CFP: Bad Subjects: Various Topics re: Progressive Politics (various; e-journal)
BAD SUBJECTS 2001-2002
CALL FOR ESSAYS
BAD SUBJECTS is entering its tenth season of publication as a journal of
the left and a collective. Bad Subjects seeks to revitalize progressive
politics. We think too many people on the left have taken their
convictions for granted. So we challenge progressive dogma by encouraging
readers to think about the political dimension to all aspects of everyday
life. We seek to broaden the audience for leftist and progressive
writing, through a commitment to accessibility and contemporary relevance.
Bad Subjects publishes both hardcopy and online editions, with
approximately 100,000 online readers monthly. The Bad Subjects website is
Most of our issues are dedicated to particular topics, and the topics of
our next five issues have been listed below together with contact
information. Most issues also contains essays on other topics too, so feel
free to submit an article even if it doesn't seem to fit an upcoming
topic. For general queries, contact the Bad Subjects editors at
TELEVISION (Issue 57)
There's nothing quite as "everyday life" as television in America. It's
so everyday that countries like Bhutan, which only recently acquired
television, are concerned about threats to their cultural uniqueness.
The average American television program has become a transnational source
of hegemony and monoculture.
Rather than simply saying "Kill your television", Bad Subjects would
rather ask questions. In what ways does television either reinforce or
challenge the status quo? Are issues of difference, such as queer life or
criminal life, covered in ways that are or can be seen as revolutionary?
Or, to make it more personal, did you ever watch a program on television
and think "I'm not the only one ... how cool."
Tune in, set the volume loud, and think about your favorite programs.
Transmit your essays to the Television issue programming directors, Paul
Ish <pbjtoy_at_hotmail.com> and Cynthia Hoffman <choff_at_lanminds.com>.
September 4, 2001 submission deadline.
THE POLICE STATE (Issue 58)
American progressives used the term 'police state' to protest state and
federal repression of the civil rights and anti-war movements in the
1960s. Perhaps the best-known example of the police state in action was
the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), which was directed
against the American Indian Movement in the 1970s, and at sympathizers of
Latin American revolutionary movements and environmental groups during the
More recently, the term came back into vogue during the 1990s to describe
the increasingly repressive policies of the Clinton Administration, which
opened its administrative tenure with Waco and concluded it with a
staggering record of funding for police and prisons.
The Police State issue of Bad Subjects addresses how this concept of
government can be applied in the current day and age, following the
so-called decline of the nation-state and the advent of globalization in
the post-Cold War era. Could Marx's often prophesized "withering away of
the state" mean that the government will abandon violent means to maintain
social order? Or will repressive state functions endure as held-over,
consolidated remainders of nation-state authority? Are we now living in a
global society of security, where a transnational diffusion of corporate
power is maintained by a combination of regional security cooperation
associations, like NATO, and personal information-gathering strategies?
The possibilities are endless. Submit your essays to issue editors Megan
Shaw Prelinger <alysons_at_earthlink.net> and Joel Schalit
<riotgoy_at_ix.netcom.com> by October 15, 2001.
CRUISING (Issue 59)
When the Left takes on the character of a global carnival, traveling from
site to site to lob rocks at corporate overlords and smash the state -- or
at least, dematerialize it -- mobility is more important than ever.
While college students emerge from Union Summers, Marxists like Toni Negri
raise the on-the-road Wobblies as the left-most model of organization.
As capital goes cruising, so goes the left.
The Cruising issue wants stories about the relationship of traveler to
terrain, and the relationship of fellow travelers to protest movements
that have put much of the bite back in the Left. New Autonomists and
their critics can cruise and sex each other up in our pages, and we'll all
get our freaks on.
Who cruises where, how, and why? And who cruises whom? Cruising is all
about movement, but the movements are many. Ships range about the seas;
men cruise one another; big vehicles find their cruising altitudes and
cruising speeds. Bad Subjects seeks essays that capture the mobile spirit
of the times in travel, in rebellion, in chasing sex. Whether you're
riding through life on cruise control, looking for love in all the wrong
places, gunning your motor through fast and furious streets, or denouncing
those who are cruisin' for a bruisin', we want to hear from you.
Tell us about your sex life and political life, and where they met. From
Tom Cruise to Cruise missiles, the subject matter is wide open. Drive an
idea by Aaron Shuman <AShuman101_at_aol.com> or Jonathan Sterne
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. Submission deadline November 30, 2001.
IMMIGRATION AND DIASPORA (Issue 60)
It is no exaggeration to say that immigration is one of the globe's most
pressing political issues. Across the world, immigration -- how to control
it, its desirability, who should be allowed to do it -- has become a hotly
The Immigration issue will investigate the various forms that these
politics of immigration have adopted across the world. It will pay
particular attention to the experiences of the many parties involved in
the migration process, from the immigrants crossing the multiple borders
that define contemporary political space to those left behind, to the
residents of the receiving countries, to the politicians and activists
involved in defining the contours of the contemporary politics of
Possible essay topics include: borders, citizenship, violence against
immigrants, border control and the policing of borders, flows of people,
money, ideas, commodities across borders both real and imagined,
narratives of immigration in film and other pop cultural media, immigrant
political and cultural representation, immigrants in the public sphere,
political mobilization around immigration issues, multiculturalism,
anti-immigration politics, sex tourism.
Bad Subjects editors Frederick Aldama <Faldama_at_aol.com>, John Brady
<jsbrady_at_socrates.berkeley.edu>, and Robert Soza
<soza_at_uclink4.berkeley.edu> will edit this issue. January 31, 2002
THE AESTHETICS OF VIOLENCE (Issue 61)
The daily injuries of authority structures and social discipline under
global capitalism proliferate continuously. Yet while the deprivations of
poverty are being dismissed as violence in their own right, the deployment
of state violence has been elevated to new heights of romantic heroism.
Racial, sexual and class violence in the multi-billion-dollar
entertainment and music industries normalizes coercive violence by the
Between the Pentagon and Hollywood, producing the means and promotional
images of violence have become US export industries par excellence.
Globalization arrives inseparable from guns or stories of men and weapons
in service to the nation-state. Representations of violence against 'bad
subjects' are being marketed as ideological legitimization for its use,
and agents of social domination generate demands for an aestheticized
violence that fits political specifications. But 'bad subjects' can't
leave their reality cinema or turn off the TV once bullets start flying:
we are both the audience and the subjects.
Violence -- even where a defensive or liberational necessity -- is
quintessentially ugly. Its representation involves expressive choices that
collectively constitute an aesthetic that turns such ugliness to political
purposes. This issue of Bad Subjects examines how the aesthetics of
violence manifest themselves under the terms of contemporary transnational
capitalism. To whose benefit are bodies being mutilated on screens and on
streets? How do dominant cultures perpetuate their power through
representations of physical domination in action? What happens when
violence becomes a consumer item? How did we come to enjoy the sight of
violence so, how do we love it so?
Bad Subjects invites violent prose fits on these topics. Contact Arturo
Aldama <aaldma_at_asu.edu> or Joe Lockard <lockard_at_socrates.berkeley.edu.>
March 15, 2002 submission deadline.
From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
Full Information at
or write Erika Lin: elin_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Jul 19 2001 - 20:08:42 EDT