if:book Blogging Transliteracies

The folks over at if:book are blogging live from the Transliteracies conference. The first post includes a discussion by Alan Liu, laying the purpose of the project and some of the questions it intends to explore.

I’ve started a project (combining humanists, social scientists, and computer scientists) called Transliteracies to look into “online reading.” It’s my hypothesis that there are hidden complexities and intelligences in low-attention modes of browsing/surfing that we don’t yet know how to chart. Google, after all, is making a fortune for algorithms enacting this hypothesis. Or to cite a historical googler: Dr. Johnson, sage of the Age of Reason, was famous for “devouring” books just by browsing them instead of reading “cover to cover.”


riverIslandJohn Cayley’s work often employs a technique he calls “transliteral morphing.” This is a letter-by-letter morphing that transitions from one text to another, much as graphical morphing moves points in space so as to transition from one image to another. riverIsland is composed of two loops of poems, one horizontal and one vertical, and the reader can use on-screen arrows or QuicktimeVR movies in order to trigger movement along these loops. When the reader indicates that a move should be made from one poem to another, the appropriate transliteral morph is performed by the computer. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.

M/C Media and Culture: ‘print’

M/C Media and Culture has just released its latest issue, entitled ‘print’, edited by Glen Thomas and Jaz Choi. The issue gathers eight essays that examine the relations between print culture and new media forms. The featured article is Bethaney Turner’s “Information Age Guerillas: The Communication Strategies of the Zapatistas”.

Hypertext ’05 Short Papers Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit short papers for Hypertext ’05, (Salzburg, Austria, September 6-9) has been extended until June 16. Especially desired are short papers on blogs, which will have a panel devoted to the topic. For inquiries about the blog panel, contact Jill Walker, program co-chair for literary papers.

The deadline has also been extended for submissions of proposals for demonstrations: now June 16, 2005. Poster proposals: June 19, 2005.

Digital Storytelling Job at UCFL

Position: Assistant Professor
Salary: $50,000 to less than $60,000
Institution: University of Central Florida
Location: Florida
Date posted: 5/27/2005

The School of Film and Digital Media (SFDM) at the University of Central Florida has over 1200 undergraduate students, and 36 faculty members, and offer B.A., M.A., and M.F.A. degrees. The school has facilities on the main campus as well as a new graduate and professional center in downtown Orlando.

SFDM is seeking to fill a tenure track Assistant Professor position, with an emphasis in digital storytelling, that would also include a secondary joint appointment in the Department of English.

Duties include teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Digital Media and English, advising undergraduate students in Digital media, providing service to the department, college, and university, and developing and maintaining a program of research.

A terminal degree in an area related to Digital Media is required. Experience in grant proposal preparation, and demonstrated interpersonal skills are required.

The necessary background to develop an active research area in digital narratology or closely related are preferred. University teaching experience is preferred.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

STARTING DATE:August 8, 2005

APPLICATION PROCESS:To apply, send a letter of application, a curriculum vita, a list of references, and a work sample to:

School of Film and Digital Media
UCF College of Arts and Sciences
12461 Research Parkway, Suite 500
Orlando, Florida 32826-3121


The University is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access, Affirmative Action Employer.

Contact Information:

Web Site : www.ucf.edu
Phone : 407-823-6100
Fax : 407-823-6103
Mr. Joe Muley
Office Assistant
Digital Media
University of Central Florida
12461 Research Parkway
OTC 500
Orlando, FL 32826

Eliza Redux by Adrianne Wortzel and StudioBlue

Currently in the Turbulence Spotlight is the just-launched Eliza Redux. The project by by Adrianne Wortzel and StudioBlue at the Cooper Union features a physical robot that is accessible online in sessions that users can sign up for: “one who, having passed the Turing test with flying colors, thinks it is a human psychoanalyst and persists in offering online pseudo- psychoanalytic sessions.” As the announcement explains, “Peer consultation is available in the Reception Area as well as archived sessions and other reference materials.”

This human-robot interaction project is inspired by a very early electronic literature work, Joseph Weizenbaum’s 1964-1966 Doctor character, which ran on Weizenbaum’s Eliza system and allowed for text-based human conversation with a computer playing the role of a psychotherapist. The original Eliza/Doctor is widely considered to be the first interactive computer character. Janet Murray, writing in Hamlet on the Holodeck, refers to the first believable conversation with this system as “the moment in the history of the computer that demonstrated its representational and narrative power with the same startling immediacy as the Lumières’ train did for the motion picture camera.”

Ashbaugh and Gibson’s AGRIPPA: New Description of Book Available

Matt Kirschenbaum has posted a detailed physical description of Dennis Ashbaugh and William Gibson’s 1992 artist’s book/e-literature collaboration AGRIPPA: A Book of the Dead (published by Kevin Begos), based on his close examination of the copy now owned by the New York Public Library. There is a great deal of internet lore and misinformation surrounding this project, including statements that the work does not in fact exist. This description puts those misconceptions to rest–even as it raises new questions.

Digital Tools Summit at UVA

The University of Virginia Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities invites applications for participation in its “Summit on Digital Tools,” September 28-30, 2005. The purpose of the summit is to assess the state of the development of digital tools for humanities research, as well as the effectiveness of the supporting and integrating infrastructure. The summit will begin with a keynote speech and discussion, followed by sessions whose structure and content will be shaped by the issue papers submitted by participants. Participation includes room and board, paid for by the Institute. Some limited travel funds are also available. Visit the Summit website for more information. The deadline to submit a 1-page position paper is June 30, 2005.