CFP: MLA 2025 Call For Panelists From The Committee On Information Technology

The MLA’s Committee on Information Technology (CIT) initiates projects, publications, and other activities relating to the use of computers and other technologies for teaching and research in the language and literature fields. It advises the Executive Council and leadership of the MLA on matters relating to technology. For the MLA convention in New Orleans in 2025 (Jan. 9-12), the CIT is organizing two sessions to help generate ideas related to its the Presidential theme for the convention of “Visibility.” [Abstracts: 300 words or less, by the end of the day (all time zones): 15 March 2024. Please submit your abstract using this Google Form: bit.ly/3OEMYXP

Session 1: Alt-Text, Alt-Image: Multimodal Scholarship

In this session we’re interested in examining how multimodality can respond to the presidential theme “visibility.” How can digital technologies in the humanities move away from or, in enriching ways, accompany sight as the dominant modality of “enlightened” knowledge? How can digital scholarship negotiate screen essentialism (as if what is seen on the screen is all there is) and universalism (as if everyone experiences the world in the same way)? What becomes “visible” (meaningful, accessible, understandable) when the emphasis is moved away from sight? How can thinking about the visible/invisible ignite multiple avenues through (and connections with) engagement, representation, and action/expression. We’re interested in presentations that engage with data and information representation beyond sight/screen (textile, sound, haptic, wearables, etc.) and that explore the visible and invisible in infrastructures, systems, blackboxing, privacy, and other issues. Disability studies approaches that connect to MLA 2025’s Presidential theme of “Visibility” are especially welcome. [Abstracts: 300 words or less, by the end of the day (all time zones): 15 March 2024. Please submit your abstract using this Google Form: bit.ly/3OEMYXP]

Session 2: Multilingualism and Visibility in Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship

This session invites proposals to examine the current state of multilingualism in digital scholarship as a way to address visibility/invisibility. Digital scholarship has been widely criticized for being English-centric, technologically biased, and, therefore, culturally exclusionary. These criticisms emerge from concrete experiences represented in the lack of awareness of digital scholarship produced in non-Anglophone countries or by non-Anglophone scholars, and the lack of robust tools for working in languages other than English. In the last decade, we have witnessed a surge of initiatives, projects, and events such as Global DH Symposium, Multilingual DH, Multilingual DH NLP, and the Translation Toolkit, etc., that have tried to bridge the gaps and address the lack of access and inclusion. However, there is still work to do and gaps to cover so we can “see” and consider digital scholarship produced in other languages and cultural latitudes as meaningful contributions to the field. In an effort to address these issues, the session aims to discuss questions such as: what is the state of multilingualism in DH and digital scholarship? How has the use of  LLM and AI impacted multilingualism in these fields? What contributions does multilingualism bring to render digital scholarship more “visible” and accessible? How does multilingualism in digital scholarship continue to address barriers that hinder processes of collaboration beyond national and linguistic boundaries?  We welcome presentations that discuss multilingualism from diverse perspectives: theoretical approaches, multilingual projects, the development of tools and protocols to enhance multilingual digital analysis, etc. [Abstracts: 300 words or less, by the end of the day (all time zones): 15 March 2024. Please submit your abstract using this Google Form: bit.ly/3OEMYXP.]

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