An online student-run multicultural journal for poets, writers, artists, and thinkers, Mandala Journal celebrates diversity by publishing a wide range of voices, experiences, and aesthetics.
Founded in 1997, Mandala Journal was published in newsletter format for two years and was initially conceived as a medium for creative expression by students of African descent at The University of Georgia. Beginning with its third volume, the journal became a bound volume and was published in this format for one year before going on hiatus.
In 2005, the journal was re-launched as a print journal with an expanded mission. For the next three years, Mandala Journal existed to provide a medium for creative expression by UGA students, faculty, and friends, who were interested in matters concerning identity, culture, politics, and the social and ideological intricacies that shape our lives. The journal published work that rethought, interrogated, and celebrated the unity and diversity of the Diaspora and the voices within it.
With the 2009—2010 issue, Cosmopolitanism, the journal launched itself as an online journal available to anyone with an internet connection and a computer terminal. The online format facilitates greater access to the journal and also facilitates the inclusion of a greater breadth of voices and work. The work of internationally renowned poets, writers, artists, and thinkers appears alongside the work of school children from Athens, Georgia and emerging writers from throughout the Americas, the African Diaspora, and points beyond.
The journal's development across the years—both its internal mission and its external vision—reflects a continued quest to realize the potential inherent in, and the charge implied by, its name. Mandala Journal takes its name from an archetypal symbol used by peoples worldwide to connote eternity, wholeness, and balance—the circle.
Published by the Institute for African American Studies at The University of Georgia, Mandala Journal is organized to foster undergraduate leadership, and the staff is comprised predominantly of undergraduate students. These students play a vital role in the life of the Institute for African American Studies at UGA.