CFP: Queer Form, a special issue of ASAP/Journal

Call for Papers:

“Queer Form”

A special issue of ASAP/Journal Volume 2, Issue 2 (May 2017).

Edited by Kadji Amin, Amber Jamilla Musser, and Roy Pérez.

Submissions due May 1, 2016

Queer studies is currently undergoing a methodological renaissance.  In light of this renewed focus on method, the editors of this special issue of ASAP/Journal propose a critical return to questions of form: how does formal analysis figure into methods of queer interdisciplinary analysis today? What is the relation between queerness and form in the post-1960s arts?

We seek essays that examine the ways in which form—understood as the expressive sum of various technical, plastic, figural, conceptual, and aesthetic operations—can enable or disable queerness. We understand queerness in two senses: as an umbrella term for non-normative sexual, gender, and racial practices and identities; and as a conceptual marker for that which does not fit within existing social categories and which might thereby become intelligible through formal techniques. In seeking new approaches to queerness and form we do not presume that certain forms are somehow “queerer” than others, or that we can meaningfully speak of “queer form” without reference to the social and political dimensions of queerness. Rather, we understand this special issue topic as a forum for posing new questions about the relation between form and its social, historical, and political contexts or content. With an eye toward recent interest in “new” formalisms, this special issue investigates how the practice of taking up, lingering on, or even getting stuck in the formal dimensions of queerness can help us reexamine the relations between contemporary art and politics, between aesthetics and ethics, as well as between cultural production and reception and the social world.

Rather than championing a single, unified theory of queer formalism, we understand the relationship between queerness and form to be contingent on social, political, and methodological factors. What is the nature of this contingency? How do particular formal modes—excess or restraint, repetition or fragmentation, figuration or abstraction—come to bear or transmit an aesthetics of queerness, and how do they circulate within the social world of invention and intervention?

We seek essays that address, critique, or otherwise expand on the ideas about form at play in recent queer methodologies for approaching the arts of the present. Essays might address critical practices of close reading and description, performance studies, new materialisms, and affect studies. We are especially interested in work that reimagines how formal analysis contributes to the study and practice of queer artistic and social practices worldwide, particularly the work of non-Western, Asian American, Latina/o, Black, and Indigenous artists in any medium.

We seek essays on post-1960s arts or artists that:

·       Examine contemporary art that mobilizes form against modes of social organization that might otherwise render queerness unintelligible;

·       Explore how fugitive forms—flights from (or unexpected adherence to) particular formal conventions —manifest queer and/or feminist political imperatives, presuming that these imperatives are neither identical nor universal;

·       Analyze how formalist practices in the post-1960s arts mediate the historical and social conditions of queer gender, sexuality, and race;

·       Articulate the implicit theories of form at play within new queer methods;

·       Theorize the role of formal analysis among interdisciplinary approaches to art and aesthetics in queer studies; and/or

·       Locate queer structures of feeling within the formal prerogatives of post-1960s arts.

Essays should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length. Essays longer than 8000 words will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions and high-resolution scans for illustrations. The deadline for essay submissions is May 1, 2015. For additional submission guidelines, please see:

Please address inquiries to

Kadji Amin ‎[]‎

Amber Jamilla Musser []

Roy Pérez ‎[]‎

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