Call for Submissions: Republican Speech

Submissions are now closed.


“Poetry is republican speech: a speech which is its own law and end unto itself, and in which all the parts are free citizens and have the right to vote.”

–Friedrich Schlegel, Critical Fragments no. 65

The theme of Dilettante Army’s Spring 2019 issue is Republican Speech. Speech that builds a republic brings people together in common cause: appealing to shared ideals, mutual economic goals, or a collective identity. Republican speech also draws borders between the community and the outsider, determining who constitutes a threat to the state. Who has the right to speak this way? What types of speech have voting rights? What does republican speech build up, and what does it tear down? What are its poetic and empathetic potentialities?

We invite essay proposals that examine republican speech and Republican speech, including the visual and poetic elements of rhetoric.

Prompts may include: fashion statements, classical rhetoric (Plato’s Phaedrus, Cicero, Jean-Jacques Rousseau), debates (James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley, Reagan v. Mondale), political advertisements, organizing speeches (Mother Jones, Dolores Huerta, Angela Davis), Civil War memorials, protest signs, money as speech (Citizens United v. FEC), fact-checking, whataboutism, fear-mongering, the State of the Union, respectability politics, mass rallies, likeability, hate speech, anthems, and, of course, sad Paul Ryan memes.

Submission proposals should be emailed to editor Sara Clugage ( by Wednesday, February 13


Image: Bruno Braquehais, Statue of Napoleon I after the Fall of the Vendôme Column, 1870-71, via Wikimedia Commons


We publish pieces that involve visual analysis, critical theory, and close text reading. Our preferred topics center around issues of social justice, politics, the art world, and quirky historical stuff. While we do publish pieces that are situated in lived experience, we do not publish personal essays. We much prefer pitches to completed pieces, although if you do have a completed piece, please thoroughly summarize it in your email. Dilettante Army also promotes imaginative pieces, poetry, and visual essays. If you have a creative idea, please hit us up!


Editor-in-Chief Sara Clugage:

Please include in your email your name and the title of your piece. If you are pitching any kind of expository writing, please give us a full paragraph explaining your idea and the key points you will use to support it. We look for original, well-considered arguments that are backed up by theory of some kind (i.e. critical, feminist, literary, aesthetic), reliable data, and close observation or reading. We want to see that you’ve got weird, creative ideas, and that you also have a firm grounding in your subject and a reliable research methodology.


In general, DA publishes medium-format written pieces of 2000-3000 words. Visual essays and poetry are considered separately.


We strongly believe that creative labor should be paid. We offer an honorarium for our illustrious authors, on average $200-400. Contributors retain all rights to their work.