CFP Digital Defoe: Fifth Issue

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Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries
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Issue 5.1 Fall 2013:
Public Intellectualism & Eighteenth-Century Studies

Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries is accepting submissions for its fifth anniversary issue which will be published in October 2013. Submissions are due by May 1, 2013. We encourage argumentative and personal essays, multimedia projects, reviews, and other pertinent submissions from scholars, higher education and K-12 teachers, administrators, activists, and social media users and analysts on the topic of Public Intellectualism & Eighteenth-Century Studies. This issue will focus on how the interdisciplinary fields of eighteenth-century studies, broadly researched and taught, have and could be shared across a diverse range of audiences, inside and outside the classroom and beyond academic publications that reach only readers in that discipline.

To challenge authors to consider their scholarship in the spirit of public intellectualism, Digital Defoe will accept submissions on the topics listed below in this CFP and also dedicate a special section of the journal to what we are calling “Redesign.” The Redesign section asks that scholars revise one of their most beloved past projects, published or unpublished, for a broader public audience than it was originally intended to serve. This could entail modifying the prose style, minimizing jargon, providing more context, reorganizing, embedding helpful multimodal components, or completely rethinking the medium of the project in a way that would reach a wider, largely nonacademic, readership. The goal for this experimental thread is to become more reflective of who we, as scholars of the eighteenth century, are communicating with and how, mindful of the conventions of academic publication and the ways in which audience shape our work and how we talk about it.

Topics may include, but need not be limited to, the following:

• The concept of public intellectualism defined, as it pertains to eighteenth-century studies;

• The figure of the public intellectual in relevant texts or events past and present (for example, rhetoric about or of “the founding fathers” and the influence on past or contemporary politics);

• Public constructions of the past or particular historical concepts (for example, popular understanding of the eighteenth century and the beginnings of capitalism, liberty, individualism, etc.);

• The role of media, past and present, in constructions of or resistance to public intellectualism;

• Analyses of the public, the public sphere, crowds, swarms, mobs, etc.;

• The nature of publication, past and present, and its effects on the field, intellectualism, education, etc.;

• Cultural attitudes toward intellectualism, historical and current, and their influences on eighteenth-century studies;

• The state of public intellectualism during the long eighteenth century;

• Blogs, wikis, Facebook pages, digital projects, television, film, video games, and other social media that communicate findings in, or the cultures of, eighteenth-century studies to larger audiences;

• The role of the teacher as public intellectual/the classroom as intellectual public space;

• The impact of public intellectualism on particular fields relevant to eighteenth-century studies, such as disability studies;

• Children’s and adolescent literature as sites for public intellectualism;

• The independent scholar and public intellectualism.

Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries is a peer-reviewed online journal celebrating the works and culture of the eighteenth century and also welcomes multimedia submissions that push the boundaries of scholarship in our field as well as more traditional essays, reviews, notes, and dissertation and conference abstracts. Submissions should be e-mailed to Katherine Ellison ( and Holly Faith Nelson ( by May 1, 2013. Please send print manuscripts as Word .doc files following the style guide on our website. For multimedia submissions, please send inquiries about file size and format to Katherine Ellison.

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