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Letter from the Editor

“A spectre is haunting Sewanee…”

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.

9 replies on ““A spectre is haunting Sewanee…””

Disgusting. The leftist indoctrination of younger kids through teachers unions is bad enough. And if you were anti-war, you’d vote Republican. WAKE UP. 🤦‍♀️

Hating on young, educated college students says a lot about you. Your negativity is unwarranted and unwanted. They are working hard to produce this work and incite change. You are doing the exact opposite.

God it must be so hard being that stupid. I love the implication that teachers wanting basic rights and pay for their work is going to “ indoctrinate children into the left“

Not entirely related to this article, but I’m patiently waiting for Sewanee’s leftists to finally take a critical look at Brigety and realize that he’s not our friend. He wrote an entire book describing cool and awesome Cruise Missiles are as a tool for the “US Security Policy,” describing them as an “attractive” use of force. https://books.google.com/books/about/Ethics_Technology_and_the_American_Way_o.html?id=pQyUAgAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description He also did little to assist students’ efforts to raise the minimum wage for the dining staff among other things. I think the Spectre could write a brilliant piece about how Brigety fits perfectly into the liberal/democratic mold of leaders shielding themselves behind progressive identities while upholding US imperial foreign policy and ignoring workers’ demands. If this publication is truly anti-war and pro-worker then I think a critical analysis of the shortcomings of the University’s head is an important piece.

As a lifelong Democratic Socialist, a Sewanee faculty brat (we came in ’54), and ’78 alum, I’m very psyched to see this. As a longtime English teacher, I adore the quality of the writing and the topics you folks have written about. Keep up the good work!

As a Marxist Leninist over here at the School of Theology….this exciting stuff! I think this will be a very interesting process that will uncover a lot of the underlying issues of Sewanee

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