Born in Africa and bred in the diaspora, Transition is a unique forum for the freshest, most compelling, most curious ideas about race. Since its founding in Uganda in 1961, the magazine has kept apace of the rapid transformation of the black world and has remained a leading forum of intellectual debate. Now, in an age that demands ceaseless improvisation, we aim to be both an anchor of deep reflection on black life and a map charting new routes through the globalized world. Transition is a publication of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, published three times annually by Indiana University Press.

Alejandro de la Fuente, Editor.

Transition aims to speak to the broader intelligentsia and the educated lay public through jargon-free, readable prose that provides both insight and pleasure.

We accept submissions year-round on a rolling basis.  We generally respond to all submissions within four months.  Due to volume, we are unable to provide updates on the status of submissions unless more than four months have passed.

Transition publishes writing by and about Africa and the African diaspora, with an eye towards a global perspective.  Please familiarize yourself with our Archive and read a recent issue to gain a sense of both the content and style that we seek.


General Submission Guidelines

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  • Transition does accept simultaneous submissions.  Please notify us immediately if you need to withdraw a piece because it has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Transition does not accept multiple submissions within a four-month period.  Within a season, an author may submit one packet of 5-7 poems, 1 short story, 1 essay, or 1 interview.  Multiple submissions will result in all submissions being rejected.
  • Transition now only accepts electronic submissions through Submittable.  Submissions sent by physical mail will be recycled unread.
  • Expect to revise.  With the exception of poetry, Transition almost never publishes work in the form it was originally submitted.  Authors of work under consideration may receive editorial feedback and requests to revise prior to final acceptance.
  • All submissions should include a brief cover letter that includes a short author bio.
  • For all submissions, please include the following information in your cover letter and in the top left corner of the first page of all documents:

Name
Email address
Title of the work
Word count (or page count, for poetry)

  • Pages should be numbered and include the author’s name on every page.
  • All text submissions must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file format.  Images may be submitted in .jpg, .tiff, .gif, or .png.
  • Use 12pt. Times New Roman font unless there is a stylistic reason to do otherwise.

Transition pays contributors with one print copy of the issue in which their work appears, and the opportunity to reach a broad, international audience.



The last two decades have witnessed the expansion and increased visibility of Afro-Latin American social movements within Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Europe and beyond. For the first time, a special issue of Transition (Winter 2018) will be completely dedicated to Afro-Latin America. The issue focuses on recent and contemporary sociopolitical, economic and cultural struggles for visibility, empowerment, and justice.

Our goal is to generate a continuous south-to-north dialogue that represents the diverse ideas, voices, achievements, and challenges of Afro-Latin American communities everywhere. We invite Afro-descendant writers, artists, and academics, or anyone who explores themes about Afro-Latin American life in their work to participate. We will consider creative writing as well as critical or journalistic essays in Spanish, Portuguese and/or English.

Creative Writing: (Ex., short stories, poetry, plays etc.) that examine topics related to the experiences, histories and challenges of the Afro-Latin American world and its relations with the diaspora in general. We expect creative pieces of high narrative prose that are rich in description and attentive to rhetorical devices.
Essays: We will also consider critical or journalistic essays that discuss current issues related to Afro-Latin American populations. For example, social and cultural movements, activism, marginalization and racism.
Visual Art: We also wish to publish original art (Ex., painting, photography, sculpture, installations, theater etc.) that is thoughtful and provocative, and that explores political, cultural, historical or spiritual issues about Afro-Latin America.

** There is no guarantee of publication even after making revisions. Final decisions are made by our editorial board.

For any inquiries please contact Laura Correa Ochoa, editor of this issue, at lcorreaochoa01@g.harvard.edu

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Convocatoria para la revista Transition sobre temas afrolatinoaméricanos

Transition Magazine —Edición Invierno 2018

Nacida en Uganda en 1961 y creada bajo la diáspora africana, Transition es un foro único para las ideas más cautivantes y más innovadoras sobre el mundo afrodescendiente. La revista ofrece un espacio interdisciplinario de debate académico, literario, y artístico. Sus páginas han sido ocupadas por algunas de las figuras más reconocidas de la diáspora africana, incluyendo Wole Soyinka y James Baldwin. Transition es publicada por el Hutchins Center de la Universidad de Harvard bajo la dirección del doctor Alejandro de la Fuente y un gran equipo editorial conformado por académicos, escritores y personalidades de la diáspora.

Las últimas dos décadas han visto la expansión y mayor visibilidad de los movimientos sociales afrolatinoamericanos dentro de América Latina, el Caribe, Estados Unidos, Europa y más allá. Por primera vez un número especial de Transition (Invierno 2018) estará completamente dedicado a temas afrolatinoamericanos. Este número se centra en las luchas sociopolíticas, económicas y culturales recientes y contemporáneas por la visibilidad, el empoderamiento y la justicia. Nuestro objetivo es generar un diálogo continuo de sur a norte que represente las diversas ideas, voces, logros y desafíos de las comunidades afro-latinoamericanas en todas partes.

Invitamos a participar a escritores, artistas y académicos afrodescendientes, o a cualquiera que explore temas sobre la vida afro-latinoamericana en su trabajo. Consideraremos escritos en español, portugués y / o inglés.

       Son bienvenidas propuestas de ficción (Ej. cuentos, relatos, poesía, obras de teatro) que examinen temas relacionados con las experiencias, las historias y los retos del mundo afrolatinoaméricano y sus relaciones con la diáspora en general. Esperamos piezas creativas de alta prosa narrativa que sean ricas en descripción y atentas a figuras retóricas.
       También consideraremos ensayos académicos o periodísticos que discutan temas actuales relacionados con poblaciones afrolatinoamericanas. Por ejemplo, movimientos sociales y culturales, activismo, marginalización y racismo.
     Además, deseamos publicar arte original (Ej. pintura, fotografía, escultura, instalaciones, teatro) que sea reflexivo y provocativo, y que explore temas políticos, culturales, históricos o espirituales sobre afrolatinoamérica. 

 ***No hay garantía de publicación incluso después de hacer revisiones. Las decisiones finales son tomadas por nuestro consejo editorial.      

Para cualquier consulta, por favor contacte a Laura Correa Ochoa, editora de este número, en lcorreaochoa01@g.harvard.edu.

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Chamada para a revista Transition sobre temas afrodescendentes

Nascida em Uganda em 1961 e criada sob a diáspora africana, a revista Transition é um fórum único para as ideas mais cativantes e mais inovadoras no mundo afrodescendente. A revista oferece um espaço acadêmico interdisciplinar de debate literário e artístico. Suas páginas foram ocupadas por algumas das figuras mais conhecidas da diáspora africana, incluindo Wole Soyinka e James Baldwin. Atualmente, Transition é publicada pelo Centro Hutchins na Universidade de Harvard sob a direção do Dr. Alejandro de la Fuente e uma grande equipe editorial composta por acadêmicos, escritores e personalidades da diáspora. 

 As duas últimas décadas têm visto a expansão e maior visibilidade dos movimentos sociais afrolatinoamericanos na América Latina, Caribe, Estados Unidos, Europa e além. Pela primeira vez uma edição especial de Transição (Inverno 2018) será completamente dedicada a temas afrodescendentes. Esta edição enfoca nas lutas sociopolíticas, econômicas e culturais recentes e contemporâneas pela visibilidade, empoderamento e justiça. Nosso objetivo é gerar um contínuo diálogo sul-norte que represente as diversas ideias, vozes, conquistas e desafios das comunidades afrolatinoamericanas em todos os lugares. Convidamos a participar escritores, artistas e acadêmicos afrodescendentes, ou qualquer pessoa que explore temas sobre a vida afrolatinoamericana em seus trabalhos. Consideraremos textos em espanhol, português e / ou inglês. 

 Peças de ficção (Ex., Histórias curtas, poesias, peças etc.) que examinem temas relacionados às experiências, histórias e desafios do mundo afrolatinoamericano e suas relações com a diáspora em geral. Esperamos peças criativas de alta prosa narrativa ricas em descrição e atentas a dispositivos retóricos. 

Também consideraremos ensaios críticos ou jornalísticos que discutam questões atuais relacionadas às populações afro-latino-americanas. Por exemplo, movimentos sociais e culturais, ativismo, marginalização e racismo. 

Também desejamos publicar arte original (Ex., Pintura, fotografia, escultura, instalações, teatro, etc.) que seja pensativa e provocativa, e que explore questões políticas, culturais, históricas ou espirituais sobre afrolatinoamerica. 

 *** Não há garantia de publicação mesmo depois de fazer revisões. As decisões finais são tomadas pelo nosso conselho editorial. 

 Para mais informações, entre em contato com Laura Correa Ochoa, editora desta edição lcorreaochoa01@g.harvard.edu
Transition Magazine is saddened to learn of the passing of former Editor, Abiola Irele (May 22, 1936-July 2, 2017). Issue 124 will feature a section dedicated to his memory and we welcome submissions from all who admire, knew and wish to contribute a remembrance in his honor. All submissions will be considered until July 31, 2017.
Submit responses to Transition's call for papers here.

Our ideal length for non-fiction prose is 6000 words.  Although we occasionally publish shorter pieces, we almost never publish longer pieces.  Unlike academic journals, we believe that the mode of expression is just as important as the content. Academic clichés, locutions, and jargon, in addition to authorial intrusions such as “I am going to argue...,” “In the second section of this paper I will...,” etc., are best avoided, since they tend to disrupt the narrative flow.
We expect the nonfiction pieces published in Transition to display the virtues of high-quality literary fiction, especially narrative prose, which leads the reader naturally from one sentence to the next. Rich description and attention to voice, tone, imagery, and word choice are all appreciated. We also welcome provocative points of view that stimulate debate.

N.B. As a nonacademic journal, we do not run footnotes or give strict bibliographic documentation for the ideas expressed in our essays. One way to cite quotations or reference scholars is by incorporating the reference into the sentence; for example, “As Edward Said reminds us in Culture and Imperialism, ‘Appeals to the past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretations of the present.’”

We publish short stories as well as excerpts from forthcoming novels.  In general, fiction must have some obvious link to the editorial mission of Transition to publish by and about Africa and the African diaspora.  We typically publish fiction of up to 6000 words.
Please submit 5-7 poems at a time.  We publish poetry from and about Africa and the Diaspora. For non-English-language poetry, we prefer to run the original language version along with its literary translation into English.  Submission of translations should specify whether or not the translator has already secured permission to publish the translation and original.  We rarely publish new translations of poems that are already widely available in English.  In such cases, the submission cover letter must include a compelling argument from the translator on why their version is revelatory.
We continuously seek new, unpublished work from photographers and artists and look for images that inform, innovate, startle, and speak.

Please submit:
  • Five to ten high-resolution (300 dpi) images for which you would grant Transition permission to publish
  • Caption information for submitted images (Title. Materials. Size. Courtesy (if any). Copyright year, artist name.)
  • A short bio (150 words or less) in an MS Word document
  • Contact info, including name, address, email and phone
Should your image(s) be selected to appear in Transition, a member of the staff will contact you to make further arrangements for publication.

Although Transition is unable to pay contributors, we provide the opportunity to reach a broad, international audience by including a brief profile on each artist whose work is used to complement our text pieces.

Please note that most artwork and photography in Transition appears in black and white, and we can use only high-resolution images (300 dpi). Others will be discarded.


We love to publish interviews by and with scholars, writers, artists, filmmakers, activists—anyone doing something interesting and unique in the black world.  All interviews should be preceded by a short (150-250 words) introduction that incorporates a bio of the interviewee, with the interview following in standard interview format (Q & A). We publish interviews in the 6000 word range.