CFP: Digitizing Enlightenment II

Radboud University, Nijmegen (The Netherlands) in cooperation with the Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (Werkgroep 18e eeuw)



15-16 June 2017

Scholars of the Enlightenment are currently developing some of the most innovative and transformative digital humanities projects in the field. These have included both established and internationally recognized projects such as Electronic Enlightenment; Mapping the Republic of Letters; the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe (FBTEE); and the ARTFL Encyclopédie project; as well as newer initiatives such as the Reassembling the Republic of Letters COST Action and the Middlebrow Enlightenment: Disseminating Ideas, Authors and Texts in Europe 1665 – 1820 (MEDIATE) project, all of which will be discussed at this symposium.

The symposium – the second in a series of yearly symposia to be held at various venues (the first was held at Western Sydney University in July 2016) – will provide an opportunity for leaders, key participants and early stage researchers on these and more recent digital humanities initiatives to enter into a dialogue with each other and the wider academic community about the ways in which their projects have transformed, and will continue to transform research practice, pedagogy and academic understandings in eighteenth-century studies and beyond.

We invite paper proposals for the following themed conference sessions:

Session One: Projects, Concepts and Technologies: Participants in digital humanities projects (partly) addressing the eighteenth century will discuss how they came about, what they aimed to achieve, their conceptual framework and new questions and methods made possible by the use of sophisticated digital humanities instruments. In addition, individual presentations will discuss some of the major technical issues projects face, and the most productive technologies, research techniques and methodologies that they have developed and used in the course of their digital work, as well as the importance of lessons learned in the process.

Session Two: Beyond the Eighteenth Century: Individual presentations will discuss innovative pedagogical, research and public engagement in uses of the new digital technologies and resources produced by digital humanities projects focusing on the eighteenth century and the ways in which research on these projects or through the resources they have produced can transform the research field beyond eighteenth-century studies. In particular, this session will explore potential collaborations between current eighteenth-century projects and other digital humanities projects that, while focusing on other time periods or sources, ask some of the same questions and face some of the same (technical, standardization) issues.

Session Three: Sustainability, Strategic Partnerships, and Funding: Individual presentations will address the issues of sustainability all digital projects face post-funding and collaborations beyond the university – in particular with institutions such as national libraries, crowdsourcing initiatives, and international collaborations – that they have developed in order to ensure the continued growth and modernization of projects.

Session Four: Publishing in the Age of Digital Humanities: As digital humanities scholarship advances our access to the texts, images, geo-spatial data, even soundscapes of the past, scholars search for new modes of expression to make use of these digital tools. Yet we remain drawn to arguments expressed through narrative prose – and thus to books. This working session will explore how humanities monographs can and should develop in the age of digital humanities. Specifically, it will also map out design elements of a website companion to the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, the Voltaire Foundation’s 60-year-established series. How can scholars use digital humanities and print hybrid publication to convey scholarly argument, not just data or analytics?

Closing Round Table: Visions and Revisions: In this Round table discussion invited participants will assess the present and future impact of digital humanities on eighteenth-century studies and digital scholarship more generally, future collaborative possibilities, and the ways in which digital technologies and new hybrid and digital publishing practices are transforming wider research and teaching culture, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing digital humanists.

Confirmed speakers for the Digitizing Enlightenment symposium include:

 *   Gregory Brown (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, University of Nevada)

*   Simon Burrows and Jason Ensor (FBTEE, Western Sydney University)

*   Marie Louise Coolahan (RECIRC, NUI Galway)

*   Howard Hotson (Reassembling the Republic of Letters, University of Oxford)

*   Marjan Lefferts (Consortium of European Research Libraries)

*   Alicia Montoya (MEDIATE, Radboud University Nijmegen)

*   Robert Morrissey (ARTFL, University of Chicago)

*   Glenn Roe (Electronic Enlightenment, Australian National University)

*   Mark Towsey (Community Libraries network, University of Liverpool)

Please submit your paper proposal (300 words + short bio-bibliographical statement) by February 15, 2017, to both Alicia Montoya, and Simon Burrows,

It is expected that papers from the symposium will form the backbone of a peer-reviewed book and / or hybrid publication.


Author: Katherine McDonough


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s