[UPDATE] NeMLA Deadline Approaching for The Literary Interventions of the Digital Humanities: A Pecha Kucha Roundtable

full name / name of organization: 
Ryan Cordell / Northeastern University / Digital Americanist Society
contact email: 

Digital humanists often tout their work as transformative to literary scholarship. Textual encoding, text mining, corpora analysis, and geospatial analysis all promise to shift our understanding of literary texts, historical periods, and cultural phenomena. Digital Humanities (DH) is certainly, as Stephen Ramsay recently quipped, the "hot thing." DH panels multiplied at the 2009, 2011, and 2012 MLA Conventions, and they received significant coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed each year. More English Departments are hiring digital humanists; digital humanities centers multiply across a range of institutions.
Nevertheless, DH scholarship has not significantly influenced the vast body of literary scholarship. Few "traditional" scholars cite digital work as evidence for their claims; few DH articles appear in prominent literary journals. There's little conversation between the many DH panels at MLA and the many, many panels entirely unaffected by the digital humanities revolution. DH self-consciously fosters a "big-tent" philosophy of inclusion, but scholars outside of the big tent often see DH, rightly or wrongly, as a separate entity: a roped-off area even within disciplinary conferences like MLA.
This roundtable aims to encourage dialogue between camps. The Digital Americanist Society seeks speakers who will—through the abbreviated, energetic Pecha Kucha presentation style—articulate a clear, interpretive intervention that digital scholarship has made (or could make) in their areas of study. Our goal will not be to describe the features, interface, or technologies of digital projects, but instead to demonstrate how those projects advance, supplement, or disrupt the scholarly conversations of our respective literary subfields. To that end, we encourage "non-DH" scholars whose work has benefited from DH scholarship to contribute; we welcome a diverse panel that exemplifies the dialogue we hope to champion.

This roundtable will employ the dynamic Pecha Kucha presentation style. Panelists will each present using 20 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. Each talk, then, will last for 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The organizers will communicate extensively with accepted panelists before the conference to familiarize them with the Pecha Kucha format. We hope to organize a roundtable of 5-6 speakers, which means the formal presentations will take less than 45 minutes. This plan will leave ample time for conversation among the panelists, the moderator, and the audience.

Submit abstracts to Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University, r.cordell@neu.edu, by September 30, 2012. Please note: the session has already been accepted to the conference, so accepted papers will be included in the program.