Forms of Scholarly Activism

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association

The current political climate cultivates a culture hostile to basic freedoms of speech and press, refuses to acknowledge fact-based knowledge, and belittles activists as “paid protesters.” Recently, Inside Higher Ed published, “Time for the Scholar Activist” (Oct. 2016).  Its author, Kerry Ann Rockquemore, suggests, “The main feature of the [Reframe Your Definition of Activism] model is integrating the work you are hired to do as a faculty member with the changes you want to see in the world. This model works well for faculty members whose commitments are related to their research and teaching.” Scholars and academics have an opportunity to extend their research and methods beyond their university walls and into the streets whether it be personally, virtually, digitally, or even symbolically. In the spirit of the convention theme, Arts and Activism, this panel seeks presentations from academics or former academics who have turned scholarship or methodology into forms of social justice activism for a wider public audience. Additionally, this special session is open to professors, instructors, and independent scholars who lead classes, workshops, or community programs on activism and public engagement.

This special session, Forms of Academic Activism, is intended to be a workshop as much as a panel. The goal of this session is to provide tools, strategies, and platforms for those in academia who are interested in making their efforts available to a wider public audience as a form of activism. As such, we will follow a workshop-style format with short presentations to incite incisive questions, lively discussion, and ideation. We welcome any area within the liberal arts and sciences, or humanities to showcase their Forms of Activism but seek a particular focus on critical theory of race, gender, class, and disability, visual culture, media literacy, literature, art, music, digital humanities, and literary history.


Possible topics to consider are:

Scholarly Response to Alternative Facts

Defining the Role and Making Time for the Scholar-Activist

Wikipedia Editing as Activism

Historical Recovery

#SocialMediaActivism: @Trumpdraws, #TrumpBookReport, etc.


Scholarly Activism “For the LULZ”

Craftivism and Scholarly Maker Culture

Geomapping + Activism

Relevance of Marxism in Contemporary Resistance

Potential Activist Digital Humanities Projects


To be considered, please submit an abstract of 250 words to Christopher Martiniano at by 4/15/17.