Conferences & Symposia

The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present holds an annual conference in North America that brings together scholars and artists from institutions all over the globe to share research, debate trends, and generate new projects concerning the “arts of the contemporary.” 

The ASAP also supports an annual symposium at a host institution outside of North America. Both the conferences and the symposia are collaborations between ASAP and individual institutions–for instance, universities, institutes, museums. While the conferences are large gatherings of scholars and practitioners participating in seminars, roundtables, and panels, the symposia are meant to develop specific themes in contemporary arts research intensely, with a small and highly select group of scholars.

“Our next conference will be in-person, from October 17-19, 2024 in New York City. The theme is “Not A Luxury,” and the deadline for submissions is March 22, 2024. See the submissions portal for more information.

ASAP’s conferences and symposia do not endorse any one critical methodology, political orientation toward the arts, or aesthetic criterion of evaluation. We welcome all forms of innovative or established scholarship that have as their primary purpose the advancement of humanistic learning and creative innovation. Because the contemporary arts operate globally and often across disciplines, the conference encourages groundbreaking comparative scholarship that promotes fellowship and scholarly interaction among its various constituents.  A host institution is fully responsible for running the physical aspects of the conference and receives no monies from the Association toward these costs, though it can generate some revenue from conference registrations to offset some of these costs. The conference organizer for the host institution organizes the conference program with assistance from The ASAP Conference Program Committee. Hosting an ASAP conference or symposium offers many opportunities for institutions and groups to publicize their activities, broadcast their corporate identities to an international audience, and host an international and disciplinarily diverse group of world-renowned scholars and practitioners of the contemporary arts. If you’re interested in hosting an annual meeting of ASAP, just let us know at !

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Upcoming Conference

ASAP/15: Not a Luxury

ASAP/15 will be an in-person conference, held at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Park Avenue Armory, Hunter College, and Weeksville. We are especially pleased to be able to partner with the Park Avenue Armory, a space dedicated to supporting unconventional works in the performing and visual arts that cannot be fully realized in a traditional proscenium theater, concert hall, or white-wall gallery.

New York City
October 17—19, 2024

Past Conferences

ASAP/14: Arts of Fugitivity

ASAP/14 will have in-person programming, as well as virtual streams, at University of Washington’s Seattle and Bothell campuses in order to maximize accessibility and explore how and why we gather together. 

September 30, 2023

UW Seattle – Seattle, WA
October 4 — October 6, 2023

UW Bothell – Bothell, WA
October 7, 2023

ASAP/13: Edge Play

ASAP/13 will have a hybrid format, blending virtual presentations as well as in-person programming at UCLA, in order to maximize accessibility and explore how and why we gather together.

Los Angeles
September 14—17, 2022


Proceedings held online owing to COVID-19 restrictions

October 27—30, 2021

ASAP/11: Ecologies of the Present

University of Maryland, College Park
October 10—12, 2019

ASAP/Hong Kong: Old Lands, New Ground

Hosted by the School of English, the Department of Fine Arts, and the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts.

University of Hong Kong
June 7-9 2019

ASAP/10: Arts of our Time

ASAP/10 was hosted by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University and Pelican Bomb at the InterContinental New Orleans.

New Orleans
October 17—20, 2018

ASAP/9: Arts of the Present

ASAP/9 was hosted by the University of California, Berkeley at the Oakland Marriott Center, in cooperation with the ASAP Program Committee. Its organizer was Mark Goble, who was at the time the President of the ASAP as well as an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley.

October 26—28, 2017

ASAP/8: Alternatives to the Present

ASAP/8 was hosted by the University of Tartu in cooperation with the ASAP Program Committee. The symposium featured more than 300 papers and presentations. Its organizers were Marina Grishakova and Jaak Tomberg of the University of Tartu.

Tartu, Estonia
September 3—5, 2016

ASAP/7: Arts and the Public

ASAP/7 was hosted by Clemson University in cooperation with the ASAP Program Committee. The conference featured more than 300 papers. Conference organizers were Michael LeMehieu, Angela Naimou, Cameron Bushnell, and Emily Clark.

Greenville, S.C.
September 24—27, 2015

ASAP/6: China and the World

A symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present in collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The host organizer was Professor Wang Ning of Tsinghua/Shanghai Jiao Tong Universities.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University
June 27—29, 2014

ASAP/5: Arts of the City

A conference featuring approximately 200 presenters hosted by Wayne State University in collaboration with the Program Committee of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. The conference host was renee hoogland, Associate Professor of Visual Culture at Wayne State University and Editor of the journal Criticism. 

Detroit, MI
October 3—5, 2013

ASAP/4: Genres of the Present

ASAP/4 was hosted by hosted by the Royal College of Art, London in collaboration with the Program Committee of ASAP The conference organizer was Lucy Soutter, Associate Professor of Critical and Historical Studies. Featuring more than 40 presenters, the symposium included an evening screening of genre-related film and video art.

Royal College of Art, London
October 4—6, 2012

ASAP/3: Arts of the Planet

ASAP/3 was hosted by hosted by the Carnegie Mellon University Humanities Center in collaboration with the Program Committee of ASAP The conference organizer was David Shumway, Professor of English and Literary and Cultural Studies.

October 27—30, 2011

ASAP/2: Configuring the Present Across Arts and Media

ASAP/2 was held at the University of Trier, Germany, on October 28-30 2010. A symposium of featuring the work of approximatley 30 scholars, ASAP/2 focused on innovation in contemporary arts and their dialogue with the past.

University of Trier, Germany
October 28—30, 2010

ASAP/1: Arts of the Present

ASAP’s launch conference “ASAP/1: Arts of the Present” was held October 22-25, 2009, downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The conference featured work by more than 115 scholars and arts practitioners working in the visual, literary, and performing arts.

Knoxville, Tennessee
October 22—24, 2009