Obsidian

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  • About this Magazine:

    Obsidian cultivates, through publication and critical inquiry, Black imagination, innovation, and excellence—supporting Black, African, and African Diaspora creatives globally. Recognized by the NEA as one of the premier journals dedicated to Africa and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print and year round at obsidianlit.org.

  • Editor(s): Duriel E. Harris, Sheree Renee Thomas
  • Contact Information:

  • Organization (if applicable):
  • Address 1: 4241 Department of English
  • Address 2: Illinois State University
  • City: Normal
  • State Code: IL
  • Postal Code: 61790
  • Phone: (309) 438-7165
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Submission/Subscription Information:

  • Format: Online, Print
  • Genres: Art, Audio, Cross-Genre, Drama, Fiction, Photography, Poetry, Video
  • Simultaneous Submissions: yes (with notice)
  • Postal Submissions: no
  • Email Submissions: no
  • Online Submissions: yes (via Submittable)
  • Subscription (individuals): $35
  • Subscription (institutions): $70
  • Reading Period: 5/15–10/15
  • Response Time: 3–4 months
  • Payment: copies
  • Contests: no
  • Founded: 1975
  • Issues Per Year: 2

Publisher's description: Published twice yearly by the Publications Unit at Illinois State University, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora is edited by Duriel E. Harris (editor-in-chief) and Sheree Renee Thomas (associate editor). Obsidian cultivates, through publication and critical inquiry, Black imagination, innovation, and excellence—supporting Black, African, and African Diaspora creatives globally. We’re proud to be numerous contributors’ first publication and to have published work by recipients of the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship, World Fantasy Award, &Now Awards, Leeway Transformation Award, and Eisner Award, among others.

Obsidian collaborates with JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center to publish selections from their annual contest, with Chicago’s Rootwork Gallery to document landmark exhibitions, and with the Poetry Foundation to offer O|Sessions. Featured playwrights are invited to develop folios presenting performance scripts with accompanying sound, audiovisual documentation, and other archival material.

Each fall, we work with guest editors to produce a themed special issue; past special issues have included Speculating Futures: Black Imagination & the Arts (winner of the CELJ Parnassus Award), as well as volumes highlighting Ghanian literature and broadcast culture, Cave Canem, Call & Response Ensemble’s Experiments in Joy, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Celebration.

Obsidian has been recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a premier journal dedicated to African and African Diaspora Literatures and by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Community for Literary Magazines and Presses for editorial achievement. Celebrating nearly fifty years of continuous publication, Obsidian’s full archive is available through JSTOR.