Issue #2: Tours & Detours

The theme of this issue, Tours and Detours, is intended to provoke a wide variety of topics and approaches.  For some, it seeks to examine the interplay between identity, space, history, and memory, exploring the ways in which identities and communities are created, formed, and informed by spatial and temporal contexts.  For others, it conjures up ideas of travel, tourism, and critical heritage, seeking to actively exchange, share, and challenge ideas on information technologies, place-making, and digital economy.  Yet another group of scholars and artists might interpret the topic as rhetorical strategies around impasses of knowledge (what Barthes called the punctum and the situationists referred to as détournement).

This issue is open to all forms of interpretation.  It aims to bring together a host of disciplines, methodologies, perspectives, and case studies that explore changing places, identities, and historical narratives in our current cultural milieu.  It seeks experimental essays and projects that attempt to intervene in political processes, bureaucratic procedures of the tourism industry, and traditional narratives maintained by church, state, and university of the past.

For this issue, the editors seek traditional essays, audio/video essays, and related multimedia projects that explore the tour (and the detour) as a trope for the possibilities of rhetorical invention and practice in the digital age.  Some possible topics for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The deconstruction or appropriation of an existing monument;
  • Commemoration and Counter-monuments;
  • Mourning, Sacrifice, and Protest;
  • The democratization of monumentality and local, regional, or national narratives, slogans, symbols, and signs;
  • Displacements and borders;
  • Experiments with maps and critical geography;
  • Narrating/confronting the past: memorialization, contestation and re-enactment;
  • Philosophical approaches to memory and forgetting (Nietzsche, Ricoeur, Nora, Halbwachs, etc.);
  • Digital media, literature, the arts, popular culture and memory/forgetting;
  • Silence(s) and Erasures;
  • Archival forgetting, neglected books, burial places (graves, cemeteries, and catacombs), ruins, and other forgotten places;
  • The Mystory (Career, Family, Entertainment, and Community);
  • Spatial stories:  The rhetorical network of childhood homes, hometowns, and city spaces, tourism and sight-seeing;
  • The built environment—housing, architecture, and community identities;
  • The 15-year Anniversary of 9/11 & the various memorials, activities, and acts of mourning;
  • Remembering “unremarkable disasters”;
  • The roles, responsibilities, and blunders of the Fourth and Fifth Estates;
  • Electrate citizenry, public policy, and self-knowledge;
  • Sample lesson plans, descriptions of classroom experiences, and MeMorial experiments;
  • The intervention of tourism and creation of new tourist destinations;
  • The recovery of chora and the potentials found in detours, misdirection, and incongruities.

Topics and formats are open, and artists and scholars alike can address a range of ideas in museum and memory studies, composition & rhetoric, digital culture, electronic media and experimental pedagogy.  We are especially interested in topics appropriating tourist sites and industries and exploring what Gregory L. Ulmer refers to as “unremarkable disasters,” those events that are unnoticed but that have a strong impact in the social, political, and economic lives of millions of citizens (e.g., gun violence, car accidents, and domestic abuse).

Submission files and preliminary queries should be sent to the editors at: ulmertextshop@gmail.com.  Please provide your name, institutional affiliation, and a short bio in the text of the email.  Submissions are due September 30, 2016.

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Issue #3: Open Issue

For its third issue, Textshop Experiments invites essays, videos, gallery works, posters, reviews, and inquiries related to the following: Electracy; Cultural Theory; Composition & Rhetoric; Film & New Media; Electronic Literature; Digital Culture & Internet Studies; and Visual Studies, Design, & Public Art. 

Submissions for Issue #3 are due to the editors by March 1, 2017.  Submission files and preliminary queries should be sent to the editors at: ulmertextshop@gmail.com.


Issue #4: From Digital to Print

At the 2005 annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Gregory L. Ulmer reminded conference-goers of the importance of understanding our relationships to writing and print, the apparatus from which our identities, perspectives, theories and practices emerge.  Over the course of thirty years and eight books, Ulmer has called for us not only to be aware of the emerging apparatus he dubbed “electracy” but also to help invent and shape it.

This issue of Textshop Experiments asks contributors to respond to Ulmer’s call to interrogate print culture (its works, technologies, and operations) and respond to Ulmer’s call to participate in the definition and activities in electracy.  This is a call for scholarship on the history of print, books, literacy, publishing, and policy from the future.  The issue will publish video essays up to 15 minutes in length and accompanying Author Statements (which theoretically frame and contextualize their respective videos) no more than 1000 words.  

Contributors will then be asked to contribute full essays (about 5,000-7,000 words) based on these videos.  These essays will be compiled into a printed anthology.  Topics should specifically address the relationship between print and electracy.  Some possible topics and questions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Electracy in the K-12 and university classroom and curriculum
  • Electracy, participatory culture, and politics
  • Electrate love letters to print
  • Celebrations, commemorations, and mourning for print
  • Lessons learned from the failures or oppressive nature of print
  • Visions for the future of electronic publishing, publishers, platforms, and formats
  • Criticism on individual authors, illustrators, creators, editors, and publishers or their work(s)
  • Changes in authorship, readership, the submission/editorial process, consumerism, production
  • Law and public policy, copyright, and censorship,
  • Marketing, promotion, publicity, controlling costs and prices
  • Understanding and shaping the Fifth Estate
  • Analysis of specific platforms/tools, etc. (broadly defined)
  • Electracy and the augmentation and/or obsolescence of print
  • Reflections and forecasts of theory, scholarship, creative writing, and media history

Topics and formats are open, and artists, scholars, and writers alike can address a range of ideas in history, museum and memory studies, composition & rhetoric, literary studies, digital culture, art and graphic design, electronic media, and experimental pedagogy.

Please send your abstract proposal (250-300 words, in English), a short bibliography of 3-5 key works in your video/essay, a list of 3-5 key terms, and a short biography to the issue editors, K. A. Wisniewski and Felix Burgos, at ulmertextshop@gmail.com.

Proposals are due May 1, 2017. Completed submissions for the Textshop issue will be due August 15, 2017; a writing schedule for completed essays will be assigned upon the acceptance of the proposals.  Details to follow.

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BLAST/ED: A Publication on the Next 100 Days

(Limited Print-Run Book, Co-sponsored by Textshop Experiments)

In June 1914, Wyndham Lewis published the first of the two-issue BLAST, a literary and arts magazine dedicated to a new artistic and cultural movement dubbed Vorticism.  Though short lived, the journal tried to reinvigorate the avant-garde in England and is largely recognized as a seminal work in pre-WWI modernism. 

BLAST/ED is an effort to recapture the enthusiasm, creativity, and sense of community represented in Lewis’ collections.  It serves as an energetic and eclectic response to the frustrations and anxiety surrounding the recent U. S. presidential elections and our new president’s first 100 days in office, as well as the troubling rise of voices from the alt-right. 

Critics, scholars, and journalists alike have recently named the current state of American culture and politics as “the second Gilded Age.”  Like the avant-garde and vanguard arts, this project asks contributors to expose, interrogate, and invent the means through which we might prepare for a second Progressive Era, one that emphasizes artistic diversity, experimentation, personal experience, and unity. BLAST/ED proposes a new method of traversing through politics, geographical and cultural space, and creative/critical projects and hopes to serve as one spark in the future flame of democracy, artistic innovation, creative equality, views from the left. It’s title not only references Lewis’ publications but also channels the world’s state of shock (by creating shockwaves of its own) and educate each other on what’s happening, how we’re feeling, and how we might best proceed as individuals and as a collective to voice alternative perspectives, to curb dangerous policies, and to inspect activities in the Fourth and Fifth Estates.

Contributions will interrogate proposed policy changes; the forces, successes, and failures of national media outlets, propaganda, and educational practices; civic engagement and community organization and their activities; and the nature of crowd behavior and nationalism within specific locations.  It will promote tactics invented in the avant-garde to understand, criticize, and intervene in political and cultural activities and to create bridges between individuals, communities, and discourses.  Contributions may address topics related to race relations, ethnic diversity and equality, women’s rights and gender equality, environmental issues, economic policies and trade agreements, labor / worker rights, education, and the role of the media.  We are especially interested in works that promote new ideals and best practices of citizen/community activism and advocacy and that capture the shocks of electracy.

The project accepts poetry, manifestoes, flash fiction, humor and satire, editorial essays, experimental writing, and illustrations (original artwork, sketches, photographs, graphs, graphic design, and memes—please note that these images will appear in black and white in the printed edition).  Submissions should be limited to 5 submissions or 10 pages per contributor.  Longer essays, stories, and designs will also be accepted but please query first.

Submissions should be sent to the Editor, K. A. Wisniewski, at blasted.publication@gmail.com.  Written work should be submitted as .docx files and images as .jpeg (high res).  Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis from January 20, 2017 to May 15, 2017.

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Upcoming Issues & How to Get Involved

We have an exciting line-up of themed and open issues coming up as well, including

  • STAND-UP: The Comedy Issue
  • Anti-Method: Cats or CATTts

More information will be provided soon . . . Textshop Experiments is always seeking ideas for upcoming issues.  If you have a suggestion or are interested in serving as a guest editor, please contact the editors via the Contact page. 

We are also interested in producing/publishing/collaborating in longer digital works and are in the early stages of an original pamphlet/chapbook series.  Individuals interested in learning more should contact the editors directly.

Finally, we also accept artwork, book and exhibition reviews, and conference reports for future issues.  If you would like to be considered for future reviews, please send an email, including your name; academic/professional affiliation, department and position; publications, current research, and areas of interest; and your contact information, including mailing address, to the editors at ulmertextshop@gmail.com.  While we do accept unsolicited reviews and artwork, artists and reviewers are encouraged to query the editors before submission.