SPECIAL ISSUE EDITORS: Suzanne Enzerink and Claire Gullander-Drolet




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@ press.jhu.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: https://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 editors 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


Claire Gullander-Drolet is a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Hong Kong. In the 2019-2020 academic year, she was a visiting assistant professor in English at Clark University. She holds a BA from Concordia University in Montreal and an MA from Trent University, and received her Ph.D in English from Brown University in 2019. Her writing has appeared in Resilience: a Journal of the Environmental Humanities and Journal of Transnational American Studies. She can be best reached at cgulland@hku.hk