About Us

protean /prōˈtēən/

1. exceedingly variable
“the protean nature of truth”

2. able to do many different things; versatile
“a remarkably protean periodical”


From the ancient Greek Proteus, a sea god who could change his form, knew all things, and who would only share his knowledge with those who could wrestle him down.

Protean Magazine is a production of the Protean Collective, a non-profit publishing group based in San Francisco, California. Protean Collective acts as the editorial board for Protean Magazine. Protean Collective is an inter-disciplinary group of writers, artists, and publishers who are seeking to develop independent, ad-free media with a left-leaning stance.

What brings the Protean Collective together is our shared sense of purpose and values. We believe that in order to make this world more peaceful, compassionate, equal, and free, we must embody our values and act with purpose. Moreover, we believe in the importance of independent media, particularly in these times of social, cultural, and political turmoil, and wish to lead by example with the hope that others will follow suit. It is for these reasons we have created Protean Magazine.

Our Mission

To create space for the appreciation, dissection, and re-imagining of the now—the relevant issues of our time—without being consumed by the “nowness” which pervades the modern media landscape. To examine things through different lenses—essays, journalism, fiction, poetry, and art—to give shape to what is amorphous and embrace the possibility of the future. To provide opportunity for original and unhindered writing and art outside of both traditional corporate media and unpaid personal publication. To contribute to the tradition of independent literature and art in a world increasingly dominated by public relations and advertisement.