Craft Critique Culture

Jerome McGann, Keynote Speaker

We are thrilled to announce that Jerome McGann will be our keynote speaker at this year's conference. Dr. McGann is the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book, A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction focuses on philology as it impacts the digital humanities. His work brings together seemingly disparate disciplines whose relationship   reveals a productive way forward.


Tom Keegan, Plenary Speaker

  We are also very excited to confirm that  Tom Keegan will be our plenary speaker. Dr. Keegan's teaching and research address the use of digital humanities and publicly engaged pedagogies across a variety of curriculums. To this end, he  studies and designs new pedagogical models that refashion writing and literary  classrooms outside the institution’s physical bounds. In addition to teaching Rhetoric  at the University of Iowa, he directs the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio.


We are pleased to announce the call for papers for this year's Craft Critique Culture Conference, to be held on April 8-9, 2016. Our theme is "Bridging Divides," and we welcome papers with any interpretation of our theme. If you'd like to participate, please submit 300-word abstracts by January 8, 2016 to See below for details. 


16th Annual Craft Critique Culture Conference

Bridging Divides

April 8-9, 2016

University of Iowa

CRAFT CRITIQUE CULTURE is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on the intersections of critical and creative approaches to writing both within and beyond the academy. This year’s conference will encourage an examination of the “inter” of interdisciplinary—as well as the construction and deconstruction of boundaries between and within the academic, public, private, personal, critical, and creative discourses—through an inquiry into bridging divides.  Bridges carry connotations of reciprocity, of connecting the seemingly unconnected, and of moving across fissures, topographical and ideological. Bridges do not simply appear—bridges are strategically built and require tension, support, and anchorage. Consequently, bridges beget a sense of precarity, a fear of collapse and disintegration, a risk of unsure footing. We seek submissions that prompt investigation into the bridges and divides that both connect and sever disciplines, departments, institutions, cultures, systems and conceptual categories. How can scholars bridge the ostensible divide between theory and practice? Between the academy and lived experience? What interpretive possibilities stem from finding commonality in the seemingly disparate? What tensions arise when attempting to find these commonalities? Can attempting to find connection perpetuate disconnection? Can bridging divide?  We encourage diverse explorations of these questions and welcome traditional scholarly papers, poster exhibits, pre-made panels, and roundtables, as well as submissions of film, video, music, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, visual art and artists’ books, as well as theater and performance. 


Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Representations of divides in literature, art, film
  • Works that bridge divides between theoretical approaches, disciplines, historical periods, methodologies
  • National/Transnational links and fissures: cultural, linguistic, historical, commercial, ideological
  • Translation and communication between linguistic divides
  • Borders: geographical, conceptual, ideological, literary
  • Transmission and media exchange
  • Bridging academy and community: activism, engagement, pedagogy
  • Artistic collaboration: influence, association, partnership
  • Construction and deconstruction
  • Liminal spaces, identities, experiences, etc.


Bridging the “divide” between…

  • Mind and body
  • Theory and practice
  • Past and present
  • Academic disciplines and methodologies
  • Selves: private selves, professional selves, online selves, etc.
  • Acknowledgement and concealment
  • Act of appropriation and acts of appreciation


What to send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday, January 8th, 2016

Abstracts must include:

a)     author(s)

b)    affiliation as you would like it to appear in the program

c)     email address

d)    paper title

Please email all submissions to:

Accepted papers will be notified by February 12th, 2016. We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week, please resend your proposal.



Many Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Department of English
James O. Freedman Fund
Graduate College
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities
University of Iowa Libraries
School of Library & Information Science
Department of Communication Studies
School of Art and Art History
Writers' Workshop
College of Education
Department of American Studies
Graduate & Professional Student Government
Department of History
Department of Dance

Past Sponsors

Department of English
James O. Freedman Fund
Graduate College
Graduate & Professional Student Gov.
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
University of Iowa Student Gov.
Writers' Workshop
Cinema & Comparative Literature
School of Library & Information Science
World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Department of German
Department of History
Department of Religious Studies
The Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities
Department of Dance
Department of Communication Studies
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Organizing Committee

Lydia Maunz-Breese, co-chair
Kate Nesbit, co-chair
Heidi Renee Aijala, co-chair

2016 Conference moderators & volunteers: