Call for Submissions: Conditions on the Ground

A photograph shows a landscape from the air: trees, open land, a few houses in a tight cluster. Maybe there’s nothing to see here. What does it mean to be this observer in the air? Who is the person who sleeps under those trees? It’s not only photographs that show the difference between a position in the air and the ground. Observe the breach between high theoretical claims and the granular conditions of our lives, the big picture versus the small one—it’s a pressing concern, a concern that presses us down to earth.

Dilettante Army’s Winter 2021 issue, “Conditions on the Ground,” will be an appraisal of reconnaissance. How do we reground ourselves? 

In volatile times, conditions on the ground shift more rapidly than theory or strategy can follow. We know there is a discrepancy between overarching narratives and lived conditions, and we seek to evaluate our immediate surroundings first. But looking from a distance is not always bad, and intimate knowledge is not always better. What does it mean to have to relearn what you thought you knew? 

Dilettante Army seeks scholarly submissions that address gaps between the sky and the ground. Topics could include: fault lines, new volcanoes, the Richter scale, cloud cover, Karl the Fog, military surveillance, space cadets, reportage, archives, the view from 10,000 feet, suspicion, Land Back, landscapes, tulips, grassroots, the New Left, going to ground, soil sovereignty, details, private spaces, childhood bedrooms, slime molds, fungus networks, and close reading.

Submission pitches should be emailed to editor Sara Clugage ( by December 15, 2020. Before submitting, please read our submission guidelines for more information on what we publish.

Image: Aerial photograph taken by a pigeon launched by Julius Neubronner, c. 1909-1911.