original contribution to the literature. We do not consider manuscripts that are under review elsewhere.
Length: Articles published in Souls generally are a minimum of 2,500 words in length, but not longer than 8,500 words, excluding endnotes and scholarly references.
CMS and Clarity: All articles should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. Scholarly references and citations usually should not be embedded in the text of the article, but arranged as endnotes in CMS form. Souls favors clearly written articles free of excessive academic jargon and readily accessible to a broad audience.
CriticalSouls aspires to produce scholarship representing a critical black studies – analytical and theoretical works in the living tradition of scholar/activist W.E.B. Du Bois. Souls is an intellectual intervention that seeks to inform and transform black life and history.