Open Calls

Gender Queer/ Genre Queer Playground Special Issue

Guest Editor: Ronaldo V. Wilson

Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally. Recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as one of the premier journals dedicated to Africa and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print and year-round online at and hosted by Illinois State University. 

This special issue of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Gender Queer/ Genre Queer Playground, seeks work that moves between the face of terror and isolation; joy as possibility, necessity, and form. Recess—inspired by the visual artist Ellen Gallagher’s 2001 painted sculpture “Preserve,” (10 x 12 x 32 feet) described in Art in Review as “an expansive, all-white structure of straight wooden dowels designed to resemble a children’s jungle gym, … decorat[ed] … with cut-out pieces of flat rubber … based on Ms. Gallagher’s usual lexicon of google eyes, lips and wavy hair.” Catch—Gallagher’s minimalist structure, modeled in the context of the “playground,” allows for multiple points of entry, the viewer able to play through a raced, gendered, queer site. Blacktop. Blackness. Kickball. Tetherball. Double-Dutch. Tag. You’re It. We invite LGBQTIA+++++ of the African Diaspora to come play with us across practices. Please send original short stories, poetry, drama, hybrid genre, creative/critical interventions, interviews, multimedia visual and digital art, as well as music and experimental soundscapes.

Submission Deadlines: June 22, 2021 to December 1, 2021

Direct inquiries to:

See full guidelines and submit materials and fifty-word bio:

Obsidian Digital Exhibition
To submit for consideration for web features which are part of the Obsidian Digital Exhibition, send general submissions for audio, drama/performance, fiction/hybrid works, image, poetry, and video/media arts through Submittable.

Submissions for the Obsidian Digital Exhibition are considered year round.

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