Judith Butler, in their reading of Foucault, defines the virtue of critique as follows:
…virtue becomes the practice by which the self forms itself in desubjugation, which is to say that it risks its deformation as a subject, occupying that ontologically insecure position which poses the question anew: who will be a subject here, and what will count as a life, a moment of ethical questioning which requires that we break the habits of judgment in favor of a riskier practice that seeks to yield artistry from constraint.
Following this exposition, we invite writers to, broadly put, explore the possibility and limits of self-formation and deformation. We encourage broad interpretations of this prompt and welcome approaches from a variety of critical perspectives and through whatever medium writers deem productive. Examples of viable approaches include but are not limited to a critical history of concepts of resistance and self-formation, an interpretation of these themes through a literary or visual text, a reading of a pop-culture object that explores the prompt, or a philosophical essay that aims to raise new questions or engage with other relevant works.
Ultimately, successfully essays will be those that engage critically and creatively with the prompt and employ a productive methodology with a clear, concise style.
Essays are expected to be a minimum of 1500 words and a maximum of 3000 words with Chicago citation style. Essays may be submitted below or emailed to Memento@Dartmouth.edu with the subject line [Spring 2022 Essay Competition: *YOURNAME*].
The winner will be awarded 500 dollars and those placing second and third will be awarded 250 and 100 dollars, respectively. Up to ten honorable mentions will also be accepted for publication in our fall issue.
The deadline for submission is July 15th, 2022. Any questions regarding the prompt, submissions, prizes, or other information can be directed to Memento@Dartmouth.edu.