Ethos is a collective of critics, artists, scholars, and other intellectuals who hope to inspire discussion about the cultures that shape—and are shaped by—contemporary society. The project is maintained by folks based mostly at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but we publish scholars and intellectuals from around the nation.
Ethos began as a way for our collective to inquire into the powerful effects of the cultural arena upon the everyday conditions of our lives. From early modern plays to contemporary television comedies, we maintain that culture does much more than reflect or imitate larger social conditions. Rather, cultural mores, performances, and artifacts comprise a network of forces that help to configure our economics, politics, and daily existence. Ethos is committed to providing an online space for reflecting upon these cultural forces and ideas that shape the human condition. We also pose a running dialogue about academia and other social institutions that structure our contemporary moment. To that end, Ethos is devoted to facilitating a versatile space for debating—and indeed producing—ideas, cultural practices, and institutional sensibilities that better the lived conditions of a diverse, global public. Thus, we inflect our peer-reviewed journal articles as well as our weekly forums through a commitment to critical interventions in public life.
Ethos aims to keep one foot within and the other outside academia. This dual-vision means that our digital project maintains two interconnected outlets for public, critical discussion. First, Ethos publishes weekly forums that reflect upon the kind of cultural milieu shaping our lives. In the two interrelated forums, “Cultural Interventions” and “Intellectual Spaces,” we publish posts on a variety of topics, including critical reflections on cultural phenomena (contemporary sitcoms, the latest Chabon novel, etc.), problems confronting the academy, and issues of ethical or social import that figure prominently in public debate.
Second, this digital project participates in the assessing and assembling of the cultural forces that shape our contemporary moment through a semi-annual, peer-reviewed journal. The Ethos journal publishes essays that practice cultural criticism on a range of topics in the arts and humanities. The journal seeks essays that explore “public” problems that lie anywhere at the intersection of the arts, humanities, and their effects upon the everyday conditions of our lives. Our hope is to publish work that is at once intellectually rigorous and also intriguing for readers outside the academy.
Editors: Elisa Faison and Morgan Souza
Forum Editors: Sean DiLeonardi, Andrew Kim, and Dylan Thompson
Director of Outreach: Mary Learner