Special Issue Proposals

ASAP/Journal welcomes proposals for full issues of the print journal and guest-edited issue “clusters” (articles related to a special topic) on a topic of central importance to the existing or emerging post-1960s interdisciplinary arts worldwide. ASAP/Journal includes 5-8 articles per print issue, in addition to the journal’s regular editorial features, which include an interview with a practicing artist (in any medium) and usually an editors’ forum related to the special issue topic. All articles in guest-edited issues should be original contributions not published elsewhere, in English or in another language, at the time of publication; copyright for all articles remains with Johns Hopkins University Press.

In keeping with the mission of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, ASAP/Journal encourages issue topics that both incorporate and speak to contemporary arts in numerous media (visual art, film, performance, music, theater, digital media, plastic art, literature, etc.) and across national boundaries. We do not publish special issue topics that focus on a single artistic medium in isolation, or that relate only to a single nation or region (although we do, on occasion, publish essay “clusters” focused on more concentrated topics).

Guest editors serve as the primary contact between ASAP/Journal and issue contributors during the proposal, editorial review, and publication process. Guest editors work in close collaboration with the ASAP/Journal editors-in-chief and the editorial board, who will consult with the guest editors about editorial procedures (dissemination of the call for papers, refereeing process, communication with authors). All special-issue proposals will be vetted by the ASAP/Journal editorial staff and articles within issues will be blind peer-reviewed, though this process may be modified to allow for efficient publication timetables given the additional editorial oversight such issues accrue.

Duties of guest editors include:

  • Inviting leading authors to contribute articles to the prospective issue.
  • Ensuring that articles submitted have not been submitted elsewhere (we do not accept double submissions) and have not been previously published.
  • Writing and disseminating a call for papers.
  • Ensuring that all authors know what is expected and are aware of the overall content of the issue and of issue deadlines.
  • Writing an introduction to the issue (typically 3000-4500 words).  (Guest editors are discouraged from proposing an article in their own special issue.)
  • Preparing the manuscripts of the issue, making sure that they conform to the journal’s guidelines and to the highest standards of scholarly argument.
  • Submitting the issue articles to the ASAP/Journal editors for peer review.
  • Transmitting reviewers’ comments to authors and handling final authorial revisions.
  • Accountability for the progress of the issue and for reporting to the journal editors any problems that may arise.

Proposals for special issues of ASAP/Journal should include the following:

  1. The title and estimated word-count of the proposed issue.

  2. A rationale and description of the issue topic explaining the stakes, expected impact, target readership and timeliness of the proposed issue. The rationale should include a notation of how articles will speak to one another and clarify a central investigative question of importance to the post-1960s arts worldwide. We are particularly interested in topics that are pluri-disciplinary and that speak to our diverse range of readers as well as to the mission of A.S.A.P. If the proposed content is based upon conference proceedings, the proposal must make clear what are the guest editor’s expectations for revision into article-length submissions.

  3. A list of potential invited authors. Providing a list of invited contributors already willing to submit papers to the proposed issue is particularly appreciated.  N.b. all essays will be double-blind peer reviewed, which means that an invitation to submit an essay is not a guarantee.  Shorter editor’s forum contributions and interviews are not, however, blind reviewed and can thus be solicited more explicitly; we are not able to pay for contributions (i.e. by practicing, independent artists, filmmakers, and writers), so this is important to note in inviting forum and interview contributions.
  4. A call for papers (no more than 350 words). In keeping with the mission of A.S.A.P., we encourage guest editors to issue an open call for submissions even if they plan to include invited essays in their special issue.
  5. A brief professional biography of the guest editor(s), with contact information.
  6. A proposed timeline for submissions to send to peer review, revisions based on peer reviews, and final submission of issue copy to ASAP/Journal.

The Editors will assign an issue date upon acceptance of the proposal. (The editors reserve the right to ask for revisions of an issue proposal if they deem it to have potential but to lack clarity at the first submission stage.)  Once a proposal for a special issue has been accepted, guest editors are expected to submit to the editors-in-chief a complete table of contents for the special issue within 6 months of the scheduled publication date, and this table of contents should include

  • the title of the special issue
  • the titles of all articles
  • the authors’ contact information.

Guest editors are also expected to keep the editor apprised in a timely fashion regarding progress toward completion of the special issue.

If you are the editor of a forum or special issue forthcoming with ASAP/Journal, there are two options for collaborating with ASAP/J.


Sometimes material is best suited for digital. You are welcome to pitch a supplementary cluster to the editors of ASAP/Journal and ASAP/J as part of your proposal to the print journal. This cluster may include video, image, audio, as well as text, and will be published at the same time as your print issue. Please see ‘Submit a cluster’ for guidelines or if in doubt please get in touch with Alexandra Kingston-Reese at editor [at] asapjournal.com if you have questions.


If you would like to pitch 2–3 reviews as part of your special issue or forum, please get in touch with our Reviews Editors at reviews [at] asapjournal.com. You may have reviewers and books/exhibitions in mind, but we can also solicit writers and/or suggest titles for review. These will be published at the same time as your print issue.

The editors reserve the right to reject a special-issue proposal or even a full issue manuscript if

  • the members of the editorial board deem the proposal or the submitted manuscript inappropriate for the journal;
  • the final issue contents deviate significantly from the editorial proposal initially outlining them;
  • the issue articles are not adequately edited or prepared in accordance with the journal’s house style or to the scholarly standards appropriate to the journal;
  • copyright agreements signed by all authors are not submitted;
  • the issue is submitted 6 months beyond the agreed-upon deadline.


ASAP/Journal is scheduled for publication 3 times per annum, in January, May, and September.

  • Proposals for guest-edited issues should be submitted at least 18 months before the planned publication date.

  • The call for papers should be disseminated at least one year before the scheduled publication date.
  • The complete table of contents for the issue should be submitted to ASAP/Journal at least 6 months before the schedule publication date.
  • The reviewing process should start at least 6 months before the scheduled publication date.

Special issue proposals or inquiries should be sent to editors_asap@jh.edu with the subject line “Special Issue Proposal.”