Platform I Themes & Deadlines, year 1

Issue 1.1/Fall 2015 | The Police State
The recent murders of Walter Scott in Charleston, SC; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD; Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO; John Crawford in Cincinnati, OH; Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY; and Frank Alvarado, Angel Ruiz, Carlos Mejia, and Osman Hernandez in Salinas, CA, and too many others underscores the unbearable reality that black and brown people in the United States are undergoing a State-sanctioned genocide. Though it may be called by other names—police brutality, extrajudicial killings, excessive and/or deadly force—this genocide is only one aspect of the culture of extermination that encloses vulnerable populations: people of color; immigrants, documented and undocumented; queer and trans; cis-women; mentally ill; and poor. For our first issue, we invite contributors to submit work that explores necropower and necropolitics, the entanglements between State violence, white supremacist capitalist  patriarchy, normativity, the militarization of the police, and the fatal effects of profiling on targeted communities. 

Deadline: July 15, 2015
Extended to August 15, 2015


Issue 1.2/Winter 2016 | Privilege
The second issue of The C.O.U.P. takes up a question posed by transnational feminist M. Jacqui Alexander in her landmark collection of essay, Pedagogies of Crossing: "What do lives of privilege look like in the midst of war and the inevitable violence that accompanies the building of empire?" For this issue, we invited contributors to meditate and dialogue not only on what privileged lives look like, but also what privilege—skin/color, race, gender, class, ability, etc.—does as a social, cultural, and political force. When do we encounter the effects and affects of privilege? When and how does privilege in its many guises come into view and when is it secreted away from view? How does privilege serve the structures of power and domination and how might it serve decolonial practices to oppose domination and oppression? 

Deadline: October 15, 2015 


Issue 1.3/Spring 2016 | Failure
In his book, The Queer Art of Failure (2011), Jack Halberstam argues that "Under certain circumstances failing, losing, forgetting, unmaking, undoing, unbecoming, not knowing may in fact offer more creative, more cooperative, more surprising ways of being in the world" (2-3). Acknowledging that failure is a way of life for those of us who have been queered by white bourgeois heteronormativity and that latter's measures of success are "the outcome of the tilted scales of race, class, [....]gender" and ability (3). And so, all underrecognized peoples can do is fail to rise to the impossible idealized standards of the dominating culture. As such, Halberstam begs us to look to that crucial space where failure and desire collide. The bold suggestion is that failure and desire fiercely rub up against one another causing a friction that ignites new forms of life, new horizons of possibility, and more importantly reveals that the standards by which we are expected to measure the value of our lives are untenable and suffocating. For our third issue, we invite contributors to explore the relationship between desire and failure, pessimism and optimism, and different forms of being in the world that embrace the illegible, the irrelevant, the undisciplined, the disorderly, and the illogical.

Deadline: January 15, 2016


Issue 1.4/Summer 2016 | Futurisms
In his last speech before being assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared that he had "been to the mountaintop" and "seen the Promised Land". Despite seemingly having prophetic knowledge of his pending murder, King exclaimed that he was neither afraid nor worried; that he was in fact happy because he had not only seen the Promised Land, but believed "we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land". King's vision of the Promised Land was based on the "freedom dreams" (Robin D.G. Kelley, 2002) he shared in Washington D.C. in 1963. As difficult as it is, we must admit that we have neither arrived at the Promised Land nor made manifest his dreams. But does this admission mean that they are merely theoretical, the makings of myths and legends, or forever suspended in a distant future few of us will live to see and experience? While King's utopia was firmly located in the future (one that would not include him), for thinkers like the late José Esteban Muñoz, utopian world making—a necessarily futurist project that repudiates the present—can happen and is happening in the here and now. One need only look at the forms of life invented by those queered by white bourgeois heteropatriarchy. The third issue of The C.O.U.P. looks to the future. We invited contributors to consider futurist projects and their relationship to freedom struggles and attempts to create a society free of oppression an domination. We also highly encourage contributors to submit their own futurist visions and freedom dreams.

Deadline: April 15, 2016