NeMLA 2021 Panel: Digital Rhetoric in a Digital World: Cultures of Writing, Information, and Communication

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
contact email: 

NeMLA 2021: Philadelphia, PA. March 11-14, 2021

The internet is no longer merely a medium of communication, but has blended into the invisible background of daily life—for many, we are never disconnected from the internet (DeNardis 2020). As we “surf” the web, using it to read news, connect with friends, search for funny cat videos, order books, stream music, and more, we are generating immense amounts of information and “data exhaust” that is harvested by tech companies (Zuboff 2019). We both consume information on the internet, and the internet as a proxy, consumes tremendous amounts of information on us. This is the Faustian bargain of a “free” internet. It is imperative to examine the larger perspectives of our cultures of writing, information, and communication in this increasingly networked, technologically driven, digital age.

Some of the most critical conversations of our current moment center on cyber hygiene, free speech, biased algorithms, filter bubbles, artificial intelligence, online surveillance, privacy rights, and disinformation. As scholars and educators, how do we teach in this digital climate, and how best do we prepare students to navigate these increasingly choppy cyber waters? It is critical to address these issues because—to update Madonna’s lyrics—“we are living in a digital world, and we are digital folks.” The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized our global reliance on the internet, highlighting both our increasingly networked world and its benefits as well as underscoring stark imbalances and inequities in access to technology. In many instances, and especially in the academic classroom, access to technology and the internet is no longer a luxury or even a tool, it has become a necessity. This panel engages deeply with the theme of NeMLA 2021 by addressing the “changing worlds” of online and in person academic learning, as well as focusing on the cutting-edge of technological and pedagogical innovation in the digital sphere.

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted directly on the NeMLA website by September 30, 2020: (direct link to this panel).

Submission Requirements

The submission deadline is September 30, 2020. All abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA CFP web site at Search for ID #18711, " Digital Rhetoric in a Digital World: Cultures of Writing, Information, and Communication."

General guidelines for abstracts can be found at View the conference web site at

Contact Information

Chelsea Horne
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Literature
American University

Contact email: