Thinking With, call for papers
Published July 13, 2020
In light of the recent postponement of the ASAP/12 annual conference in Salt Lake City, the editors of ASAP/Journal and ASAP/J invite you to take part in a special publishing event. This event is not meant to replace the conference; rather, our aim is to mobilize the publishing outlets of ASAP as means for staying in touch, working collaboratively, and responding to one another’s work.
To this end, the editors of ASAP/J—the online platform of ASAP/Journal—welcome multi-person contributions that explore how we think with each other even in each other’s absence. This is a formal rather than specifically topical call.
We invite you to consider the digital means at your disposal (video, image, audio, text, forums) and publishable on ASAP/J as you develop features or events to be published by and / or hosted on the site. We are happy to work with many digital formats, though if you have a particularly technical idea, please do contact us to see whether it will be possible. We welcome interviews, ‘cluster’ features of short form essays, multimedia virtual exhibitions and showcases, forums and other forms of discussion. While by no means a rule and depending on the number of authors per ‘cluster,’ text should be about 500-1500 words in length to foster dialogue, yield more experimental answers, and challenge disciplinary boundaries. In total, clusters will not exceed 6,000 words. We aim to publish discrete collaborative pieces at regular intervals from 1 October 2020 to 15 March 2021.
Note on Forms:
NB – This publishing event is neither soliciting nor accepting stand-alone single-author feature essays, though ASAP/J remains open to short pitches for such submissions, which you can send to email@example.com.
We imagine that most submissions will fall into one of the following two categories:
We are using “cluster” to describe a series of topically linked essay or roundtable discussion in print, video, sound, or image. Cluster proposals can be either “open” or “closed.” Closed clusters will be assembled by the Cluster Editor on an invitation-only basis. Contributors to closed clusters should be consulted in advance of the submission and be named—with institutional affiliation and department where relevant—in the proposal. Open cluster proposals should take the form of a 200-word call for papers. Approved open cluster CFPs will then be circulated via ASAP’s regular channels, including on ASAP/J’s “Calls for Papers” page. Deadlines for submissions will be rolling to ease editorial workflow constraints. Deadlines for all accepted clusters will be assigned upon acceptance. Once the CFPs are circulated, all abstracts, pitches, and submissions for open clusters should be sent directly to the Cluster Editor by date specified in the CFP. For a detailed workflow for Cluster Editors, please see the Checklist below.
Single submissions are non-cluster submissions such as interviews, discussions, digital exhibitions, or other formats that do not fit under the clusters category outlined above. Please feel free to contact us if you have an idea that is not described within this CFP. It is possible that it would work for this event, but that we have not yet thought of the format you want to propose. We would be happy to hear from you.
When you submit your proposal, please designate it as “Closed Cluster,” “Open Cluster,” or “Single Submission.”
Please feel free to pitch your ideas to us in brief (around 200 words) by: 15 August; 1 October; 15 November 2020; 30 January 2021; 15 March at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Diversity of perspectives and participants:
We encourage clusters with authors in different stages of their career, from graduate student to full professor, including those in contingent and non-academic positions. We will also evaluate more positively proposals that include artists and other practitioners. We encourage all cluster editors to seek participants from multiple disciplines and those that feature diverse methods and areas. Diversity of disciplines in the cluster will be a criterion of evaluation of proposals and we hope that contributors come from at least two different types of academic departments, programs, or fields. In addition, we encourage our applicants to look for and work with new co-contributors to ensure exciting and truly experimental—even unexpected—conversations and collaborations!
Books in conversation
Because of the postponement of ASAP/12, many ASAP members will be missing out on opportunities to talk about and publicize their new work. While there’s no replacement for that kind of personal interaction—or for readers taking their time to leaf through books at a publisher’s table—we would like to provide you with an avenue for discussing your book with other members.
To this end, there will be a gallery of recent books on the ASAP/J website, where clicking on the cover image of a book will take you to a conversation with the author about their new work.
If you are a member of ASAP and have published a book in 2019 and 2020, we invite you to submit a short conversation with a peer or colleague about your new book. This will be evaluated by one of the editors before publication.
To keep this manageable for editors, we will restrict this to ASAP members’ books published in 2019 and 2020. Please watch ASAP/Journal’s social media feeds for updates; details will also be provided at www.asapjournal.com and via membership email. Please feel free to email your submissions by 15 August; 1 October; 15 November 2020; 30 January 2021; 15 March to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
- We’d prefer transcribed/written interviews rather than video interviews, though if you have a particularly high quality video you’d like to send us for review, do get in touch with us.
- If you do wish to pursue the video path, please use a platform for hosting (such as YouTube) that does auto-subtitles for accessibility purposes, and do keep in mind that if the quality isn’t high enough, we may ask for a transcript as a fallback.
- Depending on the number of people involved in the interview and substance of the discussion, we recognise that conversations may vary in length, but try to keep it to no more than 2500 words in transcript, or 15mins video.
- Please focus on the content of the book, rather than on the pitching/publishing/editing process.
ASAP/Journal Forum on “Becoming Undisciplined”
Editors: Heather Houser (firstname.lastname@example.org), Stephanie LeMenager (email@example.com)
Abstracts due September 15, 2020
***This is a call for a Forum in the printed ASAP/Journal.***
Call for Contributions
We must become undisciplined. —Christina Sharpe
It is brave indeed to wander across disciplines looking for that . . . undisciplined third space where one can think strange thoughts and even make mistakes. —Susan Squier
In my view, a somewhat ‘feral approach’ to disciplinarity naturally changes the identity of what might be the proper archives for one’s scholarship. —Mel Chen
Introducing three books published in the 2010s, these statements mark our current intellectual and activist moment as one of being—or, becoming—undisciplined. If “interdisciplinarity” was the buzzword of the prior two decades, the undisciplined inspires scholarly and creative positions in our current moment of hegemonic collapse and cultural transition. This Forum for ASAP/Journal calls on contributors to draw the contours of this shift to the undisciplined and to reflect on how it influences the work of scholars, creators, and activists. How does the “undisciplined” shape how you read, sense, create, collaborate, ask questions, make kin, produce thought, and impact the world?
Becoming undisciplined is a next step in the evolution of fields, genres, and methods such as Black studies, “auto-theory,” science and technology studies, environmental humanities, and new media studies, among others. We find evidence of becoming undisciplined in multispecies studies, media arts projects, bioart, participatory public engagement, and scholarly writing that integrates personal narrative. These avenues for thought and creativity have raised questions about whether existing institutions, disciplinary frameworks, and academic genres remain relevant to addressing the dilemmas of our times, whether they are racial, cultural, environmental, epidemiological, and/or political. This Forum aims to spark conversation about how scholarly, creative, and activist projects defy disciplinary methods while generating knowledge and envisioning artistic and social change.
Contributors are invited to challenge, reflect on, and/or expand on this central animating question:
- What does becoming (or being) undisciplined mean to you?
Supplemental questions include:
- How do you understand institutions, methods, and genres in light of becoming undisciplined? That is, how do you make space within, outside of, or alongside existing institutions, methods, and genres?
- What collaborations across disciplines, communities, species, and/or media are particularly generative for you?
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. 150- to 200-word abstract due to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2020.
The tentative timeline: Responses to submissions in October 2020. Submissions from those selected due in February 2021. Expected publication date of Fall 2021 or Winter 2022. Note that Forum contributions will not go through blind peer review; the guest and journal editors will curate and edit pieces.
ASAP/Journal Special Issue CFP
Paul Benzon (Skidmore College) and Rita Raley (UC Santa Barbara)
New Inscriptions: Writing in the Expanded Field
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 6,000-8,000 word 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
Essay deadline: February 1, 2021
Please submit to: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asapjournal
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.”
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.