Call for Contributions
Public Culture aims to publish original research of the highest caliber, and we welcome your submissions. We value strong writing, clear argumentation, imaginative theory, and an engaging prose style. Public Culture reaches an audience that transcends scholarly disciplines and extends beyond the academy. We seek work that persuades through evidence, logic, and analysis and that presumes no shared theoretical proclivities, political values, or specialized vocabularies.
Brief opinion-oriented pieces (of 500–3,000 words) run at the front of each issue in the Forum section. Full-length articles (of 6,000–9,000 words) based on original research are at the core. We also feature in-depth discussions with leading contemporary thinkers. Typically, we are familiar only with scholarly labor’s final results, published books and articles, or occasional lectures. The interviews we publish call attention to the backstage of intellectual practice. In addition to original research essays, opinion pieces, and conversations, Public Culture welcomes translations of previously published, groundbreaking essays.
Our sister publication, Public Books, welcomes proposals for review essays about books (fiction or nonfiction), films, exhibitions, or plays, as well as profiles of intellectuals or literary scenes, visual essays, and multimedia work. Authors interested in submitting to Public Books should send proposals of 500 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions should be sent through Public Culture’s submissions manager.
1. Length. The entire manuscript—text, quotations, references, notes, bibliography—should be no longer than 9,000 words. In some cases authors may be requested to shorten essays.
2. Format. Manuscripts should be single-spaced throughout, including notes, and formatted for US letter-size paper. Please do not include a title page. Submission title and author name should be centered at the head of the first page, and the author name italicized. Bold text should be used only for the essay title and section titles. The text body should be left-justified. In a separate document, authors should also include both an abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief biographical note stating the author's institutional affiliation, relevant recent publications, and current research (50–70 words). The font for all text should be 12-point Times New Roman.
3. Style. Authors are requested to conform to the Public Culture style guide, including exclusive use of the author-date citation system. With regard to aspects of style and spelling not explicitly addressed therein, please follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.
4. Images. Please submit images separately from the essay text, in a zipped file, with each image at a minimum of 300 dpi. If the file is too large to upload through the submissions manager, send it to email@example.com via Google Drive, Dropbox, or a free FTP replacement service such as Sendspace or Yousendit. Please indicate clearly in the body of the text where the images are to be inserted and provide appropriate captions. While we welcome proposals as to why particular images should appear in color, all decisions about publishing in color will be made (on both financial and aesthetic considerations) by the editorial office.
5. Permissions. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to reprint any images. Please consult the editorial office with any questions.
Groups of Essays
Groups of essays on a single topic or theme may be considered for publication in a Public Culture special section or issue. Please submit all papers together, following the guidelines above, and please also include in a separate document
• a short (approx. one-page) description of the common intellectual project of the group of papers
• a short (max. 250-word) abstract of each paper
• a list of the titles of the papers, their authors, and authors’ names and institutional affiliations
You should receive immediate e-mail confirmation of your submission. In the event that you do not hear from us within three business days, please direct your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the review process can take up to six months. Essays accepted for publication will generally be published within 12–15 months of notification. This schedule is somewhat flexible, however, and subject to various contingencies. Given the large number of submissions we receive, we can only evaluate one submission per author at a time. Please wait to receive a decision from us on your current submission before making a second submission. If you have a particular concern about timing, please consult the editorial office.