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Call for Papers: Special Journal Issue on Intoxication

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: Points contributors Ingrid Walker and Alexine Fleck are editing a special issue of NANO (New American Notes Online) with the theme Intoxication. Their call for papers is below. Get in touch before June 1, 2015!

Intoxication is the red-headed stepchild of social and academic discourse about psychoactive substance use. Whether framed as use, misuse, or abuse, intoxication reveals dangerous human desires for social disengagement, escape, or pleasure. Even as we experience and pursue what Lee Stringer refers to as “sprees of abandon,” our acts of intoxication are fraught with social tensions related to harm to the self, others, and the community. By linking intoxication with outcomes such as addiction, disease, incarceration, and death, we rarely look at intoxication as a valuable end in itself. Yet intoxication offers a tantalizing paradox: what looks like chaos, insanity, or simply a waste of time from the outside can feel like order, transcendence, or inspiration from the inside. The etymological origins of the term itself reflect the blurred boundaries between poison and elixir. As a point between experience and perception, interiority and exteriority, pleasure and pain, and acceptance and censure, intoxication is not simply a false consciousness to be discarded.

This issue of NANO seeks to move critical attention beyond one-dimensional discourses that frame intoxication in terms of criminality, disease, or excessive indulgence. NANO’s guest editors hope to inspire a multi- and interdisciplinary conversation about the possibilities and realities of intoxication that have been less explored in academic and public discourse. Further, we invite contributions that uncouple intoxication from what has been an almost-essentialist relationship with addiction. In particular, we seek contributions that examine or theorize intoxication from new or unusual perspectives.

In a period of decriminalization and changing public policy, how might we re-conceptualize intoxication to better understand its attraction, value, and expressions? What are the critical aspects of intoxication overlooked in the social construction of these experiences? What might we discover about intoxication if it were understood as a performance, an embodiment of subjectivity, or a sanctioned way of transcending social boundaries?

In this special issue, we seek critical reflections or multimodal notes (up to 3,500 words) that sketch new ways of understanding intoxication. Topics may include, but are not limited to, intoxication as:

  1. social or political activity

  2. spiritual ecstasy

  3. cultural expression

  4. transgression

  5. intentional hedonism

  6. self-medication

  7. consumerism

  8. love

  9. protest

  10. truth-seeking

  11. therapy

Direct questions to the Special Issue co-editors: Alexine Fleck and Ingrid Walker For questions about video, audio, or image usage, please contact NANO: NANO uses modified MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style.

Keywords: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords to accompany their submission.

Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:

  1. June 1, 2015: Submission deadline

  2. September 2015: Comments and peer review complete

  3. October 2015: Pre-production

We look forward to receiving your contributions.



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