Alternate Format Sample Proposals

Sample 1

Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities: A Special Report from the “Field”
Quinn Dombrowski, Elizabeth Grumbach, Merve Tekgürler

Every Zoom talk is a performance, typically given to black boxes on a screen, and ending with the silence of applause emoji. Since the pandemic, many alternative platforms have sprung up to attempt an approximation of the dynamics of academic co-presence, from Twitch streaming (e.g. AADHum jam sessions and Columbia University’s Studio@Butler) to, which combines video game aesthetics with video chat. Simultaneously, the Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (released in March 2020) has been used for everything from birthday parties to protests as a way to simulate embodied togetherness. Following a pilot lightning talk event held in Animal Crossing and streamed to Twitch at the 2020 ADHO conference, we have held a monthly DH lecture series in this medium.

For ACH, we propose to hold a special event in Animal Crossing, streamed to Twitch. In this playful hour-long performance, we will offer participants and viewers a whimsical simulation of a “real” conference environment (hotel lobby, swag, dubious buffet food) and host brief talk-show style interviews with conference participants about their work. Some of this “report from the field” will take place on a grassy field where participants can catch bugs, dance, and explore as they reflect on their experiences in virtual togetherness over the past year. Up to 8 people can participate at a time, and we will have a sign-up form available for any ACH attendees who want to contribute to the performance by participating “in person.”