With this January, 2017 general issue, ASAP/JOURNAL moves into its second year of productionjournal year begins in the aftermath of a volatile, divisive, and ugly presidential election in the United States and a global political climate marked by the rise of ultra-right politics, violence, and corruption—from the Law and Justice Party in Poland and Brexit in the UK, to authoritarian repressions in Turkey, Egypt, and Russia, to genocidal wars in the Middle East and Africa that have generated massive refugee traumas. The move toward a global reconsolidation of Cold War boundaries and mentalities has fueled the apparent triumph of neoliberal economic paradigms, scaled back efforts to curb rapidly accelerating global climate change, and led to skyrocketing paranoia, anger, distrust, and violence worldwide. In recent months we have seen the global escalation of both rhetorical and geopolitical warfare against the humanistic values that ASAP champions: critical thinking, intellectual accountability and expertise, political and cultural dialogue, responsible and just creation and circulation of public media, ethical and equitable relations among living (and nonliving) beings, and the recourse to art as the creative expression of free and unfettered minds.
We, the founding co-editors of ASAP/Journal, wish publicly to affirm our commitment to the mission of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, in upholding these values and opposing any practice against persons or ideas that would undermine liberty and creative expression at any level or through any avenue of society. As a forum for scholars and artists dedicated to the arts of the present, ASAP/Journal recognizes creative and intellectual freedom as a fundamental human right and will continue to champion the arts and humanities for their capacity to think and act independently during these trying times. [End Page 1]