CFP: Translating E-Literature (3/15, 6/12-14/12)

A number of ELO’s recent initiatives, including our participation in the CELL consortium, have focused on strengthening the network of artists and critics across national and linguistic boundaries.  As translation becomes THE question for a truly global community of electronic literature, consider the following call issued by Yves Abrioux.

International Conference

Translating E-Literature

Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, June 12-14, 2012

Call for Papers

The first international conference on translating E-literature will take place from 12 to 14 June at the Universities of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis and Paris 7 Diderot Denis. The conference is organized by OTNI: Objets textuels non identifiés (UTO: Unidentified Textual Objects), a research project into the evolution of textuality in the digital age. It is supported by the Electronic Literature Organization.

E-literature is an emphatically global phenomenon. Its authors are of many different nationalities. Sometimes they write in a form of global English. The reception of E-literature nevertheless raises issues which are far from being exclusively discursive in nature. It also involves criteria that are visual (screen display, graphics, color…), dynamic (screen animations) or kinetic (reader/players’ actions and movements). These dimensions extend far beyond the competences traditionally required of readers of literary works on paper. They are often highly culture-specific. A new semiotics, a new rhetoric and a new poetics are needed if the analysis of these aspects of E-literature is to progress properly. It is impossible to translate works of E-literature without paying detailed attention to them. Thus, translation does not simply provide materials for research into E-literature. It is a research activity in itself – a form of theoretical practice.

The conference will explore a wide range of questions concerning the translation of works of E-literature. It welcomes proposals relating to:

  •  globalized English and vernacular languages;
  •  transposing screen displays from one culture to another;
  •  the cultural specificity of dynamical figures;
  •  technology and gesture in local cultures;
  •  digital technology as a medium of translation and/or transformation;
  •  …

The conference is open to proposals formulated in terms of poetics, rhetoric or semiotics but also to issues raised by cultural studies and science and technology studies; to theoretical discourse as well as experimentation in and analysis of actual translations; to studies of works in which translation between languages or transpositions effected by technology constitute a literary strategy…

Translation workshops will form part of the conference. Participants are invited to suggest innovative formats to enable these.

The conference will stage a multilingual program of E-literature.

The conference proceedings will be published on-line. They will include textual contributions and videos of the translation workshops. Experimental translations of E-literature will also be featured.

Researchers and practitioners alike are requested to send a 500-word abstract and a short bibliographical resume, before March 15, to the following address: translatingelit at