Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Feb. 24, 2023, 5:50 a.m. Humanist 36.406 - events cfp: Wikihistories & memory; digital scholarship, AIs (MLA, Philadelphia)

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 406.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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    [1]    From: Michael Falk <>
           Subject: CFP: wikihistories 2023 (58)

    [2]    From: Alan Liu <>
           Subject: CFP for Sessions at MLA 2024 on Evaluating Digital Scholarship & Ethics and Practice of AI in the Academy (44)

        Date: 2023-02-24 00:53:54+00:00
        From: Michael Falk <>
        Subject: CFP: wikihistories 2023

wikihistories 2023: Wikipedia and its implications for memory (and forgetting)

Online conference, 8-9 June 2023, to be scheduled for all timezones


From its earliest beginnings shortly before 911, Wikipedia has documented
history as it happens. Revolutions, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, fires and
floods have been written about on the platform, often within minutes of the
first recorded protests, attacks, and blazes. This practice of documentation,
conducted by volunteers who are connected by shared interest rather than shared
expertise, falls between the disciplines of digital journalism and history. What
does Wikipedia’s coverage of events “that haven’t even stopped happening yet”
mean for history-making on the platform? Researchers have noted that recent
events are covered more than early history[6], and stories are more often
presented from colonialist rather than local perspectives. More recently,
Wikipedia has been uncovered as a site of both conscious forgetting and the
“frenzy of commemorations,”  a venue for nationalist propaganda projecting
particular stories that favour particular ideologies and social groups.

- How does Wikipedia construct history and collective memory?
- Does Wikipedia enable the forging of a collective memory via consensus?[9]
- How are some versions of the past pushed to the fringes?
- What gets remembered and what gets forgotten?
- How can we study history-making on the platform?

In this first annual workshop of the wikihistories project, we will take stock
of what we know and what we still need to know about Wikipedia as a history-
making platform. We do this because Wikipedia’s representation of history
matters. Its facts travel through knowledge ecosystems and rest as answers to
questions provided by digital assistants, search engines and other AI-enhanced
tools. Wikipedia’s claims to neutrality are more a hope than a promise, a guise
that hides the dreams and ideologies of the individuals and groups that
understand its power and are determined to master its form.


We invite Wikipedia scholars and researchers to participate in a two-day
symposium being held online on the 8th and 9th of June. The symposium will be
held for about 4 hours at different times each day to accommodate a range of
global timezones. Please send an abstract of 250-300 words to before March 17 (close of day anywhere in the world)
responding to any of the above questions. We expect a mixture of both analytical
and methodological contributions for the event which will be held annually for
the 3 years of the wikihistories project.


This year’s symposium will begin with a keynote by Dr Simon Sleight, Reader in
Urban History, Historical Youth Cultures and Australian History at King’s
College, London. Dr Sleight is the co-editor of “History, Memory and Public
Life: The Past in the Present” (Routledge, 2018) and will provide a rich
background to our investigations of collective memory from the history
discipline for an interdisciplinary audience.

Michael Falk
University of Technology Sydney

        Date: 2023-02-23 08:22:36+00:00
        From: Alan Liu <>
        Subject: CFP for Sessions at MLA 2024 on Evaluating Digital Scholarship & Ethics and Practice of AI in the Academy

For the 2024 MLA Convention in Philadelphia (Jan. 4-7), the MLA's Committee
on Information Technology is organizing two sessions to help generate ideas
related to: (1) revising MLA's "Guidelines" for evaluating digital
scholarship; and (2) possibly formulating future professional guidelines
for using artificial intelligence. [Abstracts: 300 words or less, by end of
the day (all time zones): 15 March 2023. Link to submission form can be
found here: ]

~~ *Session 1: Evaluating Digital Scholarship Today: Problems and Solutions*

Scholarship has broadened and deepened digitally since the MLA last revised
its “Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital
Media” (originally published 2000, updated 2012, This session organized by the MLA
Committee on Information Technology, now preparing a third version of the
“Guidelines,” calls for presentations on key problems in evaluating digital
scholarship for publication, hiring, promotion, or tenure today. What kinds
of digital research, teaching, professional activity, and service
(including but not limited to the digital humanities or digital media
studies fields) now need new practices or standards of evaluation across a
variety of institutions and academic positions? What are the
responsibilities of individual scholars to document and explain their
outcomes and methods of digital authorship, collaboration, publication,
peer review, or project management? And what are the matching
responsibilities of their departments and institutions to inform themselves
about, and set transparent standards for assessing, contemporary digital

*~~ Session 2: Ethics and Practice of AIs in the Academy*
As artificial intelligences (AIs) in the form of “large language models”
and similar models trained by neural networks (including but not limited to
ChatGPT) become a presence in society, profound concerns arise about their
ethical and practical use in the academy. This session calls for
presentations focusing on what the professional and ethical position of
higher education and associations such as the MLA is or should be given
ever more capable AIs. What are practical, desired, and ethical uses of AIs
by students, instructors, researchers, and administrators? Presentation
topics could include whether or how to make AIs part of academic work in
the literature and language classroom; the stakes (and ways) of
incorporating AIs in research or in such everyday academic business as
writing recommendations, administrative memos, etc.; and how to grapple
with the social, political, and economic implications of AIs in the
academy. Should MLA in future create guidelines on AI for scholarship &
teaching? How?

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