OPEN CALL for writing and artistic interventions on time.

Deadline for pitches: Monday, 22 July 2024


Taking cues from Fanon’s line that “every human problem cries out to be considered on the basis of time” (every human problem? and on the basis of time??), LIKE A FEVER is looking for work that explores connections between time and the problems we face today—even, and maybe especially, the ones we’ve become numb to.

How have present crises shifted your relationship with, or understanding of, time? How might different conceptions of time lead to more radical social visions? What “ordinary” practices have helped you move with integrity through these precarious times? How might archives—with their multiple registers of time (yeah yeah yeah, Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”)—attune us to overlooked possibilities for intervening in the present?

LIKE A FEVER hopes to receive unruly, untimely, undisciplined interventions—essayistic, poetic, visual, some combination of the above—that still manage to clarify the stakes of our present moment. And, as always, work that is at once obsessive, moody, and oriented towards cure.


Image: Dasha Yukhymyuk on Unsplash.
Image: Dasha Yukhymyuk on Unsplash.

*   *   *

Our experience of time is felt before it is known, before we can even begin to make sense of it—even the most soul-crushing conditions can come to feel ordinary to us, like the proverbial frog being slowly boiled alive. Lauren Berlant coined the phrase “crisis ordinariness” for the adaptations people make to ongoing catastrophes that embed themselves in the “exhausting pragmatics” of everyday life—whether it’s the persistent backdrop of extreme weather events, job insecurity, chronic illness, toxic households, or increasingly fascistic regimes, living with this seeming contradiction of “crisis” and “ordinariness” suggests new modes of temporality we’ve barely begun to understand.

The scholars Badia Ahad and Habiba Ibrahim note how prolonged exposure to crises may even lead to them no longer feeling like crises—a becoming numb, as catastrophe becomes quotidian. In a special issue of SAQ titled “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis,” they write:

Time is at once drawn out and compressed. Living in a steady state of crisis is now a globally familiar dread, and yet a doubled doom for folks who have managed to exist—even thrived—under the crisis of Blackness for lifetimes. To persist in an ongoing state of crisis is to be made vulnerable by time’s indefatigability.

The hope in reckoning with these times is to better understand its contours and power formations, so as to better respond to its “globally familiar dread” with something more than simply dread. The hope is to move beyond present impasses—“to rupture them” (following Adam HajYahia’s Parapraxis essay on Palestinian subjectivity during Zionist times).

In conjunction with Asia Art Archive’s upcoming curatorial exhibition on time, LIKE A FEVER is commissioning work that responds to the above prompts.


Timeline and Submissions

Please email your pitch, along with a CV and writing samples, to Managing Editor Paul C. Fermin at by Monday, 22 July 2024. Please use the subject line “ON TIME, [Your Name].”

Selected pitches will receive an honorarium of HK$3,125 (US$400) to develop a piece of around 1,000–4,000 words; and will be notified late July, with a view towards developing the pieces for publication beginning early October.



Paul C. FERMIN, 范憶信


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