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It’s oh so quiet.

This fall, Anthropology News invites you to pause and make yourself comfortable, to find a moment of quiet repose in an age of so much noise.

We will be taking a break from the speed and cacophony of contemporary life and turning an anthropological eye to silences of all kinds in all places: silence companionable, powerful, visceral, awkward, racialized, attentive, curatorial, visual, linguistic, political, liberatory, public, private, of refusal, medical, poetic, and musical. What counts as silence? How is silence expressed? What does it sound like? And what can it tell us about human lives and social worlds?

Whatever your silence pitch, we want to hear it. Stories about things left unsaid and the unspeakable, about silence as a part of language, about how to find spaces of calm and connection away from life’s distractions. Silent film. Stillness. Quietude. The hush-hush whispers and rumors at the margins of public conversation. A pregnant pause. Hesitations. A rail journey in the “quiet car.” Fashion’s “quiet luxury” moment. Noise-cancelling headphones. The sound of radio silence.

We seek imaginative pitches that approach silence from a range of international perspectives, in the form of feature stories/essays, photo essays, graphic ethnography comics or illustrations, and short sound or film pieces. Creative approaches to the essay form are welcome.

Please send a 300-word pitch that outlines the story or argument of your piece, and a 50-word author bio to [email protected] by May 22, 2023.For a photo essay pitch, please include one or two images with your text. For graphic ethnography, include examples of your comic-strip or illustration work. For a sound or film piece, include a short clip.

First drafts will be due by June 23 and will go through a developmental process with the AN editor. Final stories will be due by July 31. Full feature stories are ~2,000 words. Photo essays comprise six–eight high resolution images and a 750-word introductory essay. Graphic ethnography pieces span up to six print pages. Sound and film pieces should be no longer than 10 minutes in length. Content will publish in the September/October 2023 print magazine and on the AN website.