Foundry Open Call: Living Through Upheaval – Under Fire

Under Fire. On Water. After Earth. Out of Air.
Foundry is devoted to innovative work that takes on emerging trends and possibilities in the humanities through experimental scholarship in form and substance. The Living Through Upheaval open call series summons scholars, activists, and artists to weigh the impact of our world’s contemporary transformations from a myriad of disciplinary and transdisciplinary angles. Submissions should explore the dynamics of political, ecological, and social developments as refracted through the lens of the four classical elements—fire, water, earth, air. Foremost a creative outfit, Foundry encourages submissions that mine the generative potential of the elements as metaphor and framing device; submissions that shake the fetters of traditional academic publishing to offer up a new cracking open in humanities scholarship.

Together with UCHRI’s systemwide Living Through Upheaval initiative, Foundry seeks to pave a course for humanities scholarship pertaining to matters erroneously deemed outside of its scope—ecology, climate, poverty, and other human-centered discourses—which often exclude the humanities viewpoint, its methodologies and commitments. Via these four open calls — Under Fire / On Water / After Earth / Out of Air — Foundry will house a compendium of humanities-driven critical scholarship anchored in the lessons of elemental life. Like a double-edged sword, the elements are predicated on a delicate balance, offering a compelling lens through which to engage and interrelate the powers and perils of our present, past, and near-future actions in the face of our rapidly changing world.

The first in the series — Under Fire — is an appeal for explorations of this unique element, standing apart from the rest as a centerpiece of human developments, dynamics, and transformations; of self-narration across most all modes and forms of cultural expression; as a catalyst for evolution in food and shelter; and a reactionary force commanding significant shifts in our contemporary culture.

Potential areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • Humanistic engagement with fire ecology and the biosphere
  • Fire as an object of study—its idiosyncrasies, conditions, anatomy
  • Fire as metaphor, motif, organizing principle, framing device
  • Fire’s metaphorical exploitation
  • Rage, revolt, rebirth: “burn it all down”
  • Burnouts and Blackouts
  • Fire in symbolic discourse; fire as tactical gambit
  • Experimentation and trial by fire
  • Fire as contagion
  • Weaponizing and wielding
  • Fire as point of intersection/interaction for interdisciplinarity
  • Inflammation and inflammatory discourse
  • Dynamism and discord between the elements

Foundry solicits submissions that experiment with content and form. We do not heed/adhere to the requirements of traditional academic publishing. Formal variations have included poetry, word and image, dialogue, and lexical analysis

Those interested in Under Fire are welcome to submit a pitch by February 22, 2021; the final deadline for Under Fire submissions is March 19, 2021. All inquiries can be sent to with the subject heading “Under Fire.”

Please review Foundry’s mission statement and submission guidelines before sending your pitch or final work.

On Water – Spring 2021
After Earth – Summer 2021
Out of Air – Fall 2021