Proposed themes for 2023/2024’s upcoming issues
Vol. 36 No. 4 – early January 2024
Theme: Blues, Jazz and Beat as fugitive literature
Submission due date: November 15, 2023Theme description
In this upcoming issue of Montréal Serai, we endeavour to convene a gathering of
reflections, resonances, voices and perspectives delving into blues, jazz and beat as
embodiments of “fugitive literature.” The term “fugitive” evokes hidden sanctuaries and
pathways of resistance – sovereignty operating discreetly beyond authoritarian lines.
This concept parallels Robert Farris Thompson’s portrayal of Afro-diasporic musical
traditions, characterized by a transgressive percussive performance style, multiple
meters, call and response interplays, and nuanced rhythmic and choreographic accents.
Similarly, Cornel West depicts bluespeople as bearers of a “prophetic fire,” resonant,
critiquing from the margins, bearing witness, operating with skilled vision, wisdom-
speaking and defying conventions whilst embracing the discordant yet enthralling
melodies of jazz.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung contemplates the vital social and aesthetic role of
atonality in jazz as a necessary fugitive and sovereign aesthetic elementality, while Fred
Moten sees blackness as inherently “fugitive,” embodying a desire for escape and
transgression from established norms. Numerous scholars, theorists, musicians and
writers echo these perspectives, from Cecil Taylor to Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and
beyond, illustrating how jazz, blues and beat defy conformity, crossing and recrossing
thresholds. Historical precedents such as the clandestine beats of 19 th -century secret
pow-wow culture and the sound experiments of maroon communities further underscore
the “fugitive” essence in beat and in the art of sound.
In contemplating the history of beat (all musics and sound forms), blues and jazz, we
might ask whether these genres can be products of “fugitive players” crafting fugitive
sound and nascent vocabularies and grammars constituting unique forms of literatures.
We invite submissions in the forms of poetry, theory, prose, fiction, art, music and
beyond that creatively explore this theme, embracing the nuances of the potentially
fugitive aspects of beat, jazz and blues.
Please submit your original, unpublished work by midnight, November 15, 2023,
See our submissions guidelines for details.
Guest editor: James Oscar
Vol. 37 No. 1 – early April 2024
Theme: Gathering our minds as one: cultivating common ground
Submission due date: February 15, 2024Theme description
Vol. 37 No. 2 – early July 2024
Theme: Culture-shifting as a way of life
Submission due date: May 15, 2024Theme description
Vol. 37 No. 3 – early Oct 2024
Theme: Out of the ethers: art as a cultural force
Submission due date: August 15, 2024Theme description
Montréal Serai is always soliciting new ideas and materials from outside its geographical purview, on arts/culture/politics. Articles should be well written and not exceed 3,000 words.
We accept reviews of all kinds, covering arts, politics, culture, music, literature and film. We also accept political cartoons. We’re open to new information and regard every submission with the utmost respect.
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See Submission Guidelines below.
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments in general: email@example.com
P.O. Box #72,
Canada H4A 3P4
Montréal Serai welcomes your own original, unpublished submissions of art, cartoons, prose, poetry or fiction. Written submissions may not exceed 3,000 words. Audio and audio-visual components are welcome. Submissions published on your personal blog may be considered if you identify them as such and provide appropriate links. Serai reserves the right to reject any submission that does not meet its standards or mandate, and will not entertain violent or sexually explicit material or material that does not respect human dignity or that offends minorities on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or personal beliefs.
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