CFPs for the Digital Americanists Society at ALA 2020

Hayley Stefan's picture
Call for Papers
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Literature, Teaching and Learning, Archival Science

The Digital Americanists solicit abstracts (c. 250 words) for a roundtable discussion and panel at the 2020 American Literature Association Conference (San Diego, May 21–24, 2020).

“Digital Humanities in the American Literature Classroom” Rountable
This roundtable will consider the role of digital humanities in the teaching of American Literature. We will look to engage in and amplify dialogue about digital pedagogy, building upon recent scholarship like the 2018 collections Teaching with Digital Humanities and An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy, and to share new ideas about what and how we teach. Acknowledging the slippery meaning of “DH,” we invite panelists to think critically about how the digital shapes their institution’s course structure, classroom environment, assignments, or students’ daily work.  We are especially interested in presentations that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as they influence our digital pedagogy and institutional practice.

We are envisioning this roundtable as a series of 5-10 minute presentations followed by discussion. We will facilitate and encourage collaboration and coordination amongst the participants.

Topics might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Using digital & open-access textbooks
  • Teaching with digital tools, methods, and archives
  • Implementing DH at smaller/teaching-focused institutions
  • Attending to accessibility and inclusivity in digital pedagogy
  • Teaching digitally in low-income & low-tech institutions/areas
  • Digital work in publicly-engaged classrooms
  • DH, critical pedagogy, and the neoliberal institution

“Unique Archives” Panel
Following up on the successful 2019 panel, this panel focuses on the archiving and digitization of “unique” collections of materials that are related to American literature or culture, broadly defined. These might be collections of non-traditional or non-canonical texts, genres, or forms; materials related to marginalized individuals or groups; or collections of materials that for either historical or technical reasons present unique challenges for those looking to digitize them. While we are open to the form that these talks might take, we welcome and encourage collaborative presentations and discussions of works in progress. We imagine that panelists might discuss both the challenges (bureaucratic/institutional, economic, technical, theoretical) and affordances of dealing with such collections of materials, with an eye towards assisting other scholars who may encounter similar issues in their own digitization projects, and explaining how such collections offer new possibilities for scholarship, teaching, digital preservation, and/or public engagement.

If you are a graduate student or an independent researcher without institutional support, we encourage you to apply for our $100 travel grant. If you wish to be considered, please send a short statement of interest (one sentence suffices), as well as a note on your current institutional travel support, alongside your paper proposal.

Deadline for all submissions is January 13, 2020. Send abstracts or questions by email to For more information about the Digital Americanists Society, see For information about the ALA and the 2020 conference, see

Contact Info: 

Send abstracts or questions by email to For more information about the Digital Americanists Society, see For information about the ALA and the 2020 conference, see

Posted on behalf of the Digital Americanists Society by Hayley Stefan, Director of Outreach.