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2023-2024 Call for Submissions

Volume 4: SPARKing Resistance: Rejuvenation in Academic Research

The past 3 years at SPARK we’ve seen scholars from various fields tell stories about their research, how they’ve bent academia to create work that represents their communities. We invite scholars to explore, tell the story, illustrate the moment, review the literature that mended their relationship with academia. As Christina Sharpe suggests, we want to see how “becoming undisciplined” has rejuvenated your being.

Undisciplined scholarship is that which breaks away from the positivistic modes of producing knowledge. At SPARK we are curious to know how you’ve swerved away from extractive or suppressive dogmas in your field. Some undisciplined research examples from the Editorial Board include a chemist who has conducted ecologically remediative research in the field as a counter to environmental racism (translation for humanity babies: how has chemistry research healed the Earth versus pollutive). Or a historian leading research that incorporates non-Western languages and viewpoints that are not traditionally embraced academia. 

In Volume 4, we continue disseminating these multidimensional stories through the theme of ‘rejuvenation’. Paradoxically, the academic process can dampen the very drive that brought you to your topics of research. Rejuvenating scholarship intends to heal wounds, uplift communities, and challenge noxious conditions that enervate the mind, body, and spirit. SPARK invites you to join us and provide you with the space to elucidate how your research is healing in the broadest sense of the term. 

Questions to Consider

  • How do you define rejuvenation or healing?
  • How have your experiences within your own identity driven you to perform the research you are engaged in?
  • What does radical rejuvenation look like within your community?
  • What historical context exists regarding research in or for your community? Is this a place of trauma or exploitation? How does your work heal that history?
  • What is the story behind your research? Why was it important to tell this story? 
  • What makes your research healing? How would you describe your rejuvenating practice? How will your communities respond to this radical work?  
  • How do healing practices intersect with your research experiences as a BIPOC graduate student? 
  • Why do you think this form of rejuvenation is necessary or important at this moment?
  • Who do you see your research rejuvenating (i.e. benefiting)?

Proposed Formats: 

  • Stories about your research ( 750 – 1500 words) 
  • Auto-ethnographic stories (750 – 1500 words) 
  • Comic panels/Chapbooks 
  • Speculative fiction pieces (750-2000 words) 
  • Interviews (10 minutes –  30 minutes) 
  • Original art works
  • Podcast episodes  (10 minutes – 30 minutes) 

Editorial Timeline

The abstracts should be no less than 150 words, and no more than 500. You will be notified of your selection the week of November 21st. That week you will meet with your editorial team to begin the collaboration of your final product. 

Key dates for Volume 4 for the SPARK editorial process: 

  • November 21st, 2023 – Editorial Selection meeting
  • December 4th, 2023 – December 11th, 2023 – First Consultation with Editors 
  • January 8th, 2024 – First draft due
  • January 15th – January 22nd  –  First round of feedback/follow up meeting 
  • February 16th – Second Draft due
  • March 11th – Deadline for final draft 
  • We anticipate SPARK Volume 4 to be published in April of 2024

Submit now!