Conference Keynote Information

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. Prior to assuming this role in 2017, she served as Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association, where she was Managing Editor of PMLA and other MLA publications, as well as overseeing the development of the MLA Handbook. During that time, she also held an appointment as Visiting Research Professor of English at NYU and Visiting Professor of Media Studies at Coventry University. Before joining the MLA staff in 2011, she was Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, where she had been a member of the faculty since 1998.

Fitzpatrick is author of Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011) and of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006). She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 10,000 scholars and practitioners in the humanities. She is also co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, where she led a number of experiments in open peer review and other innovations in scholarly publishing. She serves on the editorial or advisory boards of publications and projects including the Open Library of the Humanities, Luminos, the Open Annotation Collaboration, PressForward, and thresholds. She currently serves as the chair of the board of trustees of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Joel Burges is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Program in Visual & Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, where he is also affiliated with Film and Media Studies and Digital Media Studies. He is the author of essays and reviews that have appeared in New German Critique, Post45, Cinema Journal, and Twentieth Century Literature. The question of time animated his first two book projects: a collection of 20 keyword essays, edited with Amy J. Elias, entitled Time: A Vocabulary of the Present (NYU Press, 2016), and a book entitled Out of Sync & Out of Work: History and the Obsolescence of Labor in Contemporary Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2018). He has approached the question of time through commodity and worker obsolescence as a cultural and theoretical phenomenon that is urgent to the tradition of critical theory and materialist thought.

His next book is provisionally entitled Literature after TV. It charts how television, the most significant mass medium of the second half of the twentieth century, changed how novelists, dramatists, and poets wrote, moving from the poems of Anne Carson, Howard Nemerov, and Claudia Rankine and the fiction of A. S. Byatt, William Gibson, and Salman Rushdie to mini-series such as The Thorn Birds and War and Remembrance and shows such as MTV’s Def Poetry Jam. In examining works such as these together, a new genealogy of postwar and contemporary writing emerges at the nexus of media history and literary history. He is also involved in two collective projects at the University of Rochester. First, he is part of the newly founded Rochester Decarceration Research Initiative, the aim of which is to research and transform, from a multitude of disciplinary and community perspectives, the landscape of mass incarceration that defines upstate New York. Second, with the Digital Scholarship Lab of River Campus Libraries, he is collaborating on a moving image annotation tool called Mediate.