Screen/Post-Screen: Toward a Theory Focused Digital Humanities
**Note: the following CFP is for a proposed special session at MLA 19. The session will be submitted and reviewed under MLA guidelines. Acceptance to the panel does not signify immediate acceptance to MLA 19.
This panel aims to stage a critically reflexive, theory-driven dialogue concerning ‘screenic’ and ‘post-screenic’ approaches to digital humanities (DH).
The screen shapes our concept of the digital, and further, contemporary communication of graphical information. Figures like Johanna Drucker mobilize this fact toward new formations in visual epistemology--one that DH currently participates in, and one not limited to the digital interface. The screen may be our primary means on conveying graphical information in the present, but histories of visualization prefigure and exceed the limits of the screen. Post-screenic approaches to DH thus supersede the screen by examining our postdigital present alongside analogue technologies of the past. Articulated by David M. Berry and Anders Fagerjord in their 2017 Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age, the screen/post-screen dyad signals both a historical relay point from which to situate contemporary DH work and a methodological position that ultimately augments what ‘counts’ as DH praxis, particularly that of critical and cultural theory.
This panel endeavors to theorize the status of visual epistemology in DH praxis at differing levels of articulation, both augmenting and challenging the function of the screen, but also what ‘counts’ as DH praxis. Topics may include but are not limited to making/maker culture, distant reading, glitch, representational politics, anti-representational politics (i.e. the production and use of anonymity/obscuration in DH work), and cinematic precursors to contemporary DH work. Papers that explore the overlap, agonisms, and distinctions between screenic and post-screenic approaches to digital humanities from any tradition and/or methodological standpoint are welcome.