MLA CFP “Digital Deformance and Scholarly Forms”

Last year’s session—organized by the Association for Computers and Humanities (ACH)— at MLA featured a “just the results, please” approach to presenting digitally-inflected scholarship in literary studies and prioritized discussion of interpretive results over process. In a similar vein and taking its cue from Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann’s term “deformance,” this year’s panel will feature presentations of digital interpretations born out of deformative and/or performative technology-enabled processes. “Digital deformance” is meant to be broadly construed; as a result, methods might span a wide range of approaches from programming to game design to computational analysis to fabrication to digital editing.

This panel will feature presentations that offer interpretations of texts, language, literature, images, and/or literary history that result from deforming, reshaping, and representing texts and suggest ways in which such processes may inform existing critical assumptions.

Papers should consider the ethical, procedural, and/or representational challenges to such an approach, as well as the fresh insights opportuned by the act of deformance.  Much like last year, we will ask presenters to speak not about their methods but instead about their interpretation, results, and conclusions.

Speakers will also be invited to write brief blog posts to be shared on their own websites as well as that of the ACH about their methods and approaches. These posts will be shared at the session but will not become the focus of the conversation.

Send 250-word abstracts and a 1 paragraph bio to lmrhody [at] gmail [dot] com by 15 March 2014 at 12pm EST. N.B. All panelists will need to be MLA members (or have their membership waived) by April 7th.

ACH is an allied organization of the MLA, this session is guaranteed for the 2014 MLA.

By Stéfan Sinclair

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