Volume 1 of the Collection in The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Electronic Literature Collection, volume one is the topic of Katie Haegele’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer this week. She writes:

But wouldn’t it be nice to get our arms around this thing, to get a sense of the full breadth and scope of what’s called digital literature?

The 60 works in the first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC) (http://collection.eliterature.org) – edited by N. Katherine Hayles, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg and Stephanie Strickland – show the wide range of forms that exist within the genre.

The column describes the keyword index and discusses four of the pieces included in volume one of the Collection in detail.

E-Lit Meetup at the MLA Convention

We’re writing to invite you to a meetup and happy hour at this year’s MLA for those with interests in electronic literature, new media arts, digital humanities, text-encoding, and related areas. We will have CD-ROMs to offer you of the Electronic Literature Organization’s latest free publication, the Electronic Literature Collection volume one. We’ll be meeting at the lobby bar of the Marriott Convention Center (the rotunda bar) at 5pm on Friday Dec. 29.

–Alan Liu, Nick Montfort

ELO’s Matt Kirschenbaum now Associate Director of MITH

Neil Fraistat recently reported this news about Matt Kirschenbaum, a member of the ELO Board of Directors:

“I am delighted to share the good news that Matt Kirschenbaum, Assistant Professor of English and Acting Associate Director of MITH, has accepted the position of Associate Director of MITH. By now everyone in the MITH Community knows Matt as one of the leading theorists in the field of digital studies, as one of the most interesting practitioners of applied work in the digital humanities, as a blogger extraordinaire, and as one of our most compelling and thought-provoking colleagues. Matt brings to the think tank of MITH a deep and wide-ranging expertise on new media, visual culture, and the digital humanities.”

MITH becomes the new headquarters of the Electronic Literature Organization on July 1.

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MACHINE Reading Series at Kelly Writers House: Stuart Moulthrop, April 19

On Wednesday, April 19, acclaimed veteran hypertext writer Stuart Moulthrop will read from early and recent works at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House. Moulthrop’s appearance, part of the MACHINE reading series co-sponsnored by the ELO, will take place at Kelly Writers House at 5:30 p.m. Map and directions can be found on the Kelly Writers House website.

Glazier, Carpenter, Moulthrop to Read at Penn

The MACHINE reading series at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, co-sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization, will include two programs in Spring 2006.

February 15, 5:30pm: Loss Pequeño Glazier (University of Buffalo, author of Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries, numerous digital works, and Anatman, Pumpkin Seed, Algorithm) joins Penn’s own Jim Carpenter (creator of the Electronic Text Composition system) to take the Writers House to the limits of computing and poetry. The program will be hosted by poet and critic Charles Bernstein (With Strings, My Way: Speeches and Poems, Republics of Reality: 1975-1995). The February 15 “Constructing Poets” program is co-sponsored by the Penn Creative Writing Program.

April 19, 5:30pm: Stuart Moulthrop (University of Baltimore) will read from early and recent work. For more than fifteen years Moulthrop has been writing digital works, which include Victory Garden, Hegirascope, Reagan Library, and Pax. One of the most-discussed writers from what Robert Coover called the “golden age” of hypertext, Moulthrop continues to innovate. He has developed his electronic writing in HyperCard, Storyspace, HTML, Quicktime VR, and Flash.

Both events are free and open to the public, no registration required. The Kelly Writers House is at 3805 Locust Walk on the Penn campus.

The ELO at MLA, and 2006 Wishes

The electronic literature meetup at the MLA convention was great fun, and a perfect first celebration of the new partnership between the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH).

We hope everyone in the electronic literature community has a great 2006 – and at the end of the next year, we hope to see many of you at the next e-lit MLA meetup, at the MLA convention in Philadelphia.


Jay Clayton, William Warner, Neil Fraistat (director of MITH), and Kari Kraus.


Nick Montfort (ELO vice-president) announces the new partnership between the ELO and MITH.


Rita Raley and Carl Stahmer (associate director of MITH).


Steven Jones and Alan Liu (who serves on the ELO board of directors and is head of the ELO’s PAD project).


Jason Rhody and Charles Tryon.

Not pictured is the photographer, Matthew Kirschenbaum (who serves on ELO’s board of directors and is an associate director of MITH).

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ELO and MITH Announce Partnership

MITH logo

At today’s MLA event the Electronic Literature Organization and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities announced that we have agreed on the principles of a wide-ranging partnership. Plans in the works include research projects, conferences, and a move of the main ELO office to MITH in mid-2006 (while the UCLA ELO node will continue to organize its highly successful events). A joint press release will follow in the new year.

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ELO Board Members at DAC, Copenhagen

A number of ELO’s board members participated in the recent Digital Arts and Cultures conference in Copenhagen. Nick Montfort teamed up with Georgia Tech’s Michael Mateas to present a paper entitled “A Box Darkly: Obfuscation, Weird Languages, and Code Aesthetics”. Noah Wardrip-Fruin participated in a group reading at Cophenhagen’s LiteraturHaus. Scott Rettberg presented a paper entitled “All Together Now: Collective Knowledge, Collective Narratives, and Architectures of Participation”. Conference proceedings will be available as a printed volume (long papers) and on CD (short papers). Visit the DAC 2005 website for news about when the proceedings will be available. Notes, photos, and blogs about the conference are available on the DAC 2005 conference wiki.

Electronic Literature Collection — Call for Works

The Electronic Literature Organization seeks submissions for the first Electronic Literature Collection. We invite the submission of literary works that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the computer. Works will be accepted until January 31, 2006. Up to three works per author will be considered.

The Electronic Literature Collection will be an annual publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. The publication will be made available both online, where it will be available for download for free, and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM, in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection will be offered under a Creative Commons license so that libraries and educational institutions will be allowed to duplicate and install works and individuals will be free to share the disc with others.

The editorial collective for this first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection, to be published in 2006, is:

N. Katherine Hayles
Nick Montfort
Scott Rettberg
Stephanie Strickland

This collective will review the submitted work and select pieces for the Collection.

The editorial collectives for each volume will be chosen by the Electronic Literature Organization’s board of directors. The tentative editorial collective for the second Collection, to be published in 2007, includes Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Marjorie C. Luesebrink, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.

Literary quality will be the chief criterion for selection of works. Other aspects considered will include innovative use of electronic techniques, quality and navigability of interface, and adequate representation of the diverse forms of electronic literature in the collection as a whole.

For the first Collection, the collective will consider works up to 50 MB in size, uncompressed. Works submitted should function on both Macintosh OS X (10.4) and Windows XP. Works should function without requiring users to purchase or install additional software. Submissions may require software that is typically pre-installed on contemporary computers, such as a web browser, and are allowed to use the current versions of the most common plugins.

To have a work considered, all the authors of the work must agree that if their work is published in the Collection, they will license it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License, which will permit others to copy and freely redistribute the work, provided the work is attributed to its authors, that it is redistributed non-commercially, and that it is not used in the creation of derivative works. No other limitation is made regarding the author’s use of any work submitted or accepted.

To submit a work:

  1. Prepare a plain text file with the following information:
    • The title of the work.
    • The names and email addresses of all authors and contributors of the work.
    • The URL where you are going to make your .zip file available for us to download. The editorial collective will not publish the address of this file.
    • A short description of the work — less than 200 words in length.
    • Any instructions required to operate the work.
    • The date the work was first distributed or published, or “unpublished” if it has not yet been made available to the public.
  2. Prepare a .zip archive including the work in its entirety. Include the text file from step (1) at the top level of this archive, and name it “submisson.txt”.
  3. Upload the .zip file to a web server so that it is available at the specified location.
  4. Place all of the text in the “submisson.txt” file in the body of an email and send it to collection@eliterature.org with the name of the piece being submitted included in the subject line.

The Electronic Literature Collection is supported by institutional partners including the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW) at the University of Pennsylvania, ELINOR: Electronic Literature in the Nordic Countries, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.