Intersectional, Innovative, Digital: Whither the New Humanities? (NeMLA 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Sabina Lenae, New York University
contact email: 

The humanities have been at a crossroads for almost the last ten years, since the rise of the digital humanities as “the next big thing” (Panapacker, 2009). Staunch advocates of the humanities would, of course, look back further and defend the discipline from its inception. The idea that studying the humanities generates more empathy and compassion is one that is now commonly understood. However, the innovation in the humanities in recent years – partly in response to greater funding and public fervor for so-called “STEM” fields – has not been without controversy of its own. Some have lamented the fact that the digital humanities ‘canon’ reflects early humanities scholarship in being predominantly white and upper class, calling instead for a more intersectional approach. Others have celebrated the very expansion of the term ‘humanities’ to include fields closer to social science, law, and technology. And others still have pointed to the great potential of digital humanities in engendering collaborative endeavors that enrich and maintain longevity for this field of knowledge. How do these debates play out across cross-cultural contexts, whether in world languages, literatures, or cultural studies? Papers are invited that frame the debates, propose innovative approaches, or critique the state of the humanities. The very creativity of this moment in scholarship allows for a creative range of responses here. Topics can include: immigration (in all its forms), free trade, film festivals, collaborations for humanitarian aid, and more scholarly endeavors.

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