Arts of the Present - October 22-25, 2009 (Deadline April 1, 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
A.S.A.P.: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present

A.S.A.P.: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
Launch Conference: "ASAP 1: Arts of the Present"

October 22-25, 2009
Knoxville, Tennessee

Plenaries: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Sianne Ngai, Anton Vidokle


A.S.A.P. is an international, nonprofit association dedicated to discovering and articulating the aesthetic, cultural, ethical, and political identities of the contemporary arts.

ASAP 1: Arts of the Present challenges participants to address the society's founding questions: What are new or current directions in the contemporary arts? What do the contemporary arts have to teach us? How we can help to give the arts direction and a voice? Papers exploring the following questions are welcomed:

• How does literary, visual, and/or performance art today recuperate, revise, revolt against, or rehearse the aesthetic aims and social interventions of art past?
• What are the new developments in literature (or painting/sculpture, architecture, performance) today, culturally and formally? What shifts? What debates?
• What are the aesthetic, ethical, and political commonalities shared by the literary, visual, and performing arts? What divides them?
• In what ways do formal, cultural, or political concerns shape specific techniques and/or production of literature, painting, sculpture, theater, media art, performance art, dance, and/or music?
• How should we understand or redefine historical periodization in relation to contemporary literature? visual art? drama? What is the relation of the contemporary arts to such movements as Romanticism, Modernism, Postmodernism, Altermodernism?
• How should we understand the contemporary arts' relation to theory and criticism? to such perspectives offered by marxisms, postcolonial theory, poststructuralism, formalisms? What new theoretical perspectives and vocabularies are provoked by today's arts?
• What new approaches are needed to address new intermedial arts? relational arts? remediating arts?
• What works and artists in contemporary literature -- or painting and sculpture, or media art, or drama, or music, or film -- are forging new paths and opening new formal possibilities?
• How do today's arts define beauty, creative practice, and art's place in the social world?
• For the arts of the present, what is new, what is old, and what stands outside of the language of paradigms and post-ness?

While papers concerning individual artists and art works will be considered, program organizers will give priority to papers that articulate relations between the arts, deal with numerous texts or an author's oeuvre, or posit new theoretical perspectives for research.

We are accepting proposals at our conference site for four types of presentations: individual papers; panels; roundtables; and seminars.

Group submissions comprised entirely of participants from one department or one institution are not likely to be accepted. Advanced graduate students are welcomed, but sessions comprised entirely of graduate students are unlikely to be accepted, and we suggest that all proposed sessions include established scholars and practitioners.

Questions may be directed to

Further information about A.S.A.P. is available at our website:


Deadline for all proposal submissions:

5 pm EST on April 1, 2009.

Please submit your proposal online, using our conference software (click the link below):