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ASAP/ 2019 : ASAP/11, “Ecologies of the Present,” at UMD-College Park


When Oct 10, 2019 - Oct 12, 2019
Where University of Maryland - College Park
Submission Deadline Mar 29, 2019
Categories    art   visual media   literature   cultural studies

Call For Papers


Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
October 10-12, 2019
Hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park

Submissions for panels and individual abstracts accepted until March 29, 2019. Seminar topics accepted until March 11.

ASAP/11 invites proposals from scholars, artists, writers, curators, cultural workers, and other practitioners addressing the contemporary arts since the 1960s in all their forms — literary, visual, performing, musical, cinematic, design, digital, and more. We are interested in work across disciplines and media that examines the formal, cultural, social, and political dimensions of the arts today.

ASAP/11 will be held at the University of Maryland in College Park, which is part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area as well as being in close proximity to Baltimore. Proposals drawing on resources, speakers, and legacies of the region are therefore especially welcome. We embrace projects that address local African-American culture, and Washington and Baltimore’s importance in the historical and contemporary African diaspora. We also seek to acknowledge the metropolitan region’s significant population of immigrants, including the highest concentration of Ethiopians, Salvadorans, and their descendants in the country. We hope to attract area professionals working in policy and advocacy around the arts and to rethink the role of the global from the perspective of a city that, as the seat of the federal government, brings together representatives from the entire country and the entire world.

Participants are urged to think as broadly and imaginatively as possible about the intersections between and among the contemporary arts and their institutions, economies, policies, and traditions. Proposals may consider artistic movements, collectives, and local scenes, including those online, or underground. They may discuss any theoretical, intellectual, or aesthetic formations or focus on individual artists, writers, designers, composers, or performers. Panels that consider a range of disciplines and methods and speak across traditional institutional or intellectual divides are especially encouraged. The questions below are reflective of ASAP/11’s methodology and scope, but topics beyond these questions are welcome.

• What sense of the world at various scales—global, local, national, and more—might we discover in the particular sites and wider networks that define the arts today?
• What defines the environments and ecologies of the present, and how do we understand the duration and futurity of human action over time?
• How have artists understood the relationship between art as a social form and the politically contested form of the state?
• What flows of people, capital, and power shape the arts today, and how do experiences of migration and displacement register in national and transnational contexts?
• What technologies, genres, platforms, or systems distinguish the contemporary arts, and what media archaeologies can we excavate from the material histories of the present?
• How have freedom movements, both domestic and international, mobilized the arts as part of a process of coalition building, community organizing, and political communication?
• What conjunctions of media, inter-media, and trans-media characterize the arts of the present? How have visual art, narrative, performance, comics, and other modalities been in dialogue with, remediated, or undermined each other?
• How have publishing, book production, graphic design, and the book arts more broadly conceived changed under the pressure of new economic, social, political, and technological conditions?



We encourage creative and alternative presentational styles, alongside traditional papers and panels. Seminars, workshops, panel debates, artist discussions, films, installations, visual displays, and other session types will be welcomed.

Proposed panels, roundtables, and seminars should include speakers from more than one institution. Advanced graduate students are welcome, but sessions comprised entirely of graduate students are unlikely to be accepted. We encourage panel organizers to seek participants from multiple disciplines and those that feature diverse methods. Because the number of total speaking and presentation slots is limited, one paper/presentation per registrant is allowed. This means that speakers should normally give a paper on one panel or roundtable, though they may also participate in a seminar if they wish. The program committee may also be able to accommodate requests for chairing/moderating panels.

Seminars normally meet for a single session, and papers are circulated among participants in
advance of the conference. All seminars are open to conference attendees, but seminar leaders may designate whether and when audience participation is encouraged and should make appropriate arrangements to incorporate an audience.
Seminar leaders are asked to propose topics by March 11, 2019 via email to and to submit the full roster of participants by April 1, 2019.


• 300-word abstracts for individual presentations within larger sessions
• 700-word abstracts for entire sessions (panels, roundtables, seminars)
• Each speaker’s bio (300 words max)

Submission information, accommodation details, and registration costs will be available soon through the conference website.
Questions may be addressed to

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