Digital Revolutions: Interpreting and Historicizing American Culture
New England American Studies Association 2012 Conference
Providence, Rhode Island
October 12–13, 2012
Recent developments in digital technologies have transformed the place of the humanities in American life. From online versions of Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana to a daily John Quincy Adams Twitter feed to the Smithsonian’s publicly accessible Archives of American Art to the Women Writers Online Project, digital technologists are reshaping our sense of history, place, community, and identity. Digitization of America’s cultural heritage has also fundamentally transformed work in the humanities itself. From universities to libraries to cultural institutions, the information infrastructure has brought forth digital collaborations across disciplines and beyond the academy, as well as between scholars, educators, archivists and programmers. But it has also brought forward concerns about copyright, control and access to information and the future of print media.
Are such changes unprecedented? Prior evolutions in communications technology suggest otherwise. From broadsides to blogs, such changes have reshaped the way Americans interact and understand themselves both in the present and the past. The 2012 NEASA conference, Digital Revolutions, invites participants to consider what these developments are, how they are redefining work in the humanities and what previous media revolutions suggest for the future.
This conference will combine scholarly investigation of the cultural, political and economic significance of communications media with a series of panels, workshops and participatory forums that can take advantage of technologies now available to us. In addition to individual paper proposals, we also welcome submissions for roundtable discussions, hands-on workshops and multimedia sessions such as film screenings, online presentations and 5-minute micropapers.
Proposals should include a one page abstract and title, as well as the author’s name, address (including email), and institutional or professional affiliation. For panel proposals please include contact information for all participants, as well as a brief (no more than two page) description of the session topic and format. Submit proposals by April 15, 2012 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topics for exploration may include but are not limited to:
Shifting meanings of literary
Digital collaboration and crowdsourcing
SOPA and PIPA
Developing and assessing digital archives
Communications and technology in the Occupy movement
Transnational social networking and the “Arab Spring”
Shifting meaning of race in virtual space
Technological challenges in teaching and research
Evolving communications technologies and print media
Sara Sikes, NEASA President
Massachusetts Historical Society, The Adams Papers
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
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