Hacking English: Lit, Productive Disorientation, and Digital Praxis

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast MLA
contact email: 

Roundtable: Explores questions around how digital pedagogy entails challenge to or rethinking of the teaching of literature. Activities such as distant reading, multi-modal remix, archive building, and social-reading are explored for potential to be "productively disorienting" in how students and faculty approach literature. (10 minute presentations plus discussion).


Northeast MLA

April 12-15, 2018

Pittsburgh PA


Digital humanities research practices are increasingly transforming scholarly work in English; and it's commonly recognized, especially in the writing classroom, that the use of technology exerts a pressure and creates certain opportunities for teaching. Digital humanists insist that those practices bear self-reflexive examination. As Katherine Harris reminds us, digital pedagogy is "not just about the flashy use of tools" but "requires re-thinking curriculum, student learning outcomes [and] assessment . . . " Paul Fyfe asserts that the "productively disorienting" capacity of digital pedagogy is as much a matter of praxis as a function of the tools themselves ("Digital Pedagogy Unplugged") while insisting that any such use of digital tools absent an explicit digital pedagogy is irresponsible. How and to what extent are we rethinking literature pedagogy? Does digital praxis provide means and impetus for hacking (i.e. reframing, adjusting, modifying to suit new purposes) received notions of interpretation, analysis, the text, subjectivity, genre, or the very roles of student or teacher? This roundtable invites presentations that explore and reflect upon changes to literature teaching practices within a digital context. Topics might include distant reading pedagogy (visualization, topic modeling, stylometrics), digital editions and archive projects, multi-modal remediation or remix, collaborative or social reading, born digital literature. The conversation is significant because of the inherent importance of explicitly theorizing teaching practices; the opportunity presented by the digital paradigm shift to rethink those practices across the spectrum, from a classroom lesson to a major or degree program; and the need to counterbalance the more prevalent discourses of classroom shop-talk, tool-driven workshops, and graduate or faculty research. Contact sherwood@iup.edu with questionsSubmit: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16827