Revolutionary Papers: Counter-Institutions, -Politics and -Cultures of Anticolonial Periodicals in the Global South – Due August 15, 2022

Collage of periodical covers with text "Revolutionary Papers: Counter-Institutions, Politics and Culture in Periodicals of the Global South"

Revolutionary Papers: Counter-Institutions, -Politics and -Cultures of Anticolonial Periodicals in the Global South
Issue number 150 (October 2024)
Abstract Deadline: August 15, 2022
Co-Edited by Mahvish Ahmad, Chana Morgenstern, Koni Benson, and Alex Lichtenstein

Radical History Review seeks contribution for a special issue entitled Revolutionary Papers. This issue will examine periodicals and other print ephemera—including newspapers, cultural and literary journals, magazines, and pamphlets—as sites of Left, anti-imperial, and anti-colonial critical production across the Global South. During struggles against colonialism, Apartheid, and postcolonial violence, revolutionary papers generated oppositional networks, critical politics, left mobilizations, literary scenes, and alternative artistic practices. Often produced in exile, forced underground, or excluded from traditional sites of intellectual production such as the university, they served as conduits and catalysts of collective critique and literature, discussion, and political or cultural self-definition. Political and cultural dissenters relied on the periodical’s flexibility, circulatory power, and capacity to foster intellectual and literary scenes to fashion new fields of thought. Editors and contributors developed analyses, critiques, and alternative visions through records of debates, clubs and gatherings, essays, letters to the editor, translations, news, local and international literature, photography, and visual art.  With left periodicals as their communicative tools, they developed unique political vocabularies that addressed local concerns while linking them to global revolutionary praxis. The left periodical manifested in vastly different forms—from guerilla newsletters to internationalist literary magazines. Contributors are invited to select and present from any genre they regard as relevant, to consider its creation, form, content, readership, “oral infrastructure,” and circulation and to interrogate the nature of the periodical’s radicalism. In line with our commitments to anti-colonial and anti-authoritarian praxis today we also invite reflections on the political significance of revisiting revolutionary papers in our current moment of renewed protest against the continuities and legacies of colonialism. We seek submissions that explore how periodicals: Forged counter-institutions, e.g.:

  • the role of periodicals in establishing alternatives to colonial and authoritarian postcolonial state infrastructures–including intellectual and cultural establishments
  • the political, cultural, organizational, or other interventions by the periodical
  • the archives of revolutionary papers and the periodical as archive

Articulated counter-political vocabularies, e.g.:

  • the place of revolutionary papers in forging anti-colonial, anti-authoritarian ideas, and struggles, and in defining what was “radical” at a particular moment
  • non-canonical vocabularies of analysis and critique produced and disseminated through radical periodicals
  • pedagogical practices and oral circulation that use radical, self-produced periodicals (including text and visuals) from southern movements in university and movement education spaces

Created counter-cultures, e.g.:

  • periodicals’ role in the formation of oppositional literatures and arts practices
  • explorations of literary circles defining the aesthetic and social parameters of radicalism and its production as they published and disseminated new work
  • how specific periodicals helped shape anti-colonial, Marxist, national, feminist and other collective literatures

The RHR publishes material in a variety of forms including Historians at Work; Teaching Radical History; Public History; Interviews; and (Re)Views. In addition to monographic articles based on archival research, the co-editors of this issue invite scholars, activists/organizers, and movement collectives to submit in various forms. This can include interviews, roundtables, curated arts contributions—including working with periodical cover art and related poster collections, reviews, pedagogies, and reflections. We welcome submissions that use images as well as text (but please note that the journal has no funds for image reproductions and permissions).

Submission Guidelines: By August 15, 2022, please submit a title and abstract (of 800 words max) for your proposed submission as a Word or PDF file attachment to and with “Issue 150 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. Please focus your abstract on one (or more) organizational, political, or cultural intervention by the periodical(s) in question. We ask that abstracts include a short bio (max 100 words) and a description of the selected periodical(s), including where relevant:

  1. Title(s)
  2. Circulation period(s) and region(s)
  3. Publication language(s)
  4. Type(s) (e.g., was it a weekly magazine or ad hoc guerilla bulletin)
  5. Name of the editorial collective(s) or movement(s) responsible for publication (if applicable)
  6. Digital copy of periodical cover (if available).

By October 1, 2022, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review, which will be due by February 1, 2023. Articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 150 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in October, 2024.

For more information about the Revolutionary Papers research network:

Abstract Deadline: August 15, 2022
Contact: and