Digital Revolutions: Interpreting and Historicizing American Culture

Friday, October 12, 2012 - 9:00am to Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 5:15pm

The New England American Studies Association will host its 2012 conference, "Digital Revolutions: Interpreting and Historicizing American Culture," at the University of Rhode Island's Feinstein campus on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13.

The program includes panels from scholars, librarians, digital technicians and museum professionals on a range of topics spanning the visual arts and literature, pop culture and music, film and digital humanities. The two-day conference also features workshops on historic mapping and curating with Omeka, roundtable discussions on the American Memory network and professional concerns, and a Pecha Kucha session on spatial modeling in American studies.

NEASA is pleased to announce this year’s keynote speaker, Steven Lubar, professor of the departments of American civilization and History at Brown University and director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities. His interests in issues of culture, community and public history draw from a background in both academia and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution. His present research projects include work on the history of museums, material culture, 19th-century invention and technology and digital humanities.

On Friday, the conference schedule includes a plenary luncheon focusing on challenges facing the expanding New England digital humanities community. This panel investigates the concerns institutions across the region face as they engage in digital projects and initiatives, including funding, staffing and institutional collaborations. Speakers include Kate Singer of Mount Holyoke College, whose work explores digital humanities and pedagogy, Matthew Battles of the metaLAB at Harvard University, whose research interests include technology in art and culture, and Christine Pittsley of the Connecticut State Library, coordinator of the Connecticut Forum on Digital Initiatives.

On Friday evening, NEASA hosts an innovative reading and presentation of digital writing. The program features John Cayley, a professor of literary arts at Brown University, and William Hicks, Brown literary arts program student, who both work on digital cave writing projects, along with Claire Kwong of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, who performs networked digital writing and offers a video work of electronic literature. 

In keeping with our tradition of support for local visual and performing arts, NEASA has secured a discounted rate at the Tony-award winning Trinity Repertory Theater for a Saturday evening performance of King Lear. Tickets are available for purchase prior to September 13th at a $39 group rate and $25 for students.

The conference registration link is live at, and the $20 registration fee includes all the panels, workshops and roundtable discussions on October 12–13. The digital writing presentation and reading on Friday evening is free of charge, and tickets to the keynote and plenary lunches can be purchased for a small additional fee. Please visit the NEASA website at for additional logistics and updates, and checkout the NEASA pre-conference blog at

We hope to see you in Providence in October!

Sara Sikes

2012 NEASA President


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