April 5, 2014 - Digital Utopias: Literary Space(s) in the Digital Age

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University of Texas at Arlington Graduate English Conference

Digital Utopias: Literary Space(s) in the Digital Age

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Greenspan, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada)
- Brian Greenspan is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University. He is the founding Director of the Hyperlab, a Digital Humanities research centre, and inventor of the StoryTrek locative media authorware for games, interactive stories, and historical simulations. His research interests include utopian narratives, digital cultures, and the intersections between them.

Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Kenneth Roemer (UT Arlington), author of four books on utopia including Utopian Audiences and The Obsolete Necessity, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in American History. Dr. Roemer's topic: "The Absolute Truth about Utopia."
Call for Papers

Perhaps no recent "field" of English studies has gained more steam and momentum than digital humanities. Concurrent with our ever-increasing digital paradigm, the humanities have been enveloped into the mix. Texts are being created, published, and encountered in strictly digital formats. English courses are being taught—and taken—in completely online formats. And traditional critical approaches are shifting to cohere to our technology-saturated culture.

While this shift towards digital humanities is seemingly necessary, we seek to ask certain questions about the nature of this shift and the ways in which more traditional approaches to literature, composition, and pedagogy can coexist with and survive among these new trends. Specific questions include: What effects does the shift toward digital humanities have on the texts being produced and on a reader's experience with said texts? Are digital texts a pathway to a "utopian" reading experience, in which readers are able to have all tools and resources available as they read? Or do digital texts and classrooms somehow hinder individual experiences with the humanities? How exactly do the humanities exist in the digital age?

Along with answers to these questions, possible topics and approaches include:
- Digital text production and/or reading texts in digital formats
- Authorship in the digital age
- Digital humanities in the context of gaming
- The literary space of social media
- Digital humanities and pedagogy

Along with these topics, we also welcome papers in all other traditional areas of study in literature, composition and rhetoric, and pedagogy. All genres, time periods, and areas of literary study are encouraged. We welcome traditional abstracts of 200-400 words, along with panel proposals—please include an abstract for the entire panel, along with brief explanations of the intended presentations. Please send abstracts (with the subject line "UTAEGC 2013"), along will all other inquiries, to the following email address: