The NULab is organizing a one day symposium on Monday, May 18 in the Cabral Center at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute to discuss changing standards for evaluating digital scholarship in the humanities. Institutional mechanisms of appraisal are struggling to make sense of new mediums for scholarly work such as digital publishing, collaborative projects, and other forms that extend beyond the monograph. Members of the NULab community are drafting a white paper that outlines important areas of focus for further discussion, and we invite members of the Northeastern and Boston-area community to join us as we explore topics including collaborative scholarship, the status of “the book” as a scholarly product and credential, modes of evaluation for digital scholarship, and much more.

We will also be joined by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association, and area leaders on these topics.

The day will begin with discussion of the main sections of the white paper, led by members of the research group. After lunch we will break into smaller groups to consider specific questions arising from the discussion, and we will conclude the day with a keynote response by Kathleen Fitzpatrick.


9:00 Breakfast and registration
9:30 Welcome and introductions
10:00-12:00 Panel presentations and discussion

  • The status of the book: Julia Flanders, Professor of Practice, Department of English; Director, Digital Scholarship Group, Northeastern University Library
  • The problem of quality: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Professor, Department of English
  • Peer review: Benjamin Schmidt, Assistant Professor, Department of History
  • Pedagogy and service: Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor, Department of English
  • Interdisciplinarity and collaboration: Moya Bailey, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Review of questions for breakout discussion: all

12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Breakout discussions
3:30 Coffee break
4:00-5:00 Keynote response: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication, Modern Language Association