Call for Submissions: Michigan Quarterly Review special issue on US Democracy

March 16, 2022

Special Issue Call for Submissions

Fractured Union: American Democracy on the Brink

Submissions open Jan 24–Apr 1Guest edited by Davan Maharaj.

Click here to submit.

Can U.S. democracy be saved?

When we set out to devote a special issue of Michigan Quarterly Review to the political turbulence in the United States, we found ourselves drawn to one question again and again: Can the U.S. hold on to its claim of being the most successful multiracial democracy in the world?

The dangers facing democracy with the rise of illiberal regimes around the globe has become more dire. In the United States, venerable publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times, are now airing a debate about whether we are on the brink of a second civil war.

Record numbers of hate crimes against ethnic minorities, widespread assault on voting rights, and the rise of white supremacy are threatening our democratic norms.

Perhaps, as UC San Diego professor Barbara F. Walter has declared in her new book, How Civil Wars Start, the United States is stuck in an anocracy, the transitional stage between democracy and autocracy.

The questions now are: Who is America? Can American democracy be saved? And who will save it?

In times of political upheaval, poets, journalists, and creative writers have historically met the moment, seeking to explain the political and social conditions—and to change them.

At this point in history, the battle for democracy and racial equality has moved to the fields of truth and narrative. We are seeking essays, fiction, poetry, graphic narrative, and visual art that can explore how our notion of democracy has been shaped by race and capitalism and help us imagine a world where the United States finally fulfills its promise of democracy.

Submissions can be uploaded at this link.

The issue will be published in October of 2022. Maximum length for articles, essays and works of fiction is 7,000 words. Poetry submissions must not exceed 10 pages. If Submittable is not accessible to you, please email with your concern.