Call for Proposals: Tear Down the Walls

CFP is now closed.

Digital Frontiers welcomes submissions for the 2019 conference, Tear Down The Walls, hosted by UT Austin in Austin, TX on September 26-28, 2019.

Digital Frontiers is a conference and community that brings together the makers and users of digital resources for the humanities. Established in 2012 to respond to the need for an affordable, high-quality conference that addresses the emerging field of digital humanities from a variety of perspectives, Digital Frontiers is a truly interdisciplinary experience.

Tear Down the Walls

The theme for Digital Frontiers 2019 is Tear Down the Walls. Digital Humanities scholars deal with numerous barriers and borders as they interrogate the world around them through a digital lens. We invite participants to think critically about the composition of these walls, of their implicit and explicit functions, and the colonial practices by which many were and are still being created. Some of these barriers are created by a community for self-preservation, while others are built to perpetuate structural inequalities and discriminatory practices. Not all walls are physical. As a community, Digital Frontiers has interrogated the frontier and the border in digital scholarship as scenes of both conflict and creativity. In 2019, we invite scholars, students, librarians, archivists, gallery and museum professionals, and community practitioners to interrogate these boundaries and amplify the weaknesses we can use to tear down those walls that serve only those gatekeepers in power. We also encourage reflection on the aftermath: how do we communicate, produce, and exchange knowledge when these walls no longer block the way?

We aim to radically reconfigure modes of knowledge production as related to cultural, technological, and digital studies. These reconfigurations may include communications through and without barriers, playful appropriations that subvert privileged uses of technology, community-centered archives that highlight embodied cultural experiences and challenge authoritative modes of knowledge production, discussions of power related to the assumed binary of digital and material. In accordance with our theme, this year we invite presenters to share their work in the language(s) they use in their research, writing, teaching, craft and design; monolingualism is not a goal of this conference. We discourage presenters from sanitizing their writing in the name of “neutrality” and “objectivity”; instead, we encourage polemics, lived experiences, and language that reflects the authors’ labor – intellectual, emotional, and physical – invested within the project. We recommend presenters consider the medium of their presentation as well, welcoming submissions for exhibitions, performances, manifestos, and other means of inviting attendees to participate in the act of knowledge production.

Participants at all stages of professional development in all disciplines are encouraged to submit their work.

We invite deeper considerations of dismantling barriers in digital scholarship broadly conceived, presented in any of the following formats, with proposals consisting of a 300-500 word abstract:

  • Preconstituted Panels Curate your own panel for a 60-minute session.
  • Individual Scholarly Papers or Presentations Share your work in a 15-minute presentation. (Note: early stage research, project updates, and single-institution “case studies” should be submitted as Posters or an alternative format).
  • Posters Share your early stage research, project updates, manifestos, or single-institution “case studies” in a 36” h x 48” w academic poster.
  • Exhibitions, Installations, Performances, and Alternative Formats
    • Defined broadly to include: art installations, dance, video demonstrations, live game exhibitions, or other embodied and participatory forms of knowledge sharing.
    • Please include your technical, spatial, and time requirements in your proposal.

Proposals will be double reviewed in an open process that emphasises conversation and community mentoring. All proposals will receive detailed feedback, with final decisions made by the Program Committee.


The Program Committee will be favorably disposed toward content that addresses the work, needs, or other aspects of:

  • Smashing Disciplinary Boundaries: DH interventions in History of the Book, Comics Studies, Media Studies, Critical Race Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Musicology, Art History, Public Humanities, Disability Studies, Animal Studies, Food Studies, Library and Information Sciences, Medical Humanities, and Communications; convergence of Video Game studies and DH; DH and popular culture; Social Media studies; DH in the GLAM sector; information literacy and digital scholarship; creative code in scholarship and activism; postcolonial DH; digital scholarship beyond the silos; digital scholarship beyond the academy.
  • Smashing Barriers to Access: UX and accessible design for DH projects, DH and Disability Studies; DH and translation; multimodal communication in DH; data visualization and interpretation for the visually impaired; haptic DH; Linked Open Data in DH and cultural memory institutions; interactive media and exhibitions in GLAM and Public Humanities; digital stewardship for access and discoverability; wearables and tangible computing; minimal computing; outreach and community-based DH.
  • Reconfiguring Knowledge Production: Scholarly communications beyond the journal; scholarly communications beyond the book; participatory and embodied knowledge production; Twitch streaming and Let’s Plays as scholarly medium; undiscovered publics for scholarly communication; models of apprenticeship; history of craft; repertoires of practice; sonic, visual, and digital rhetorics; Critical Digital Pedagogy; Critical Information Literacy Instruction; standards for evaluation and recognition of new models of scholarly communication; Critical Making as scholarly communications; wearables and tangible computing; Open Access, Open Source, and Open Data for digital scholarship.
  • Digital Resistance: the social politics of algorithms; anti-fascist, anti-racist DH; digital sousveillance and resistance; Queering and Transing DH; Critical Digital Pedagogy; Critical Information Literacy; ethical collaboration; emotional labor; against GLAM neutrality; ethics in community-based work; labor ethics in DH, archives, and digital libraries; localized narratives of larger systemic issues; DH vs. fake news; digital citizenship.
  • Language as Bridge/Language as Barrier: polyglot DH; folksonomies and polyglot metadata; challenges in translation, transcription, OCR; research in languages other than English and from non-Euro American contexts; language preservation; reading contemporary DH trends through Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La frontera.

Code of Conduct

All conference participants must comply with the Digital Frontiers Statement of Inclusion, our community code of conduct. The Digital Frontiers community endorses the Student Collaborators’ Bill of Rights and the Collaborators Bill of Rights. Project leads engaging in unethical labor practices toward students and collaborators (i.e. unpaid or uncredited student labor, or unpaid internships or practica) should seek other venues for their work.

Key Dates & Deadlines

  • CFP Opens: January 15, 2019
  • CFP Deadline: April 14, 2019 May 1, 2019
  • Notifications: June 1, 2019
  • Workshop Proposals Open: April 10, 2019
  • Workshop Proposal Deadline: May 15, 2019
  • Workshop Notifications: June 1, 2019
  • Conference: September 26-27, 2019
  • Workshops: September 28, 2019

Call for Proposals Subcommittee:

Pamela Andrews (University of North Texas)
Deborah Caldwell (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
Aaron Choate (University of Texas at Austin)
Mike DeAnda (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Brea Henson (University of North Texas)