2016 Call for Proposals

Celebrating Communities of Practice in Digital Humanities

The call for proposals is now closed. Please check back in January 2017 for the next CFP.

In celebration of its Fifth Anniversary, Digital Frontiers invites members of the digital humanities community to submit proposals sharing their passions as they engage in digital endeavors.  Proposals that discuss how digital researchers situate themselves within this community of practice will be especially welcomed.

Submit proposals online via our Open Conference Systems site.

Digital Frontiers 2016 | September 22-24, 2016 | Rice University, Houston, Texas

When Digital Frontiers first began in 2012, the digital humanities community was emerging from multiple and varied disciplines and still developing identifying traits, with practitioners striving to demonstrate the relevance of digital research within the scholarly community.  As Digital Frontiers prepares to celebrate its fifth year, we are considering how this conference contributes to and enriches the maturing digital humanities community of practice.  Etienne Wenger defines communities of practice as, “formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour... In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

Digital Frontiers is a truly interdisciplinary experience, and as such it welcomes scholars and students, librarians and archivists, genealogists and public historians and others engaged in the development and use of digital resources for humanities research, teaching, and learning to share their experience. A founding principle of Digital Frontiers is that it will always serve as an affordable conference to remain accessible to as wide an audience as possible, thus balancing affordability with quality.  

We encourage contributions from anyone who creates or uses digital collections or tools for humanities work, including scholars, educators, genealogists, archivists, technologists, librarians, and students. We welcome submissions from local and regional historical and genealogical societies, and anyone working in the public humanities to help us serve the  community of practice with which Digital Frontiers identifies.

Possible Topics (including but no means limited to):

  • Transdisciplinary perspectives from new media, art and art history, STEAM and STEM, GLAM 

  • Lessons learned retrospective about digital humanities project successes/failures

  • Evaluation, assessment, outcomes

  • Community support through digital initiatives

  • Conceptual research project discussions

  • Communities under-represented in Digital Humanities: #pocodh, #disruptdh, #transformdh #queerdh

  • Tools for digital research

  • Learning communities and pedagogy in Digital Humanities

  • Research projects designed in a Digital Humanities framework

  • Collaboration in Digital Humanities

Proposal Types

Digital Frontiers is accepting proposals for:

  • Individual papers/presentations

  • Panels

  • Posters (36”h x 48”w)

  • Birds-of-a-Feather Briefs

  • Hands-on Tutorials & Workshops

Individual Papers/Presentations

Abstracts for twenty minute papers/presentations should be no more than 250 words in length and represent original research (for project updates, please submit Posters; for single-institution “case studies” or best practices recommendations, please submit a Poster or Praxis Note); proposals for fully constituted panels or roundtables should include abstracts for each presentation.


Toward achieving the conference goals, we encourage panels to be organized to represent a range of professional backgrounds and experience.  Proposals that include diverse perspectives (i.e. faculty, students, community members, and/or archivists) will be given preference over homogenous panels. We also encourage alternative panel formats (pecha kucha, lightning talks followed by small group discussions, or others) that will facilitate dialogue and enhance  participation. Panels should represent original research on a common theme (for project updates, single-institution “case studies” or “best practices” recommendations, please submit Posters). Please submit one 100-word abstract for the overarching panel theme, along with 250-word abstracts for each paper.


Project updates, single-institution case studies, and preliminary research can be presented as an academic poster. Proposals should be in the form of an abstract of 250 words describing the topic to be presented. Please do not submit the final poster! Further guidelines and specifications will be provided upon acceptance. Poster presenters will pitch their poster topic during a “Minute Madness” round followed by a traditional poster session in which presenters can answer questions.

Birds-of-a-Feather Briefs

Birds-of-a-feather sessions are networking opportunities in which presenters will lead an informal discussion about a chosen topic for fellow practitioners. Proposals should be in the form of an abstract of 250 words describing the topic to be discussed.

Hands-On Tutorials

Share your knowledge about a research tool, software, or methodology. In 250 words, explain what kind of tutorial you plan to provide and how this tutorial is intended to benefit the audience. Keep in mind that technology may be limited in some conference spaces. How can you make your workshop portable and accessible for a conference audience?

Digital Frontiers is growing and we are excited to work with individuals to ensure that you are able to participate. Due to anticipated number of submissions, the program planning committee may request that an individual's contribution be presented in an alternate format such as a Birds of a Feather Brief.

Peer Review

A panel of scholars will review proposals and make recommendations to the Program Committee.


April 15, 2016


Submit proposals online via our Open Conference Systems site.

With all submissions, please include a brief professional bio (100 words or less – do not send CVs) for each presenter and specify any A/V or other technical needs with your proposal.