Guernica’s specials offer a close, and unique, look at topics that we believe are important, timely, or just plain compelling. A deeper extension of our traditional explorations into arts and politics, this series aims to broaden the range of voices participating in the conversations that matter.

The Kiss

On perhaps the most intimate of human interactions.

The Future of Language

On language as a wellspring of memory and shared knowledge, and a rubric by which we measure difference—between races, between species, between subjectivities.

The Future of Cities

On cities grimed by human hands—by pollution and greed, by corruption and terrorism, by neglect and artificiality, by colonization and apartheid and war—and places of hope, with humanism as their foundation.

The Boundaries of Taste

On that nebulous space between love and what we think we love, primal pleasure and learned appreciation, gut revulsion and reasoned dismissal, and taste as performance and a projection of our selves into the world.

The Boundaries of Nature

On the natural world: wondrous, ineffable, and indifferent to us, adhering to its own laws even as we behold it with awe or fear, even as we seek to understand it through physics and art, even as we impose policies of plunder or protection.

The Boundaries of Nations

On who we are and where we come from, what national and personal identity might mean in this uprooted, transient era when home can be defined by the clothes on your back and the borders you can’t cross.

The Boundaries of Gender

On constructing and reconstructing sexuality, upending and transgressing the constricting binaries of gender, and the body as the first and most foundational means of relation.

The American South: On the Map and in the Mind

On the landscape of the South, at turns surprising and familiar, at once a geographical distinction and a bright spot in the imagination, where burden vies with birthright, and where ignorance and renaissance exist side by side.

Religion in America: Gods and Devils

On the continued tendency in America to define belief by its absence, myriad approaches to spiritual life, and lasting expressions of faith, be it through dogged observance, syncretism, resistance, or renewal.

Freedom of Expression: The Gray Areas

On the forces that obstruct expression in an age when writers, activists, and others find themselves visibly, violently, and systematically surveilled and silenced, and where—whether geographically or intellectually, in memory or in cyberspace—we might actually be free. Guernica and Free Word in association with Article 19 and English PEN.

Female Fighters

In partnership with the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative and V-Day

Class in America: The Fault Lines

On yesterday’s legacy, today’s money, and class lines as fault lines—politically fraught and personally subjective, actual and imagined.

American Empires: Power and Its Discontents

On the vast cultural, economic, and political space of America, where there is the government and also what governs us: family, preachers, landlords, money, or that thing you feel in the absence of money, corporations, even art.