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Calls for two MLA 2024 sessions by MLA Committee on Information Tech

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    Alan Liu

    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 scholarship?

    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?

    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by Alan Liu.
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