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Call for Submissions: Thresholds 43

Thresholds is an annual, peer-reviewed journal that accepts original material for publication. 
Thresholds is looking for three types of content: Scholarly articles, projects, and shorts.

Call for Submissions: Thresholds 43

Gasp! What provokes this reflex that leaves one short of breath? More than just a sudden turn of events, for discourse to move from gossip to scandal there have to be stakes. Reputations, profits, and history-by-the-winners are on the line.

In 1939, architect George W. Stoddard understood these stakes well when writing his apology to the AIA Board of Directors. “There are times in every man’s life when he does things on the spur of the moment that he later regrets,” Stoddard implored after flouting a professional ban on advertising. The popular newspaper tabloid from following decades trafficked in one form of scandal surrounding the crime of regrettable deeds: originating in the private sphere and then splashed in the public one. These stories trade in schadenfreude while simultaneously performing in the interest of public good.

Stoddard’s delinquent act barely raises the contemporary pulse. Today, shocking headlines proliferate. If scandal shapes and reflects the historical moment, what does this de-sensitization say about our current condition? Many artists and architects operate fully conscious of an anaesthetized public. Thresholds 43: Scandalous seeks to investigate the relevance of scandal in creative practice. Content should confront a history of devious schemes, spectacular headlines, and pulp fictions by engaging them in critical conversation.

Scandal, we believe, is the red flag of every cultural movement. Sin segues into standards. Take Corbusier’s Plan Voisin and subsequent tower in the park offshoots, or Mapplethorpe’s The Perfect Moment that opened a new era of artistic provocations concerning public funding and censorship. This potential for transition, from shocking to ubiquitous, leads the editors of Thresholds to subvert a pursuit of the ’goods’ and instead ask: what is ’bad’? How does scandal emerge from or act counter to institutional and social contracts? How do changing forms of media, from the catchy hashtag to the news alert, incite slander or even revolution? Why does scandal destroy some while elevating others? Which sites are labeled crime scenes?

Thresholds 43 seeks papers and projects of all kinds that complicate and provoke the idea of ’scandal’ through scholarly discourse or inherently scandalous content.

All material should be submitted to thresholds@mit.edu.

Nathan Friedman and Ann Lui, Editors