NeMLA: Public Facing Social Media Literature Projects

deadline for submissions: 
October 11, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA/ Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 


Deadline for submission extended to October 11, 2020. NeMLA will now be held digitally rather than in person.

End Update********

#AltAc. It stands for Alternate Academia and is more than just a trending hashtag nowadays, it's  also a pursuit for many trained academics. With dire  statistics for how many Ph.D. graduates will be offered a life-sustaining position within the institution of academia, many academics are creating media offshoots of their research and translating their work into social media venues for a variety of reasons: to leverage for a paid position, for the creativity of increased perspectives, for the opportunities that new medias present, and for the very same reason that colleges exist - to educate the public and make research and intellectualism affordable and accessible. Particularly in the COVID-19 and hopefully Post-COVID-19 era taking account of how scholars utilize the internet to maintain scholarly visibility and build transferable skills is particularly timely and perhaps even urgent.


This panel seeks presentations that discuss scholarly projects staged on internet based platforms whether that is through websites, social media, podcasting, YouTubing, the sky-is-the-limit. For examples of Instagram projects see @notesfromthephysicslab and @TheMetropolitanist. For an example of a literary magazine see Evocations Review. For podcasts see Rhetoric Lee Speaking, Digital Void Podcast, and Salon Evocations. We ask that presentations focus on the ways that we, as scholars within and outside of the university are creatively engaging with new media as a way to disseminate literature and literary scholarship in a time when it seems increasingly vital to emerge from the Ivory Tower and engage in public communications projects whether that is to express a love of literature, combat anti-intellectualism, or to individually challenge the way our labor to educate is used for profit at the expense of public education.


We welcome topics exploring public facing literature projects in ways that may include but are not limited to:

-   Strategies to increase, broaden, or deepen online engagement and audiences

-   Literature and Instagram, Medium, Twitter, Podcasts, personal webpage, etc

-   AltAc careers of Literature PhDs

-   The role of Literature in the public domain

-   Transferring academic training to public facing platforms

-   Collaborative media projects

-   Leveraging public facing media projects for careers

-   Defining one's worth outside of academia

-How to translate research onto a visual medium like Instagram

-Is academic twitter an act of research translation or adaptation

-How does speaking to a voluntary internet audience change our pedagogy

-Do you have an idea for a public facing internet project? How do you imagine it unfolding?

-How can these projects be used to develop “translatable skills”

-What are some of the barriers or anxieties we face when pursuing individually curated public projects?


To submit an abstract use the NeMLA portal : You will be prompted to create an account.

For abstract guidelines see this information page: 

If you have any questions feel free to contact Sophia Basaldua-Sun at or Kim Coates at