Proposed themes for this year’s upcoming issues
Vol. 31 No. 4 – Early January, 2019
Theme: The Literature Issue: Decolonizing Voices
Submission due date: November 15, 2018
This will be our annual year-end literary issue. As always, we have tried to plug in a thematic statement to enable our contributors to focus in on areas that have always been our concern. This particular theme makes us feel at home, as it highlights what we have been doing all of our 32 years of existence: deconstructing, encouraging parallel voices to be heard, and bringing up narratives that have either been shelved by the mainstream or have simply never been experienced by the majoritarian community. If you look at your bedside table and happen to have a stack of books that you’ve read or plan to read (that pile gets bigger!), you will notice some bestsellers, some recommended by the book clubs you are a member of, some books suggested by friends, and a small smattering of incredibly obscure books that somehow landed up there.
There is a reason for that. We live in a community where diversity, complex historical antecedents, the idea of storytelling, the exchange of ideas, and even scientific, mathematical and linguistic or anthropological nuances developed over centuries were simply set aside, ignored, pooh-poohed and essentially butchered by the hammer of the colonial process.
The idea of colonization and the occupation and deliberate destruction of the cultures of the non-Western world were simply to enable the colonization process. The fact that colonization happened in Asia, Africa and the Americas does not seem to be featured prominently in the literary works of Canadian writers or those who have a progressive interest in the rest of the world. The imperial process does not allow for that. Unless there is a sudden surge in identarian sell-ability, publishers tend to hanker over exile angst, exoticizing the “East” and then promoting utter distraction rather than the voices of the poor, of Indigenous cultures, and of the disinherited from colonized nations. We are therefore looking for poetry, essays and film reviews portraying decolonizing voices. Please see the submission details below.
Vol. 32 No. 1 – Early April, 2019
Theme: Faith, culture and identity: setting a new stage
Submission due date: February 15, 2019
Racism and the dynamics of identity have to be understood through the lens of the economics of power.
Multiculturalism, interculturalism (and its latest variants), and the identity clashes of the dominant and
minority cultures are resulting in a kind of “identity overload.” The voices at the margins have been
doggedly asserting themselves and are far more audible, but still have far too little power. At this
particular juncture, Montréal Serai wants to shake things up at the centre and bring majoritarian
mainstream cultural activity to our stage.
When equal status was given to French and English as Canada’s two official languages, writing in English
was considered to be the exclusive preserve of the majority English population in Canada and writing in
French was the domain of Francophones, but this is far from true today. It’s not surprising now that
many award-winning authors who write in the two official languages bear names of different origins. We
also see a resurgence of interest in different Indigenous languages, a trend which Montréal Serai
Religion, cultural identity, ethnic origins (we are all ethnic, aren’t we?) and mother tongue are facts that
any just society, particularly a secular society, must recognize as dear to many people’s hearts. For most
Canadians, secularism does not imply repression of other people’s dress codes or religious or language
identity, but rather respect for them, provided those customs don’t violate the UN Charter of Human
Rights (which, coincidentally, was drafted by a Canadian).
We invite our readers/writers to give us their take on this mélange of very real, very troublesome, very
human, very hot topics. We are soliciting essays, short fiction, poetry and other art works from all
communities that recognize that now is not the time to be divided by identity (while fully respecting the
rights and dignity of all minority cultures and identities). It’s time to forge a new platform – a new stage
– where the community as a whole, including the majority population, mounts the stage in collective
recognition of the need to speak truth to power.
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.
Montréal Serai respects access copyright understanding on intellectual property rights. We do not publish without the permission and acquiescence of the writer.
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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Submission deadlines are stated above. Publication begins at the beginning of April, July, October, and January. Additional articles might be posted in booster issues depending on submissions received.
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