CFP: The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities

Simon Appleford, Creighton University; Gabriel Hankins, Clemson University; Anouk Lang, University of Edinburgh, Editors

Deadline for 500-word abstracts: April 15, 2020

Part of the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series
A book series from the University of Minnesota Press
Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein, Series Editors

What are the digital futures of graduate study in the humanities, and how are those futures enacted in degrees, programs, and institutional forms? The Digital Humanities has passed from its moment of insurgency to a phase of institutionalization and transformation, in an array of graduate certificate programs, MA-level programs, and doctoral programs. But how is specific graduate-level work in these programs imagined, planned, and realized? How do programs vary across the diversity of national and institutional contexts? What are the available models and options, and what do we know about their outcomes for both students and faculty? How might we rework familiar models to address ongoing challenges to the humanities?

This volume aims to open up and make visible the ongoing debate over possible digital futures for graduate study in the humanities. We do not wish to avoid the controversies inherent in the topic, and will include a variety of competing voices and positions. Contributors should provide specific evidence, where possible, on programs underway or under consideration, and build arguments that generalize beyond the limits of a single program or institutional context. The volume will emphasize well-supported essays that aim at the idea of graduate study in the humanities, rather than single case studies, success stories, or post-mortems. We seek arguments rather than summaries. We believe that engaging the digital future of graduate education requires clarity about disciplinary and institutional situations, and strongly articulated positions.

The editors seek to assemble a cross-section of those concerned with these questions, from contributors at a wide range of institutions and in a diverse set of roles. We are especially interested in short-form position papers setting out concise visions of the digital future of graduate study in the humanities, and contributions from those engaged in these questions from often overlooked positions: current students, graduate advisors, recent postgraduates, and students now working in the public and private sectors. Those working in non-Anglophone contexts and/or countries of the global South are particularly encouraged to submit.

We encourage essays on such questions as the following:

  • How has graduate study in the Digital Humanities been constituted? How might it be newly imagined?
  • What is the relationship between the Digital Humanities as interdisciplinary conversation and graduate-level education in specific disciplines?
  • How should this debate respond to real or putative crises of graduate education in the humanities?
  • How do institutions and new knowledge formations outside the academy change graduate education, in the form of certificates, post-doctoral scholarships, or corporate sponsorship?
  • How does digital humanities work at the graduate level differ across institutional and/or international contexts? How is digital humanities at an HBCU or a regional comprehensive school in the United States different to that found at a liberal arts school or R1 institution? And how is it different again to digital humanities at, for example, a university in Lagos, Vienna, or Mexico City?
  • How do individuals and institutions structure time for digital work in relation to the requirements of an existing curriculum?
  • To what extent should digital methods courses be required in humanities graduate education?
  • Learning from failure: how and for what reasons have past digital humanities graduate programs partially or fully failed, been discontinued, or been transformed?
  • What doesn’t the conversation on graduate study in the digital humanities acknowledge? What would that acknowledgement bring to the conversation?
  • What is the relationship between undergraduate preparation and graduate-level work?
  • How can or does digital humanities research undertaken at a community college, an international humanities center, or as an undergraduate at a four-year institution contribute to the work that is done in graduate programs?
  • What are some of the less-visible pathways into and out of digital humanities education? How might we make those paths more visible?
  • How well do digital humanities centers and humanities centers promote digital graduate work in the humanities?
  • How does undergraduate training link up to graduate programs? How do minors and certificates imagine possible graduate work in the digital humanities?
  • What is the role of the library in digital training in the humanities?
  • How should graduate students manage the competing demands of field-specific and digital coursework? How have they successfully done so?
  • How can advisors support graduate students interested in public humanities, alt-ac, or post-ac positions in the public and private sectors?
  • How do we confront the inequalities in and between institutions?
  • How can this debate be positioned in relation to ongoing struggles over the corporatization of the university? How do we address the perception that digital humanities graduate education implies or furthers that corporatization?
  • How do the answers to these questions change in different national and transnational contexts? What necessary translations and contexts need to be taken into account when generalizing arguments about graduate study?

We are open to various forms of writing, and will entertain proposals for long form articles (6000–8000 words), short position papers (1000–2500 words), and revised essays expanded from blog posts. Please indicate what planned length your contribution will be.


The printed book will be in English. There will also be a digital version published on the Debates in the Digital Humanities website, where original versions in other languages may be published alongside the English translation. It will be the author’s responsibility to provide the English translation and certify its accuracy. The editors can review original abstracts in Spanish, Italian, German or French; they will attempt to find reviewers for essays in other languages, but cannot undertake to do so. Articles in all languages other than English should be submitted with an English translation.


CFP: Feb 15 2020
Abstract Due: April 15
Accepted Abstracts: April 30
Essay Submission Deadline: July 15
Peer-to-Peer Review: July 23 - August 15
Editor's Review of Peer Review/Summary Letter: Sept 15
Revision Due: November 15


Please send 500-word abstracts to Simon Appleford,, with “Digital Futures of Graduate Study” in the subject line.

The Editors

Dr. Simon Appleford
Assistant Professor

Department of History
2500 California Plaza
Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska 68178

Telephone: 1-402-280-2824


Dr. Gabriel Hankins
Assistant Professor

Department of English
801 Strode Tower
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29631

Telephone: 1-202-213-2370
Fax: 864-656-1345


Dr. Anouk Lang
Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities

School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
The University of Edinburgh
50 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LH
United Kingdom

Phone: 00-44-131-650-8936