Basically, this is an attempt to produce an explicitly political magazine at the University of the South. In saying “explicitly political,” I’m acknowledging that all writing is technically political. As Orwell put it in his essay “Why I Write,” even the insistence that art ought not to get involved with politics is a political statement. What we want to create with the Spectre is a space for writing that isn’t just political by default. This might be through investigative reporting, satirical essays, political cartoons and journalistic comics, or even more outwardly aesthetic writing like short fiction and poetry. Our only real requirement here is that the material submitted has to have a point: an opinion about reality from a leftist perspective. The point can be as subtle or obvious as you’d like, so long as we’re convinced it’s there.
What do we mean by “leftist”? The Spectre is (in the broadest terms) a democratic socialist magazine. This means that we’re anti-authoritarian, pro-union, anti-war, and we generally believe that the means of production (capital) ought to be held in common. How we get to that last goal is up for debate; some of our editorial staff support revolution, others want Fabian Society style gradual change, others still might support the creation of sovereign wealth funds, etc. And those beliefs are likely to change, especially while editing persuasive work submitted to the magazine. This is where you (the person reading this) come in.
Our submission box will be open on a rolling basis. This is an entirely new experience for me and nearly everyone on our staff. Though I was the opinion editor at the Purple for three semesters, I’ve never been in the “big boy chair.” As unknown and scary as this is, I’m really psyched. There are so many stories at Sewanee, and so many talented storytellers. I sincerely hope you’ll take a chance and send us your work.