This year I’ve had the opportunity to try to convince a number of graduate students — both at Stanford and beyond — to submit something to the international DH conference. I’ve been to every North America-based iteration of the conference since 2007, as well as a handful of the European ones, and especially for early career scholars it’s hard to find a better place for getting a broad sense of the field, ideas for possible directions for your own work, and a different kind of interdisciplinary feedback on your projects.
I really appreciate what the DH 2020 program committee has done this year with streamlining the submission process. The word limit is shorter, which makes it more feasible to get a submission together. If anything, it might involve a struggle to be concise. With the exception of long presentations, the maximum word count for any submission type (posters, lightning talks, short presentations, panels, and forums) is 500 words, about one page. But in the course of these conversations with grad students, I’ve been reminded that it’s not the length that’s the barrier, it’s the feeling of writing in an unfamiliar style if you’ve never submitted something to a conference before. You can find many examples of abstracts that were submitted to the DH conference online (e.g. this from the 2019 conference), but not everyone finds it easy to parse their structure.