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The Digital and the Human(ities): Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies


February 3-6, 2011
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
250-word max abstract; 2-page vita; due August 1, 2010

Plenary speaker: Laura Mandell, Professor and Director of Research
Initiatives for Interactive Media Studies, Miami University

The Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies (TILTS), a yearly
thematic institute series hosted by the Department of English at the
University of Texas at Austin, invites paper proposals for the first of its
2010-2011 symposia, "The Digital and the Human(ities): Access, Authority, &

This symposium will be the first of three events that aim to contribute
significantly to the digital humanities by posing a series of hard questions
about the tensions between its key terms. What can we say we have learned
about the relationships between the digital and the human, and between the
digital and the humanities? Efforts to promote collaboration and
cross-fertilization between the humanities on the one hand and digital
technology development on the other have overcome some conflicts between
these areas of work. But to what extent have such efforts also revealed or
repressed conflicts between the digital and the humanities that remain
unresolved? Have they spawned new conflicts? Theorists routinely revise and
extend concepts of the digital and of the human. But do practical
initiatives in the digital humanities hold as yet under-articulated
consequences for such theories? And, conversely, how might theoretical
discussion of the digital humanities help clarify pressing practical
problems in the field?

This symposium will focus on the threshold concepts of access, authority,
and identity in relation to the electronic mediation of humanness. What do
innovations in the digital provision of access and maintenance of authority
mean for human identity, and, conversely, what do new ideas about, and forms
of, identity mean for our evolving norms of access, authorship, and
authorization? A number of high-visibility electronic experiments in radical
access and the reconfiguration of authority have now come Ā­ and many have
gone. What have we learned, and in what ways have these experiments changed
humanities conversations broadly?

Abstracts of 250 words or less and a 2-page vita should be submitted to the
co-directors of the Institute (Matt Cohen and Lars Hinrichs) c/o Andrea
Golden at: by August 1, 2010. Papers will be
roughly 15 minutes in length, presented in non-concurrent panels, so that
all attendees can attend all sessions. For past and future TILTS themes,
visit us here.