Laura Estill deposited Crafting the Field of Digital Humanities: The History of the International DH Conference Call for Papers on Humanities Commons 1 year, 8 months ago
A vital part of conference planning is the solicitation of participation to potential attendees, both those who are existing members of the association and those who might join in order to participate in the conference. The call for papers (CFP) serves as the first element of outreach to participants. It guides potential attendees in understanding both the mechanics of the conference as well as the placement of the conference within the ecosystem of disciplinary conventions. This paper explores the past ten years of DH calls for papers to consider how theme, language, and the structural elements of the CFPs facilitate certain types of submissions. These elements signal to disciplinary and interdisciplinary researchers the willingness of the conference to incorporate their research including methods and literatures. Any CFP reflects the labour and intentions of multiple contributors and the final version can elide the difficult conversations that often take place during its development. Because those conversations occur confidentially, the digital humanities gains little sense of the dynamics that might fundamentally shift what is allowed at the digital humanities conference. We suggest that the hidden logics of the CFP and its process encourages a continuing Anglo-centricism of the international conference that inhibits decolonial and non-western approaches to conference development. We analyze the changes made to the DH2020 CFP to suggest that the conference and its associated CFP can constrain disciplinary discussions but can also serve as a site to critically think about how our field welcomes newcomers and facilitates exchange.