Edge Play


ASAP/13 will have a hybrid format, blending virtual presentations as well as in-person programming at UCLA, in order to maximize accessibility and explore how and why we gather together. 


The conference theme—Edge Play—addresses the experience of our locations. We encourage the exploration of edge ecologies, edge effects, and different forms of limits in contemporary art and culture — horizons, boundaries, cliffs and coasts, sidewalks and ledges, pain and pleasure thresholds. We might be on the edge of disaster, or the edge of glory, or both. We are cruising dystopias, and doing so from Los Angeles, the dream factory, in a California that figures the future and the end of worlds—a region that is itself already the site of genocidal and ecological disaster. For this conference, we are interested in pushing back against the edge lords, reclaiming the knife’s edge, the limit, the border and the frame. We are curious about edges as formal devices, artists who play their edge and work between spaces. We are chasing the edge, making the cut, getting lost in the exurbs.


In our language we intentionally conjure imaginaries of and about L.A., but this call is not limited to its amorphous boundaries. Rather, we take its sense of place, its residence at and on the edge of apocalyptic sprawl, as that which directs us toward the extremities of bounded spaces, whether on the verge, circumference, or periphery. 


We invite proposals from scholars, artists, writers, curators, activists and other practitioners whose work addresses and expands upon the study, collection, exhibition, teaching, and writing of art and contemporary culture. We invite proposals with alternative, experimental writing practices and modes of presentation that break form with the typical conference paper, panel, or roundtable, as well as with the constraints and possibilities of the conference’s hybrid format. We wish to explore what Hunter S. Thompson and others describe as “edge work,” while approaching that work through a spirit of play. Panels and papers that consider a range of disciplines and methods, and that speak across (non)traditional institutional or intellectual divides are especially encouraged. Given the conference’s theme, we welcome submissions that rethink and revisit the stakes, limits, pleasures, and discomfort of exchange, encounter, and engagement. 


Panels and papers are encouraged to engage our theme, but participants are welcome to submit other proposals which contribute to our broader project of exploring the arts of the present. Participants may address the following topics, but are welcome to explore others as well:


Edge ecologies

Edge effects 

Edgework theory

Edge cities

Chasing the edge

Postcards from the edge

Edge of glory

Edge Coast

(Edging the) Pacific Rim

Cruising dystopias

Jeremiads and cosmic visions

Cutting through and across sunshine and noir


Edged weaponry

Playing the line

Living on the periphery

Becoming porous: borderlands 

Boundaries without walls

Genders on the verge of a nervous breakdown


Detailed guidelines for submission may be found at the conference website here.


Important dates:

November 29, 2021  Submissions portal opens

February 25, 2022  Proposals due

April 1, 2022  Decisions announced; pre-registration and hotel information released

June 1, 2022  Final program released

September 14-17, 2022  ASAP/13 conference


ASAP/13 Organizing Committee

Karen Tongson, Conference Chair/President 2021-22, USC

Joshua Javier Guzmán, Conference Co-Chair/Member-at-Large, UCLA

Anurima Banerji, UCLA

andré carrington, UC Riverside

Jennifer Doyle, UC Riverside

Lucas Hilderbrand, UC Irvine

Neetu Khanna, USC

Summer Kim Lee, Member-at-Large, UCLA

Amber Jamilla Musser, 2nd Vice President, CUNY Graduate Center

Elda María Román, USC

Janet Sarbanes, CalArts

Danny Snelson, UCLA 

Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Pomona College

Julian Wong-Nelson, Rutgers