Electronic Literature Collection, Vol. 2 – Call for Work

June 5, 2008 in Calls, ELO, Other News

The Electronic Literature Organization seeks submissions for the Electronic Literature Collection, volume 2. We invite the submission of literary works that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the computer. Works will be accepted from June 1 to September 30, 2008. Up to three works per author will be considered; previously published works will be considered.

The Electronic Literature Collection is a biannual publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. Volume 1, presently available both online (http://collection.eliterature.org) and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM, has been used in dozens of courses at universities in the United States and internationally, and has been widely reviewed in the United States and Europe. It is also available as a CD-ROM insert with N. Katherine Hayles’ full-length study, Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008).

Volume 2, comprising approximately 50 works, will likewise be available online, and as a cross-platform DVD in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection are 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 the second volume of the Electronic Literature Collection, to be published in 2009, is Laura Borràs Castanyer, Talan Memmott, Rita Raley and Brian Kim Stefans. This collective will review the submitted work and select pieces for the Collection.

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SoftWhere: Software Studies Worksop 2008 (5/21-5/22)

May 21, 2008 in E-Lit Criticism, Events, Other News

Software Studies Gets Underway at UC San Diego!

Wednesday, May 21st, from 12:30-5:00pm, ELO board member Noah Wardrip-Fruin and the Software Studies Initiative at UC San Diego invite you to attend a public event:

SoftWhere: Software Studies Workshop 2008
Time: Wed. May 21 – Thu. May 22
Place: Calit2, University of California, San Diego
Format: Open public session (Wed May 21, short presentations of research in “Pecha Kucha” format)
Closed workshop session (Thu May 22)
URL: http://workshop.softwarestudies.com/

Software studies is a research field that examines software and cyberinfrastructure using approaches from humanities, cultural criticism, and social sciences. Following on the first Software Studies Workshop organized by Matthew Fuller (Rotterdam, 2006 http://pzwart.wdka.hro.nl/mdr/Seminars2/softstudworkshop), the SoftWhere @ University of California, San Diego is a foundational event bringing together key figures in this emerging area to inaugurate the field. The event aims to coalesce a high-level conversation about what it means to study software cultures, and the direction and goals of Software Studies as an emerging movement. It will take place at Calit2, a pre-eminant research center for future computing and telecommunication (http://www.calit2.net/), where the Software Studies Initiative @ UCSD is located and currently collaborating with researchers on several exciting projects. SoftWhere has has also been timed to precede (and co-ordinate with) the the HASTAC II conference (http://www.hastac.org/) which will begin in nearby U. California Irvine on Thursday evening.
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The Iowa Review Web returns

April 14, 2008 in E-Lit Criticism, New E-Lit, Other News

A new issue of The Iowa Review Web marks its reemergence as a hub of electronic literature. Although the issue has been online for sometime, we wanted to give it a bump for those who had not yet heard:

New Issue:
TIR-W Volume 9 no. 1
Multi-Modal Coding: Jason Nelson, Donna Leishman, and Electronic Writing

Guest-edited by Stephanie Strickland and Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink

The issue features an in-depth double interview of the two artists, essays by each artist on the other’s work, essays by Talan Memmott on Leishman and Nelson’s work, and links to their works, including Leishman’s Deviant, Nelson’s Pandemic Rooms and much more.

The next issue, guest edited by Stuart Moulthrop, will focus on playable texts, and will include works by Judy Malloy, Shawn Rider, Elizabeth Knipe, John Cayley, Nick Montfort, and Stuart Moulthrop. The issue will be published this spring.

The overall editor for TIR-Web is Jon Winet, Director, Virtual Writing
University Experimental Wing, jon-winet [at] uiowa.edu

“Publishing electronic literature since 1999, TIR-W is well-known for its commitment to new writing, encouraging the investigation of text and hypertext in theory and practice at their deepest levels.”

Electronic Literature Collection, v.1

March 27, 2008 in Features, New E-Lit, Other News

“Second Person” on the electronic book review

February 28, 2008 in E-Lit Criticism, Other News

Following their game plan (or walkthrough) for First Person, Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin have brought their anthology Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media to the electronic book review (ebr) to bring the threads of discussion to life. Section One, Computational Fictions, has arrived at ebr and the subsequent sections will soon follow.

Together with Third Person, these two anthologies will form a trilogy of works from scholars, artists, and industry professionals on interactive narrative and drama forms. According to ebr,

The material in these volumes and on ebr represents a new level of dialogue between creators and critics about emerging forms of fictional and playable experience.

The ebr publication of the texts will not only open the book to readers across the Internet, but will also offer a site for continued conversation as readers respond to the texts through ripostes.

The essays previously published in the ebr “First Person” thread evoked (and provoked) responses from such central figures as N. Katherine Hayles, Henry Jenkins, and Stephanie Strickland.

The publication continues ebr‘s long-standing relationship with MIT press, and that press’ continued work toward public online discussion of its texts, as seen in the recent and ongoing vetting of Wardrip-Fruin’s Expressive Processing.

The Table of Contents of the Second Person release follows. Read the rest of this entry →

Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better

January 22, 2008 in Other News

Check out The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s coverage of ELO board member Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s latest project.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better

By JEFFREY R. YOUNG

What if scholarly books were peer reviewed by anonymous blog comments rather than by traditional, selected peer reviewers?

That’s the question being posed by an unusual experiment that begins today. It involves a scholar studying video games, a popular academic blog with the playful name Grand Text Auto, a nonprofit group designing blog tools for scholars, and MIT Press.

The idea took shape when Noah Wardrip-Fruin, an assistant professor of communication at the University of California at San Diego, was talking with his editor at the press about peer reviewers for the book he was finishing, The book, with the not-so-playful title Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies, examines the importance of using both software design and traditional media-studies methods in the study of video games.

One group of reviewers jumped to his mind: “I immediately thought, you know it’s the people on Grand Text Auto.” The blog, which takes its moniker from the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto, is run by Mr. Wardrip-Fruin and five colleagues. It offers an academic take on interactive fiction and video games.

Inviting More Critics

The blog is read by many of the same scholars he sees at academic conferences, and also attracts readers from the video-game industry and teenagers who are hard-core video-game players. At its peak, the blog has had more than 200,000 visitors per month, he says.

“This is the community whose response I want, not just the small circle of academics,” Mr. Wardrip-Fruin says.

So he called up the folks at the Institute for the Future of the Book, who developed CommentPress, a tool for adding digital margin notes to blogs (The Chronicle, September 28, 2007). Would they help out? He wondered if he could post sections of his book on Grand Text Auto and allow readers, using CommentPress, to add critiques right in the margins.

The idea was to tap the wisdom of his crowd. Visitors to the blog might not read the whole manuscript, as traditional reviewers do, but they might weigh in on a section in which they have some expertise.

The institute, an unusual academic center run by the University of Southern California but based in Brooklyn, N.Y., was game. So was Mr. Wardrip-Fruin’s editor at MIT Press, Doug Sery, but with one important caveat. He insisted on running the manuscript through the traditional peer-review process as well. “We are a peer-review press—we’re always going to want to have an honest peer review,” says Mr. Sery, senior editor for new media and game studies. “The reputation of MIT Press, or any good academic press, is based on a peer-review model.”

So the experiment will provide a side-by-side comparison of reviewing—old school versus new blog. Mr. Wardrip-Fruin calls the new method “blog-based peer review.”

Each day he will post a new chunk of his draft to the blog, and readers will be invited to comment. That should open the floodgates of input, possibly generating thousands of responses by the time all 300-plus pages of the book are posted. “My plan is to respond to everything that seems substantial,” says the author.

The institute is modifying its CommentPress software for the project, with the help of a $10,000 grant from San Diego’s Academic Senate, to create a version that bloggers can more easily add to their existing academic blogs.

A Cautious Look Forward

Mr. Wardrip-Fruin’s friends have warned him that sorting through all those comments will take over his life, or at least take far more time than he expects. “It’s been said to me enough times by people who are not just naysayers that it is in the back of my mind,” he acknowledges. Still, the book’s review process “will pale in comparison to the work of writing it.”

He expects the blog-based review to be more helpful than the traditional peer review because of the variety of voices contributing. “I am dead certain it will make the book better,” he says.

Mr. Sery isn’t so sure. “I don’t know how this general peer review is going to help,” the editor says, except maybe to catch small errors that have slipped through the cracks. Traditional peer review involves carefully chosen experts in the same subject area, who can point to big-picture issues as well as nitpick details. He bets that the blog reviews might merely spark flame wars or other unhelpful arguments about minor points. “I’m curious to see what kind of comments we get back,” he says.

That probably “depends on what you’re writing about,” says Clifford A. Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, a group that supports the use of technology in scholarly communication. “If, God help you, you’re writing about current religious or political issues, you’re going to get a lot of people with agendas who aren’t interested in having a rational discussion. Some of them are just psychos.”

Even without flame wars, Mr. Sery equates the blog review with the kind of informal sharing of drafts that many academics do with close friends. It’s useful, but it’s still not formal peer review, he argues. Carefully choosing reviewers “really allows for the expression of their ideas on the book,” he says. Scholars can say with authority, for instance, that a book just isn’t worth publishing.

Ben Vershbow, editorial director at the Institute for the Future of the Book, concedes that comments on blogs are unlikely to fully replace peer review. But he says academic blogging can play a role in the publishing process.

“The conversational modes of reading and writing on the Web in things like blogs and wikis really chime well with the essential idea of peer review, which is putting out work in development to a peer group and refining the work,” he says. But he hopes that Mr. Wardrip-Fruin’s project demonstrates that the scholarly communities that have formed around many academic blogs “can to a large extent take care of their own review processes.”

Whether it does or does not, Mr. Wardrip-Fruin expects the experience will be interesting enough to write up in an academic essay, or maybe in the preface to the book, when it finally comes out in the old-fashioned printed form.

Copyright (c) 2008 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

This article, “Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better” is available online at this address:

http://chronicle.com/article/Blog-Comments-vs-Peer-Review-/22268

This article will be available to non-subscribers of The Chronicle for up to five days after it is e-mailed.

The article is always available to Chronicle subscribers at this address:

http://chronicle.com/article/Blog-Comments-vs-Peer-Review-/22268

______________________________

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Copyright (c) The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc.

New Elit in Hyperrhiz 04

January 14, 2008 in New E-Lit, Other News

The newest edition of Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures is now online. This issue, which focuses on electronic literature, features work from

Thom Swiss
Mark Marino
Braxton Soderman
Stephanie Strickland and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo
Jaka Zeleznikar
Michael Peters
Jeanne Hamming

Also starting this month, the journal introduces { Literal1.Text }, the online forum for teachers of electronic literature, convened by Davin Heckman.  Please consider joining up and sharing your expertise as teachers.

Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures is an online, peer-reviewed publication specializing in new media and net art. We welcome submission of net-ready art projects, electronic literature works and review essays; contact submissions [at] hyperrhiz.net.

“Seeking” Rob Swigart

December 20, 2007 in Other News

Announcing “Seeking,” new fiction by Rob Swigart, innovator, elit author, and former Secretary of the ELO Board. “Seeking” appears as part of the Fictions Present thread in the electronic book review.

*** From ebr:

Rob Swigart’s “Seeking” is a clever and funny story whose roots lie in the materialization of internet interdating connections. Moving through the technological and media reductions of desire, Swigart parallels the overarching theme of “seeking” with a form that is itself punctuated with questions.

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ELO Welcomes 3 New Board Members

December 14, 2007 in E-Lit Criticism, ELO, Other News

The Electronic Literature Organization is happy to announce the addition of three new board members, Stuart Moulthrop, John Cayley, and Mark Marino.

Full bios follow:

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Extension: CFP: Visionary Landscapes (12/16, 5/29-6/1)

December 3, 2007 in Calls, ELO, Other News

The deadline for Visionary Landscapes: Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference has been extended to December 16, 2007.

The conference takes place from May 29-June 1, 2008 at Washington State University Vancouver in lovely Vancouver, WA. It is sponsored by both the Electronic Literature Organization and WSUV. Speakers include Mark Amerika, Sue Thomas, and John Cayley. A Media Arts Show will be held in conjunction with the conference and will feature art such as digital sculpture, net art, multimedia installations and performances, electronic music, and the like. Workshops in audio production and reading elit are also scheduled.

According to conference co-chair, Dene Grigar,

It should prove to be an interesting weekend for anyone involved in digital media projection, scholarship, and teaching.

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