Callaloo was founded by current editor Charles H. Rowell in 1976 at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. The journal moved to the University of Virginia and then Texas A&M.
Texas A&M University sponsors Callaloo, and the Johns Hopkins University Press publishes the journal five times each year. The central purposes of Callaloo are:
- to provide a publication outlet, in English or English translations, for new, emerging, and established creative writers who produce texts in different languages in the African Diaspora; and
- to serve as a forum for literary and cultural critics who write about the literature and culture of the African Diaspora.
Callaloo is, in other words, the premier literary and cultural journal of the African Diaspora.
Although Callaloo is an academic literary journal, it is a veritable cultural center, which also sponsors a number of related projects, including:
- on-campus readings and other cultural and intellectual projects, such as lectures, symposia, etc.;
- the annual international CALLALOO CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS in fiction and poetry writing; and
- the annual CALLALOO CONFERENCE, which meets on different university campuses in the USA and abroad.
In addition to receiving grants of support from national agencies such as the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Callaloo has garnered a number of national honors, including:
- the best special issue of a journal from the Council of Editors for Learned Journals for "The Haitian Issues" in 1992 (Volume 15.2 & 3: Haiti: the Literature and Culture Parts I & II);
- honorable mention for the "Best Special Issue of a Journal" in 2001 from the Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the American Association (Volume 24.1: The Confederate Flag ControversyA Special Section); and
- recognition for the Winter 2002 issue from the Council of Editors for Learned Journals as one of the best special issues of that year (Volume 25.1: Jazz Poetics).
For more information about the history and services of Callaloo, click on the following:
"Making Callaloo: Past, Present, and Future" by Charles H. Rowell "NOT NAMING THE RACE: An Interview with Charles Henry Rowell", conducted by Shona N. Jackson (from Volume 30.1: 376-401).