Anvil Academic announces Built Upon initiative and CFP

Anvil Academic announces Built Upon initiative and CFP
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 12:00am

In keeping with its mission to foster innovative digital scholarship, Anvil Academic invites submissions to its inaugural publication series: Built Upon. The Built Upon series encourages authors to investigate and invigorate pre-existing digital tools and collections in developing their own scholarly arguments or pedagogical projects.

What we’re looking for
We’re looking for proposals that advance discussions about what information-age analysis in the humanities should be and do. This doesn’t mean that we’re resistant to text-centric arguments, or that we’re simply uncritical boosters of any use of digital tools or algorithmic methods for analysis. What it does mean is that submissions should productively combine good argument with critical tool use.

Submissions can range from more traditional article-length essays to enhanced multimedia presentations. Overall, our main focus is work–in whatever form–that is imaginative and innovative in its approach to the possibilities of digital publication. Such innovation can take place at the level of either form or content (or both). For instance, a project might answer pressing questions about how specific digital tools (say topic models or network visualizations) inform critical inquiry writ large. Or they might deploy such tools to contribute pioneering responses to core, field-specific discussions, or explore new approaches to scholarly arguments that take advantage of the affordances of digital publication.  We want the Built Upon series to be an incubator and an accelerator of humanities innovation–a space where the craft, artistry, and objective rigor of humanistic pursuits find new and surprising modes of expression.

Key themes and partners
We have identified three broad themes for Built Upon and have commitments to participate from leading digital archives and web-based tools within these clusters:

We’ll be announcing additional partnerships and themes soon!

Working with partners
Contributors should build upon one or more participating digital collections.  Of course, they may also make use of other digital collections as well.

The Built Upon partner archives are freely available to scholars.  We are inviting partner archives to take part in the peer review process, evaluating scholars’ work overall and, in particular, the use to which they have put the archive’s materials. We further encourage partners to provide limited technical assistance to authors. Finally, we hope that partners will support outreach and promotion efforts by bringing attention to relevant works published in the Built Upon series. For more information, please see our call for participating archives.

Submission guidelines
Since we aim to expand the possibilities of digital scholarship, we are open to any work that advances both traditional and digital scholarship and breaks new ground in its use of digital collections.  We expect that authors will make their own work open to commentary and discussion and respond to other projects in the cluster.

In your 500-1000 word proposal, please address:

  • a description of the project’s argument and scholarly significance
  • digital collections/ tools you intend to use (and how you would like to use them)
  • anticipated audience
  • potential technical approaches

When evaluating submissions, reviewers will be looking for projects that:

  • define and develop emerging conversations within a field
  • offer a creative and critical contribution to the field, taking advantage of the capabilities of digital technologies to, for example, embed media, foster interactivity, facilitate commentary and conversation, enable readers to query and explore supporting evidence, and/or construct new structures for argumentation
  • advance interdisciplinary approaches and/or methodologies
  • employ innovative formats and appropriate technology
  • are feasible and sustainable

Please submit your proposal and CV(s) via email to Fred Moody, Anvil editor, at

See our FAQ for more information about the Built Upon series.

Anticipated timeline

  • January 31, 2013: 500-1000 word proposal due
  • February 20, 2013: Review of proposals completed and authors notified of status of their proposals
  • May 20, 2013: Completed draft project due

More information
For more information about Built Upon, please contact Fred Moody at

[The original version of this announcement was posted here on]


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