Western Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting

Center for the Humanities, UC San Diego

October 31 and November 1, 2013


New Modes of Scholarly Communication


The full content of the second day of the conference can be viewed here. The content from the first day and additional footage will be made available at a later date.

Over a century ago Georg Simmel wrote that while technology is advancing, society is not.  Certainly many will contest this, and its applicability depends on the specific unit of analysis.  Yet the disjunction that Simmel points to is still relevant and perhaps an apt description of the state of scholarly communication in academia today.  It is well known that the academic publishing system today is broken; digital technologies have transformed many aspects of the publishing system, yet many of its structures, practices, and reward systems remain well entrenched.  The goal of this meeting will be to seek ways to balance this disparity and increase the ways that scholars communicate among themselves and with the public.

Digital technologies have transformed life in the university.  Typewriters, transparencies, card catalogs and paper mail systems are either antiques, curiosities, or in decline.  They have been replaced by word processors, email, electronic searches, Wikipedia, PowerPoint/Prezi, and multimodal media. The transformation of scholarly writing and dissemination of research lag behind; print (or pdf) articles or books remain the principal units for communicating research.  Though there are many notable exceptions, most scholars continue to publish and work within an increasingly unsustainable scholarly publishing system.

This meeting brings together some of those notable exceptions (there are many more) that demonstrate  new forms of publishing and innovative scholarly “writing.”  It also brings many of the leaders of our information society who have imagined and produced new forms of scholarship. Through the synergy of this combination,  the meeting seeks to accomplish two purposes.  First, we will discuss ways to  facilitate greater acceptance, use, and production of these myriad forms.  Second, we invigorate work in the humanities by highlighting how these new modes of scholarly communication open humanistic scholarship up to ways of knowing, doing, and listening.  This conference invites (or imposes) questions of audiences, collaboration in scholarly work, and inter and trans disciplinary forms of thinking.

Full Schedule can be found here. To learn more about those presenting, click here.

To answer any questions that you may have with regards to this meeting, please click here to access our Useful Information Page.



All attendees are invited to book lodging at the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel, conveniently located close to campus. To arrange for a room, click on the WHA at Sheraton La Jolla Hotel link or call 1-888-627-8445. It is now too close to the conference to receive the reduced rate. For other hotel options and questions, please contact Victoria at vgerginismellos@ucsd.edu.