CFP: Ecologies of the Present

ASAP/11! - Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Conference
College Park, Maryland
October 10 - 12, 2019
Stichtag: 29.03.2019

ASAP is an international and interdisciplinary organization that brings together scholars and artists working on the contemporary period. We are interested in supporting work on a range of media, including literary, visual, performing, musical, cinematic, design, and digital arts. This year’s conference will be held from October 10-12, 2019, at the University of Maryland, College Park.

This year’s theme is „Ecologies of the Present.“ Individual abstracts are due March 29, 2019, and seminar topics are due 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?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

More information about the conference is available on our website,

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