Calls for Papers

Call for Papers: ASAP/Journal Special Issue

New Inscriptions: Writing in the Expanded Field

Special Issue Editors: Paul Benzon and Rita Raley
Extended Essay Submission Deadline: May 1, 2021

A wordless novel written entirely in an invented set of pictograms. Multiple copies of a book left to decompose in different biogeoclimatic zones. Words of a story cut into snow and photographed before they melt. Poems composed of arrows, brackets, and flow charts. An archive of literary works that waits unpublished for a century. Redacted documents that tell the secret history of empire and terror through blackness and blankness. Liquid chemicals floating on the surface of the ocean. Inscription is everywhere, all around us—and increasingly recognized as such. What new forms does it take in the contemporary moment? What materialities, surfaces, and spatial-cultural sites does it occupy most urgently, and to what end? How might it be thought historically, in relation to technological transformations in writing and language processing? What, in short, is at stake in the expansion of the concept, category, and field of inscription?

For this special issue of ASAP/Journal, we seek contributions on contemporary practices, texts, archives, and theories that might collectively begin to imagine the study of new modes of inscription as both a field and a potential methodology. Collectively, these contributions will sketch the shifting parameters and possibilities of the ‘new inscriptions’ and consider how artists and writers in different linguistic, socio-cultural, and political contexts have begun to reconceive of inscription, and to what ends. If the expanded field of inscription, to use Rosalind Krauss’ language, can be read as symptomatic, what can it tell us about both our current historical moment and our thinking about form? How do different inscriptional practices engage both dominant and marginalized writing systems, and how might we articulate questions of power, history, and representation through a focus on inscription?

As inscription operates more widely in a more literal sense, we might ask as well what a deeper attention to new sites and practices of inscription could tell us about domains such as environment and ecology. What might an analysis of inscription as a ‘cutting into’ make legible when the surface is ground rather than clay tablet? Is there a geology of inscription? What happens when we disentangle inscription as a practice from writing as a medium—what other media might it illuminate, and what types of knowledge about medium, infrastructure, and substrate would a media-specific analysis of inscription produce? How might inscription as concept and practice contribute to conversations about durability, repair, preservation, and archiving?

If, on the other hand, we think of inscription as multi-sited, or even abstracted from concrete ground or field, what questions might we pose about the relations between a particular mark or utterance and larger systems, whether the global or planetary? In what sense could inscriptions open up a space for continued rethinking of the categories of “world literature,” “global language,” or “global art”—and how might it serve to constellate the relations among those categories? How might inscription now be thought in relation to prior moments of imagining global languages, media, and informational architectures? Could it be understood in terms of trans-cultural, trans-lingual movement, or aesthetic style and, if so, what type of alliances, or which family resemblances, would it make legible? What might a multi-sited notion of inscription tell us about shared affects, tastes, and sensibilities? What, further, can we learn from the circulation of inscriptions, whether through documentation, liking, and sharing, or through mimetic, even memetic, reproduction? What might we learn from engagement with invented or constructed languages? And what difference does it make if the writing subject, the inscriber, is nonhuman? 

For this special issue, ASAP/Journal invites articles responding to these questions or exploring new theories, practices, and sites of inscription in ways that may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Inscription, environment, and ecology
  • Inscription and/as infrastructure
  • Inscription, ephemerality, and permanence
  • Inscription and embodiment/disembodiment
  • Artists’s books and codex experimentation
  • Experimental and post-digital publishing
  • Inscription and circulation and/or reception
  • Inscription as indigenous, anti-colonial, decolonial
  • Inscription as nonhuman, antihuman, posthuman
  • Trans, queer, feminist, and BIPOC practices of inscription
  • Inscription and/as media archaeology
  • Inscription and picture languages
  • Inscription and the digital

Whereas the print journal is limited to presenting articles in traditional print format, the editors will consider essay submissions in the form of visual, electronic, and musical texts, images, and other forms of writing.

Essays due by May 1, 2021 with publication planned for Volume 7 (2022).

Please send queries or abstracts via email to the ASAP/Journal editor, Elizabeth Ho, at editors_asap@jh.edu. Articles should be submitted to the journal’s online submission site at mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asapjournal

Essay submissions of 6000-8000 words (including notes but excluding translations, which should accompany foreign-language quotations) in Microsoft Word should be prepared in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. All content in the journal is anonymously peer reviewed by at least two referees. If the contribution includes any materials (e.g., quotations that exceed fair use, illustrations, charts, other graphics) that have been taken from another source, the author must obtain written permission to reproduce them in print and electronic formats and assume all reprinting costs. Manuscripts in languages other than English are accepted for review but must be accompanied by a detailed summary in English (generally of 1,000–1,500 words) and must be translated into English if they are recommended for publication.

Authors’ names should not appear on manuscripts; when submitting manuscripts, authors should remove identifying information by clicking on “File”/”Properties” in Microsoft Word and removing identifying tags for the piece. Authors should not refer to themselves in the first person in the submitted text or notes if such references would identify them.

For additional submission guidelines, please see: www.press.jhu.edu/journals/asap_journal/guidelines.html

Paul Benzon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Skidmore College. His work has appeared in PMLA, Narrative, electronic book review, Media-N, and College Literature, and his book Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature is forthcoming from University of Massachusetts Press.

Rita Raley researches and teaches in the English department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She is an Associate Editor for the "Media, Film, Digital Arts" section of ASAP/Journal, as well as co-editor of the "Electronic Mediations" book series from the University of Minnesota Press. Her most recent stand-alone editorial project was a collaboration on a special issue of Amodern on the theme of "translation-machination." 

Call for submissions to ASAP/Journal Forum

Precarity, Temporality and Public Housing

Special Issue Editors: Bryan Yazell and Emily J. Hogg
Essay Submission Deadline: October 1, 2021

Theorists of precarity stress the temporal dimensions of economic insecurity, whether in Guy Standing’s formulation of “tertiary time” or Lauren Berlant’s “ongoing now.” This forum extends recent scholarship on precarious time through a sustained investigation of a particular site where it is experienced with special intensity: the social housing estate in post-austerity Europe.

Artists and scholars have long stressed the extent to which public access to housing shapes both individual and collective imaginations of the past, present, and future, and the particular affordances of the European public housing development represent a crucial location from which to theorize precarious time. First, social housing developments collect diverse populations (including remaining members of the Fordist-era working class and first-generation immigrants) who keenly feel their own sense of precarious time—albeit in contrasting and contradictory ways. Moreover, as a relic from the welfare state’s past that persists into an uncertain future, social housing is frequently stigmatized and pictured in dominant media discourse as a dead-end. Due to the dismantling of public housing programs across Europe, which has accelerated since the 2007 Great Recession, its future is deeply uncertain and vulnerable, frequently overshadowed by the threat of imminent destruction. The cluster will therefore establish a new critical dialogue that draws from precarity studies, accounts of European austerity, and contemporary artistic forms to show how social housing—as the subject of visual representation, narrativization, and social policy planning, as a setting for works of art and as a site which generates artistic production—indexes the relationship between precarity and temporality.

We are particularly interested to receive submissions which explore formally innovative contemporary literary, visual, cinematic and mixed-media texts; live art, site-specific theatre, and other ephemeral performance art; and media technologies (e.g., social media campaigns, pirate radio, underground music genres) in relation to the following themes:

  • The multiple temporalities associated with the precarious ongoing existence of specific social housing developments in Europe (e.g., renewal, home-making across generations, hope, decay, disaster and memorialization).
  • Contrasting temporal experiences of precarious housing estates in relation to processes of racialization.
  • The temporalities embedded in public housing architecture and aesthetics (e.g., the ‘ugly’ concrete from the post-war construction boom), especially in view of the recent revival of Brutalism.
  • Protests against racist and exclusionary housing policies and/or the demolition of social housing.
  • Rewritings of the history of public housing from marginalized or minoritarian perspectives.

Please send queries or abstracts via email to the ASAP/Journal editor, Elizabeth Ho, at editors_asap@jh.edu. Articles should be submitted to the journal’s online submission site at mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asapjournal

ASAP/Journal Forum contributions are 600-1200 words or equivalent. You're invited to present your ideas through non-expository means; i.e., contributions may take the form of essays, case studies, multimedia, or personal narratives. Co-created pieces are welcome.

Forum submissions (including notes but excluding translations, which should accompany foreign-language quotations) in Microsoft Word should be prepared in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. If the contribution includes any materials (e.g., quotations that exceed fair use, illustrations, charts, other graphics) that have been taken from another source, the author must obtain written permission to reproduce them in print and electronic formats and assume all reprinting costs.

Authors’ names should not appear on manuscripts; when submitting manuscripts, authors should remove identifying information by clicking on “File”/“Properties” in Microsoft Word and removing identifying tags for the piece. Authors should not refer to themselves in the first person in the submitted text or notes if such references would identify them.

For additional submission guidelines, please see: www.press.jhu.edu/journals/asap_journal/guidelines.html

For informal inquiries prior to submission you may also write to the issue editors at the email addresses below.

Emily J. Hogg (ejh@sdu.dk) is Associate Professor of Contemporary Anglophone Literature at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research has appeared in Criticism, Textual Practice and English Studies and she is the co-editor of Precarity in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Bloomsbury, 2021).

 Bryan Yazell (yazell@sdu.dk) is an Assistant Professor in the Department for the Study of Culture at the University of Southern Denmark and a research fellow at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. His research on social welfare politics and literature appears in Precarity in Contemporary Literature and Culture, Configurations, and Modern Fiction Studies.

 

ASAP/Journal Special Issue

The Forever Crisis

Special Issue Editor: Suzanne Enzerink
Essay Submission Deadline: May 1, 2022

This special issue takes up artistic encounters with what we are calling the ‘forever crisis’: articulations of catastrophe that appear singular or locally-situated, but which are in fact part of a much larger network of interrelated crises (climate change, war, pandemic, capitalist extraction) that threaten the long-term viability of the planet and its many inhabitants. “Encounter” is a necessarily ambivalent term, and by wielding it here, we distance ourselves from reflexively redemptive readings that see artistic production as a privileged site of resistance against these violent events. Artistic expressions are, we venture, often complicit in exacerbating the very crises they take as their thematic subject, as with the disproportionate shipping of media waste to countries in the Global South or the carbon footprint posed by art exhibits. And while technological advances have made it possible to document crises in real time, our media climate is one in which a near-constant bombardment of violent images often “threatens to info-whelm us into a state of perpetual distraction”(Nixon 12, 2011). With these uncomfortable realizations in mind, cultural producers must resort to using new representational strategies and modes to make sense of our times and the crises marking them, particularly as they work within a digital landscape that has reprogrammed our capacity for attention and care.

In putting together a theory of the forever crisis aesthetic, then, we ask a set of interrelated questions. What representational and formal strategies have artists developed to rupture the seemingly endless barrage of apocalyptic imagery and rhetoric, either to offer refuge or hold our attention?  How have they prompted a reconsideration of the temporality of crisis and its representational challenges, so that we might better recognize its structural causes? How have cultural producers seized existing representational modes and genres—the zombie film, the web show, the participatory collage, to name but a few—and adapted them to their discrete contexts or goals? And what points of transnational connection, intersection, and collaboration emerge out of these new interventions, and to what extent do these help us rethink what it means to practice art in a planetary or global framework? We are also interested here in aesthetic shifts borne out of logistical necessity—with travel bans in effect, close collaboration is not always possible, while at other times financial precarity, migration and / or immigration challenges, and infrastructural damage necessitate creative solutions and strategies.

Finally, how can we rethink the relationship between art and crisis by considering art as (part of) the forever crisis? Between ecological footprints and the global flows of people, labor, and capital that cultural production relies on, the artistic process cannot be seen as separate from these material concerns. We are therefore particularly interested in essays that highlight these transnational or global dimensions and that are attentive to the uneven power structures that mark these relations.
Please send queries or abstracts via email to the ASAP/Journal editor, Elizabeth Ho, at editors_asap@jh.edu. Articles should be submitted to the journal’s online submission site at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asapjournal

For this issue, we invite essays from 6,000-8,000 words responding to these questions or exploring related subjects that fall into this larger theme. We anticipate that the final shape of the issue will be determined in part by the scope of the essays we receive, and encourage applicants to be bold and creative in their submissions.

Essay submissions of 6000–8000 words (including notes but excluding translations, which should accompany foreign-language quotations) in Microsoft Word should be prepared in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. All content in the journal is anonymously peer reviewed by at least two referees. If the contribution includes any materials (e.g., quotations that exceed fair use, illustrations, charts, other graphics) that have been taken from another source, the author must obtain written permission to reproduce them in print and electronic formats and assume all reprinting costs. Manuscripts in languages other than English are accepted for review but must be accompanied by a detailed summary in English (generally of 1,000–1,500 words) and must be translated into English if they are recommended for publication.

Authors’ names should not appear on manuscripts; when submitting manuscripts, authors should remove identifying information by clicking on “File”/“Properties” in Microsoft Word and removing identifying tags for the piece. Authors should not refer to themselves in the first person in the submitted text or notes if such references would identify them.

For additional submission guidelines, please see: www.press.jhu.edu/journals/asap_journal/guidelines.html

The special issue will be tentatively published 2023. For informal inquiries prior to submission you may also write to the issue editor at the email addresses below.

Suzanne Enzerink is an assistant professor of Media Studies and American Studies at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and received her Ph.D in American Studies from Brown University in 2019. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in venues including the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (JCMS), Feminist Formations, American Quarterly, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Post-45. She can be best reached at se111@aub.edu.lb