Call for Papers: Volume #1 – DISCOMFORT


“Regionality need not be seen simply as a desire for an imagined fraternity. Enmeshing practices, histories, and ideals into a crucible of dialogue dismantles the frames and assumptions, unpacking national categories, and allowing for cycles of formation and deconstruction.”
— Ahmad Mashadi, Moments of Regionality: Negotiating Southeast Asia (2004)

The inaugural issue of SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia  invites contributions that explore DISCOMFORT as a vehicle in the thinking of art histories and curatorial discourses connected to localities within the region known as Southeast Asia. It seeks to interrogate, recover, challenge, and redefine “contemporary” and “modern” through new readings of art practices connected to the region.

Cognisant of the historical burdens and future possibilities of regionalism as a framework, DISCOMFORT locates this source of tension and anxiety as a productive register to explore various discursive stakes, propelled by new urgencies, orientations, and motivations; and therein perhaps discover some comfort, even if merely within shared discomfort.

Topics that contributors may wish to consider include (but are in no way limited to) the following in the frame of DISCOMFORT (or other discomforting comforts):

– local, national, and regional identities and discursive frames
– relationships between artists, curators, researchers, and others
– gender and sexuality, of the discussion and lack of discussion of these and related issues
– the legacy of area studies, including the continuing use of the nation as frame, the insistence on the ancient and the religious as illuminating of the contemporary and modern, and related issues
– the implications of the rise of “contemporary art history” and “Asian modernities” in the academy, in exhibitions and publications, and in other fora
– responses to—and the seductive power of—the global as an imagined context and a discursive construct
– research across languages and cultures, time and space, disciplines and venues.

We invite contributions from scholars working in and between all disciplines and fields of inquiry, as well as from artists, curators, and others.
Abstracts of 300 words, as well as biographical statements of 100 words, should be submitted to southeastofnow @ by May 1, 2015. Final submissions will be due September 10, 2015, and if accepted will be submitted for review by two experts in the field. The digital publication is scheduled for distribution in early 2016.

We accept:
SHORT RESPONSES (1,200 – 2,000 words) including artist’s pages;
ARTICLES (4,000 – 7,000 words inclusive of footnotes);
REVIEWS (1,000 – 3,000 words) of publications, exhibitions, conferences and other projects.
Other formats or lengths upon discussion with the editorial collective.

Update: As of May 2, 2015, the Call for Proposals has closed.  We thank all who have submitted proposals, and will be in contact in due course. The editorial collective may still be contacted at the above email address.

Download the CfP:  SOUTHEASTOFNOW-CfP-1-Discomfort (mar2015)


Image: Heritance Kandalama in Sri Lanka, designed by Geoffrey Bawa
Image credit: Adheesha88, Heritance Kandalama Exterior View
CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –