CFP: New Media in American Literary History

New Media in American Literary History, Interdisciplinary Symposium

Northeastern University, December 5 & 6, 2013

Confirmed plenary panelists include: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University), Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey City University), Lisa Gitelman (New York University), and Meredith McGill (Rutgers University).

We invite applicants for “New Media in American Literary History,” a symposium aimed at bringing together “digital” and “analog” scholars interested in the history of American print media to discuss common questions, challenges, and identify potential collaborations. Our goal is to bridge the gap between digital and more “traditional” disciplinary work. The conference will bring together scholars employing methodologies such as text mining, topic modeling, digital curation, and network analysis ­in other words, “big humanities data”­ into direct and productive dialogue with Americanist scholars, graduate students, and archivists employing well-established practices in book history, textual analysis, media studies, and critical bibliography in their work.

We welcome applications from scholars and graduate students across the humanities and social sciences thinking through the following questions (but are not limited to).

What are the unexplored intersections (or ruptures) between digital and analog research methodologies in American studies?
How might considerations of new media (re)shape our view of American print history?
How can digital technology transform traditional methods of scholarly research focused on pre-digital primary sources in the humanities and social sciences?
Do these digital methodologies make new media research more accessible and all encompassing or do they create new biases and limited audiences?
What are the institutional, technological, social, or cultural barriers confronting scholars of new media in American literary history and what are possible solutions?

This symposium will not be structured like a typical conference, with panels of papers followed by short Q-and-A sessions. Instead, we will organize the event around project demonstrations, roundtables, group dialogues, and master classes.

Applicants should submit a C.V. and 250 word proposal that discusses how they will contribute to engaged discussions about the challenges, limitations, and potential intersections of digital humanities, book history, bibliography, and media studies. Submissions should be submitted to Ryan Cordell and Rhae Lynn Barnes, r.cordell at, by August 9, 2013.

The symposium will take place at Northeastern University December 5-6, 2013, and is sponsored through the Rare Book School’s Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography (, the Northeastern University English Department (, the Northeastern University Humanities Center (, and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks (