Search DH@UVA

Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

CFP: Society for Textual Scholarship Conference

Society for Textual Scholarship 2021 Conference:  

Reckonings, Recoveries, and Transitions 

19–22 May, 2021 

Hosted virtually by The New School, New York 

Textual scholarship addresses the practices, theories, technologies, values, and  materials that shepherd texts, broadly construed, through time. This editorial,  curatorial, theoretical, and analytical work is profoundly entangled in the history and  persistence of inequity as well as the rhetoric of division and alliance. Whose textual  legacies are preserved? Which texts are reformatted and reproduced? How is textual  reception shaped by access to cultural markets? How do the material and labor  conditions of textual production influence meaning-making? How are creation,  composition, publication, and audience conceived? These and similar questions prompt  us to direct our inquiries both outwardly, to the people and texts we examine, and  inwardly, to our field’s construction and history. 

The theme of the 2021 STS conference, “Reckonings, Recoveries, and Transitions,”  invokes critical analysis of the past, reflection on the present, and speculation about the  future of textual scholarship, as we transit through a period of multi-dimensional, global  upheaval. We invite proposals related to this theme and on other aspects of textual  scholarship. This conference, hosted by The New School, NYC, will be entirely virtual  and aims to welcome new participants and encourage disciplinary assessment and  exploration. 

Possible topics include: 


• Textual scholarship and racism 

• Textual scholarship and sexism 

• Textual scholarship and activism 

• Textual scholarship and ableism 

• Textual scholarship and politics 

• Textual scholarship and violence 

• Reckoning as computation 

• Reckoning with the history of textual scholarship 


• Textual recoveries, discoveries, and “discoveries” 

• Preserving marginalized textual traditions and materials 

• Textual scholarship and health or illness 

• Queer textual scholarship 

• Feminist textual scholarship 

• Anti-racist textual scholarship 

• Who and what does textual scholarship serve in the twenty-first century? 

Textual scholarship is an established discipline, but STS is an interdisciplinary  organization and so is our conference and journal, Textual Cultures (edited by Marta  Werner). We bring together scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplines,  including literature, history, musicology, classical and biblical studies, theology,  philosophy, art history, legal history, the history of science and technology, computer  science, library and information science, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography,  codicology, cinema studies, new media studies, game studies, theater and performance  studies, linguistics, gender and sexuality studies, race and ethnicity studies, indigenous  studies, disability studies, and textual and literary theory. We share an interest in the  recovery and analysis of the material traces of the textual past broadly defined, and the  creation of a community of interpreters sharing knowledge and methods to that end. As  an organization, STS is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Session Formats 

We welcome proposals tailored to the four session formats below, designed to  maximize opportunities for real-time connection and conversation, leverage the  affordances of virtual platforms, minimize screen fatigue, and reduce barriers to participation. 


A panel consists of two or three 15-minute presentations followed by discussion. • Individual proposals will be organized thematically into groups by the  conference program committee. Pre-organized panels are welcome. 

• Please indicate in your proposal whether you would like to present in real time  or submit a pre-recorded presentation. Pre-recorded presentations will be due  by May 3. 


Seminars—a new format for the STS conference—are discussions of pre-circulated  research-in-progress essays (2500-6000 words) focused on related topics. Discussion is  led by a moderator. There are no real-time presentations, and seminar participants will  meet in conference sessions for discussion only, having read each others’ essays in  advance. 

• In your proposal, please provide a description of your research in progress and  several topics germane to your contribution (see list of possible topics above;  other topics welcome). 

• Essays will be due by April 23. 

• You are welcome to organize a seminar around a specific topic or submit an  individual proposal (see instructions below); individual proposers will be  organized into groups based on their identified topic interests. 

Flash Video Essays 

The flash video essay—a new format for the STS conference—is a one- to three-minute  video that presents an argument or explores a point of view. It might consist of a tour of  a specific textual space, an interview, a sequence of archival materials, or original text based art. 

• In your proposal, please provide a short description of your video essay and  several topics germane to your contribution (see list of possible topics above;  other topics welcome). 

• Please indicate in your proposal whether you would like to present in real time  or submit a pre-recorded presentation. Pre-recorded presentations will be due  by May 3. 


Exhibits—a new format for the STS conference—are five-minute presentations in any  format: for example, lightning talks, virtual poster presentations, audio narratives, or  videos. 

• In your proposal, please provide a description of your presentation along with a  list of possible topics (see list of possible topics above; other topics welcome). • Please indicate in your proposal whether you would like to present in real time  or submit a pre-recorded presentation. Pre-recorded presentations will be due  by May 3. 

Proposal Guidelines 

Proposals should consist of the following: 

1. Name(s) and affiliation(s) 

2. Email address 

3. Title of submission 

4. Format type: panel, seminar, flash video essay, or exhibit 

5. 250-word proposal abstract 

6. List of specific topics (from the suggested topics listed in this CFP) to which the  submission relates 

7. If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, video essay, or exhibit, please  indicate whether you would like to present in real time during the conference or  provide a pre-recorded presentation. 

Proposals for pre-composed panels and seminars are welcome. You may suggest or include a moderator. Pre-composed panel and seminar proposals should include the  above proposal information for each presentation, plus a title, brief description, and  contact person for the overall panel.

Organizing sessions based on topics. Accepted proposals for individual panel papers, seminar papers, video essays, and exhibits will be assembled into groups in keeping with the Society’s interdisciplinary ethos. 

Proposals due: Monday, 8 February, 2021 

Notification: Monday, 1 March, 2021 

Seminar papers due: Friday, 23 April, 2021 

Pre-recorded presentations, videos, and exhibits due: Monday, 3 May, 2021 Registration begins: Friday, 23 April, 2021 

Inquiries and proposals should be sent to

There is no registration fee for this virtual conference, but all presenters must be  members of STS. For information about membership, please visit the Society for  Textual Scholarship website  Given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, we will waive the membership  requirement for presenters with a demonstrated financial need (e.g. unemployment);  please write to Andy Reynolds, Secretary ( for more information. 


February 8, 2021 12:00 am

submit proposals or questions to

Event type: Deadline