ELO 2020 Prize Winners

We are pleased to announce the 2020 ELO Prize winners.

The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

  • 1st Place: The Library of Nonhuman Books by Karen Ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato
  • Runner Up: Déprise (Loss of Grasp) by Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert
  • Committee Members: Annie Abrahams, Giovanna di Rosario, Talan Memmott

The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature honors the year’s best work of electronic literature, of any form or genre. It comes with a $1000 stipend.  The Winner of the 2020 Award is The Library of Nonhuman Books by Karen Ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato

According to the judges: “With The Library of Nonhuman Books, Karen Ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato have produced a work that is perhaps best defined as multiple. Rather than a stand alone work of electronic literature, what we have here is a system that touches upon machine reading, the algorithmic manipulation of text, and authorship.  The “work” in this regard is in the production of a complex set of operations capable of producing endless texts. Though, the end result may in fact be a physical book, what is most interesting from an electronic literature perspective is the potential for a literary practice dominated by the machine.”

The Runner up for the 2020 Coover Award is Déprise (Loss of Grasp) by Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert

According to the judges, “Déprise by Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert is an intelligent and literary sophisticated interactive narrative that has contributed to spread elit around the world. Published in French in 2010, it has been translated in ten languages. Déprise is one of the many digital works that has experienced the obsolescence of programming software. However, Bouchardon migrated the text (and four translations) written in Flash into JavaScript to save his work.”

The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature

  • 1st Place: Critical Code Studies by Mark C. Marino (MIT Press)
  • Honorable Mention: Adventure Games: Playing the Outsider by Aaron Reed, John Murray, and Anastasia Salter (Bloomsbury)
  • Shortlisted Titles:
    • “Creative Making As Creative Writing,” issue 4.1 of the Journal of Creative Writing Studies, edited by Kathi Inman Berens.
    • Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games by Alenda Y. Chang.
  • Committee Members: Lai-Tze Fan, Jon Saklofske, Caleb Milligan

The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature honors the best work of criticism of electronic literature of any length. Endowed through a generous donation from N. Katherine Hayles and others, this annual prize recognizes excellence in the field. The Prize for 1st Place comes with a $1000 award.  The 2020 N.  Katherine Hayles award goes to Critical Code Studies by Mark C. Marino is the recipient of the 2020 N. Katherine Hayles Award.

Critical Code Studies is an important and necessary book, staging an instructive, provocative, and creative interruption into the field of computer science and related creative projects.  Challenging fundamental assumptions and habits of critical practice, it argues for the political and cultural necessity of becoming critically lucid about this invisibilized layer of meaning, materiality, and process that is at the heart of every experience of electronic literature. Understanding code for its linguistic capacity and meaning-making flexibility, as a subtle layer of signs that communicate essential socio-political contexts, this book’s varied case studies are instrumental in unfolding the complexity and richness of CCS’ interventional possibility.

Honourable Mention: Adventure Games: Playing the Outsider by Aaron Reed, John Murray, and Anastasia Salter

Adventure Games is a collaborative work that mixes history, theory, close readings, and larger implications in a comprehensive analysis of the thoroughly e-literary genre of adventure games, braiding electronic literature into broader and more inclusive critical conversations.  Reaching out to audiences beyond academia, this volume identifies and counters marginalization and othering aspects of particular interactive experiences via a radical inclusion, collectively considering design elements, mechanics, and dynamics; choice and episodic structures; innovation in story, puzzle & exploration; walking simulators and the representation of space;  character and conversation focused games and queer modalities of play; and emerging technologies of perception and play.

The Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award

  • Winner: Judy Malloy
  • Committee: Matt Kirschenbaum, Perla Sasson Henry, and Jessica Pressman

The Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award honors a visionary artist and/or scholar who has brought excellence to the field of electronic literature and has inspired others to help create and build the field. Bestowed by the Electronic Literature Organization and funded through a generous donation, it comes with the following: a $1000 award that can go directly to the awardee or to a young scholar who would use the funds in support of developing content for online resources about the awardee’s achievements; a plaque showing the name of the winner and an acknowledgement of the achievement; and a one-year membership in the Electronic Literature Organization at the Associate Level.

The Artist or Scholar selected for this award should demonstrate excellence in four or more of the following categories:

  • Creation of opportunities for younger scholars
  • Publication of influential academic studies of electronic literature
  • Practice-based artistic research in the field, with significant presentations and exhibitions of creative work
  • Curatorial activities, particularly including editing and the organization of exhibitions, conferences, workshops, roundtables and research groups
  • Preservationist work, whether individual or institutional
  • Active participation in conferences and exhibitions, both national and international
  • Contribution to ELO as an organization, whether as a member of the Board of Directors or Literary Art Board or as informal advisor

We are delighted to announce this year’s winner of the Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award, pioneer in digital writing  Judy Malloy.

The judges offered the following celebration of Judy Malloy:

For the duration, breadth, and perhaps above all the constancy of her contributions to the field of electronic literature, we select Judy Malloy for the Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award. Since Uncle Roger, Its Name Was Penelope, and other pioneering works of first-generation e-lit, Judy Malloy has presented a striking and original body of creative work, programming, and scholarship in the field of electronic literature. Throughout her career she has written poems, narratives and essays that explore who we are, where we come from, and our relationship with others and technology. Her visionary creative and critical work as well as her teaching have inspired many. She has done all of this without benefit of a permanent academic appointment.

Malloy has been a particularly strong advocate for women in the field, as evidenced by her 2003 MIT Press volume on Women, Art, and Technology, one of the first of its kind. Like her later volume on Social Media Poetics, it is a “sourcebook,” collecting the writings of others for documentation and dissemination. That she has continued preserving her own earliest work, updating it for the Web and new platforms, speaks to her ongoing interest in reaching an audience; as does her long-running Writer’s Notebook on the WELL, a kind of blog avant la lettre. For all of these reasons, Judy Malloy is our unanimous choice.

ELO awards these prizes at its annual conference. The call for next year’s awards will be issued months before via ELO’s website.

A PDF of the press release is available here.

Announcing the 2020 ELO Fellows

ELO is pleased to announce the ELO Fellowship scheme into its second year, aiming to expand our scholarly activity, and our curatorial and creative practices with the appointment of seven graduate and early career fellows. In the spirit of protest, change, and justice, and in an attempt to further strengthen the Organization’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion framework, two of the fellows (one creative, one scholarly) were chosen for our new “Amplify Anti-Racism” scheme. 

Meredith Dabek (Ireland)
Malthe Stavning Erslev (Denmark)
Roberta Iadevaia (Italy)
Dani Spinosa (Canada)
Waliya Yohanna Joseph (Nigeria)
Margaret Rhee (AAR) (U.S.A.) – scholarly
Keith Wilson (AAR) (U.S.A) – creative

 The ELO Fellows are six graduate and early career Research Fellows for the academic year 2020/21, each of whom have been awarded a $500 stipend along with a one year ELO membership. Fellows help contribute to various ELO projects, including the Electronic Literature Directory and its alliances with partner organizations such as ELO. Each Fellow will be paired with a mentor.  “The Fellows program is critical to the sustained success and development of the ELO and its many projects, and it’s truly rewarding to be working with such a diverse and stellar group of scholars and artists, from so many regions around the world,” comments ELO Board Member Astrid Ensslin, who oversees the ELO Fellowship scheme.

 The AAR Fellows take two forms. The creative Fellowship is intended for a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color) identifying a digital creator whose work should aspire to use digital media in e-literary ways, but there is no technical skill requirement to apply. The Fellows receive mentorship and support. The scholarly Fellow will be undertaking activities in support of developing the ELO’s racially/ethnically inclusive and activist policies and projects. These may include, for example, identifying e-literature initiatives and creative works by BIPOC within ELO existing databases, curating the collection of works and criticism by BIPOC and/or related to racial justice and anti-racism, developing racially and ethnically diverse and inclusive ontologies for the ELO’s databases, and/or supporting the design and development of e-lit works promoting racial justice and anti-racism.

“We are excited to have this excellent group joining in ELO’s efforts to promote scholarly and creative work in electronic literature while working to create an inclusive and welcoming community,” said President Leonardo Flores when the Fellows were announced during the 2020 conference, which was held online this summer.

Call for Proposals for ELO 2021 Conference

The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) seeks proposals to host the ELO 2021 Conference and Festival.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic the ELO wishes to protect its community by planning its 2021 conference as an online conference and festival. We recognize the importance of maintaining the tradition of an event that brings together scholars, artists, and people interested in digital language arts from around the world. This year, we had to pivot from a traditional conference to an online, virtual one, and are grateful for Anastasia Salter and her team’s resiliency.

For next year, we wish to consider proposals from individuals or teams that wish to host our conference and are designing it to be online from the outset. We are open to consider innovative proposals from individuals or teams from a single or several collaborating institutions that wish to host our conference and are designing it to be online from the outset. We are particularly interested in conferences hosted outside North America, possibly located in two distinct time zones, or teams interested in running one aspect of the conference, such as the academic presentations, the arts festival, or the social spaces. We are also interested in joint conferences with organizations whose interests overlap with ours, such as ACM Hypertext, SLSA, and others.

Interested parties should contact the ELO President, Leonardo Flores (leo@eliterature.org), for guidance on developing a proposal for the conference. We encourage sending a pre-proposal no later than August 31, 2020 to help develop it into a full proposal. The deadline for complete proposals is September 30, 2020. The Board of Directors will consider proposals and make a decision shortly thereafter.

Next year, we will reassess the state of the Covid-19 pandemic and decide if we continue with online conferences or return to a face-to-face modality in 2022. Those interested in hosting the 2022 conference (be it online or face-to-face) should also contact Leonardo Flores to discuss options.

Here’s a link to a downloadable PDF of the Call for Proposals.

ELO 2020 Conference: Live Events

As we prepare to launch this year’s online conference, we would like to invite our community to support the ELO with their 2020 membership dues ($50 regular membership, $25 for unaffiliated scholars, independent artists, and students).

Take a look at all the amazing content in this year’s conference:

The content of the conference is free and open access. Even if you don’t register, you’ll be able to access talks, papers, and EVENTUALLY the recorded Zoom sessions. To participate in or access the Live Program, you will need to be a member of the organization and register for the conference.

The Electronic Literature Organization is committed to free and open access to all the resources and collections it creates, year round. And the way you can support these initiatives and publications is by renewing your membership dues every year.

Go here and renew and register!
https://elo.cah.ucf.edu/registration/

For your convenience, here’s the Live Events Calendar in a Google Calendar.

ELO Amplify Anti-Racism Fellowships (June 21)

In the spirit of protest, change, and justice, and in an attempt to further strengthen its EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) framework, the Electronic Literature Organization invites applications for two dedicated Fellowships aimed to Amplify Anti-Racism: a creative and a scholarly one.

In line with its other five 2020/21 Fellowships, the two AAR Fellowships will be a one-year opportunity for early career applicants with strong interests in the area of anti-racist electronic literature and/or digital arts.

The creative Fellowship is intended for a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color) identifying digital creator whose work should aspire to use digital media in e-literary ways, but there is no technical skill requirement to apply. The successful applicant will receive mentorship and support. The scholarly Fellow will be undertaking activities in support of developing the ELO’s racially/ethnically inclusive and activist policies and projects. These may include, for example, identifying e-literature initiatives and creative works by BIPOC within ELO existing databases, curating the collection of works and criticism by BIPOC and/or related to racial justice and anti-racism, developing racially and ethnically diverse and inclusive ontologies for the ELO’s databases, and/or supporting the design and development of e-lit works promoting racial justice and anti-racism.

Both Fellowships will come with a $500 stipend and a one year ELO membership. The awardees will be announced during the virtual ELO conference in July.

One page letters of application, and short CV’s can be sent to the Fellowship committee chair, Astrid Ensslin (ensslin at ualberta.ca). Applicants for the creative Fellowship are further encouraged to include a portfolio link to samples of their work.

Deadline to apply: June 21st, 2020.

Call for ELO Research Fellows 2020/21 (May 31)

Call for ELO Research Fellows 2020/21
Deadline: May 31st, 2020

The ELO is expanding its scholarly activity, creative, and curatorial practices with the appointment of six graduate and early career Research Fellows for the academic year 2020/21, each of whom will be awarded a $500 stipend along with a one year ELO membership. Awards will be announced during the virtual ELO conference in July. In the coming months, we’ll be welcoming applicants who will be working with established ELO scholars and practitioners on a variety of ELO projects, such as the Electronic Literature Directory (http://directory.eliterature.org), CELL (www.cellproject.net), The Digital Review (http://www.thedigitalreview.com), the electronic book review (https://electronicbookreview.com), and the ELO Repository (https://elo-repository.org).

One page letters of application, and short CV’s can be sent to the ELD project director, Astrid Ensslin (ensslin at ualberta.ca).

Deadline to apply: May 31st

Announcement: ELO 2020: Moving Forward, Virtually

The ELOrlando leadership team has found ourselves, like many conferences, faced with rethinking our plans. We were thrilled to be hosting you here in Orlando this July, but in light of COVID-19 we have already received numerous cancellations and concerns from members of the community such as yourselves asking if the conference will be held.

Given the public health concerns and travel restrictions imposed by many universities, we are moving to a fully virtual event for this year. There are various models for this type of conference, but given our highly international community, our approach will combine synchronous and asynchronous events, with an emphasis on openness and access. What this means  is:

  • Plenaries: Keynotes and special events will still be held synchronously, as well as archived for subsequent viewing. Questions will be moderated, and participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts in the hashtag.

  • Conference Presentations: All other conference presenters will be asked to record their presentations in advance and submit them through the same conference interface, to be hosted in UCF’s institutional repository, and then hold conversation and/or promote their talks in the conference hashtag: #ELOrlando.

  • Conference Proceedings: As conference proceedings have already been submitted as full papers, no video is required: however, authors are welcome to submit a video talk to accompany their paper submission.

  • Exhibits and Performances: We will work with exhibitors and performers on the best way to share your work. This might include directly hosting your piece for access by the public, or including documentation via video.

While this change was unexpected, and we regret the loss of both the opportunity to connect with you here in Orlando and to share your work through public events with our community, we hope to view this as an opportunity to innovate. Given that, there is a new call for innovative sessions open now to both current participants and those interested in joining the virtual event. We are particularly interested in experimental sessions for collaboration, sharing, and socializing. If you would like to submit, please view the new call (copied below) and submit by May 1st.

One benefit to this model is that it makes the entire conference open access and alleviates some of the exclusionary aspects of academic conferences. Given this opportunity for inclusivity, and the economic challenges facing all of us and our institutions in this time of crisis, we are reducing the registration fee for the conference. We ask that you pay your ELO membership (https://eliterature.org/membership/) by May 15th plus an additional $50 registration fee to be included in the conference program, and if you have the funds available, please consider donating to support the community-building, archival, and critical work of the organization. Our conference is our biggest event each year for supporting the organization’s mission, and without this gathering our budget will be greatly reduced, particularly as we are in the process of negotiating potentially significant penalties from the hotel.

Updates to the website and other logistical details will be forthcoming, pending our current attempts to resolve the contract with the hotel. We hope that you will be able to join us in this new format, even if you were not originally planning to make the trip to Orlando.

Thank you, and take care,
Anastasia Salter

Call for Experimental Virtual Sessions:

As with many conferences moving to the virtual format for the first time, the Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Art Show will be seeking innovative strategies for creating engagement and connection during the week of the virtual event. These can include both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. If you would like to lead a virtual happening, please submit an abstract of 150-250 words describing the session via our submissions portal: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/ir_submit.cgi?context=elo2020. Here are a few ideas from our conference team to get you started:

  • Synchronous roundtables or hashtag chats

  • Netprov or other virtual performance pieces

  • Digital poetry jams in unusual platforms (Animal Crossing? MMOs)

  • Social media exhibition pieces

  • Game or electronic literature jams appropriate to the conference theme

Select the category of “Virtual Engagement Sessions” when submitting. This call is open both to those who had already planned on joining us in Orlando, and those newly able to participate due to the move to online. Our team will review proposals on a rolling basis through May 1st, and reach out to discuss strategies for implementation as appropriate. We look forward to working with you to craft an engaging program under our new constraints.

 

ELO Call for MLA abstracts

Call for Abstracts

We are calling for abstracts for a potential Special Session hosted by Electronic Literature Organization at the Modern Language Association’s convention to be held in Toronto from January 7-10, 2021.

Keeping in line with the convention theme, Persistence, the theme of this panel is “Persisting Literatures.” We are looking for abstracts, 250-words in length, for presentations that explore ways in which digital literary scholars and artists work to keep writing accessible to the public. Topics can include but are not limited to: preservation, taxonomies, software deprecation and upgrades, changing platforms, hardware challenges, archival practices, translation, economic resiliency, racial inequality, and environmental crisis.

Send proposals by March 20, 2020 to Dr. Dene Grigar, Washington State University Vancouver, dgrigar[at]wsu.edu.

ELC4 Deadline Extended (April 19)

EXTENSION:
New deadline April 19

The submission page is here.

We are extending the deadline for submissions to the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 4 to April 19th. We appreciate that the impact of COVID-19 as an international health emergency may prevent potential submissions from parts of the world affected, and so are extending the deadline to mid-April. If you have already submitted, you will have an option to revise or update your submission, and if you have not yet submitted, and have any issues with the submission process, including the video documentation, please reach out to us.

Video Documentation:

We have received a number of questions relating to the video documentation requirement, and so would like to provide some clarification. The file size limit is 100MB. Our recommendation is to record the work in a resolution no greater than 1200×768, and to use a codec based on the nature of the graphics in the work. We ask that you document at least a single traversal of the work if it is multicursal. This is so that we can make a decision on the work’s availability to future scholars and teachers in the case that the original platform is no longer viable. For some works, a traversal does not make sense, and so we are looking for documentation of the core features and essence of the work and its contributions. For a VR work, this could include a recording of a session, though it is important such sessions are long enough to represent the work and not simply function as a trailer for the work.

We are grateful to everyone who has submitted and who plan to submit, and hope that everyone is able to take appropriate measures during this pandemic.

ELC4 Electorial Collective

New Board Members: Alex Saum-Pascual & Erik Loyer

ELO is pleased to announce the addition of two new Board members: Alex Saum-Pascual and Erik Loyer.  As prominent scholars and practitioners, both Alex and Erik have shaped electronic literature, now they will help shape ELO.

Alex SaumAlex Saum-Pascual is Associate Professor of Spanish and New Media at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture (20th and 21st Centuries) and Electronic Literature (Digital Humanities). She is also part of the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media. Her academic work on digital media and literature in the Spanish-speaking world has been published in Spain, Mexico and the United States in the Digital Humanities Quarterly, the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies and Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, among others. Her monograph, #Postweb! Crear con la máquina y en la red (Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2018) explores the influence of electronic writing technologies on both printed and born-digital books. As an artist, she is interested in the intersection of female representation in digital media and online spaces as these relate to offline environments in the Anthropocene. Her digital artwork and poetry has been exhibited in galleries and art festivals in the United States and abroad. She is currently a 2020 Poetry Fellow at the Arts Research Center, working on her latest electronic literature work, corporate poetry.

Erik LoyerErik Loyer makes digital artworks and creative tools that marry the visual language of comics with motion graphics and musical performance. He founded the interactive label Opertoon in 2008 to explore this territory, releasing the interracial love story Ruben & Lullaby, the touchscreen meditation Strange Rain, and the digital graphic novel Upgrade Soul, which have garnered critical acclaim and over half a million downloads. Through Opertoon, Loyer has also originated a pair of creative tools—Panoply for digital comics, and Stepworks for electronic literature—which have been utilized in classrooms and workshops across the United States and Europe, as well as in commercial releases. He is active in the digital humanities as Creative Director of the popular scholarly publishing tool Scalar, and as the designer and developer of over a dozen interactive non-fiction works in collaboration with leading scholars, artists, and organizations including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Loyer is also co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of TunesMap, a media startup that delivers cultural context around streaming music. A two-time Webby Awards Official Honoree, his work has been exhibited in the Americas and Europe, included in the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2, and he has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The ELO Board of Directors is a hardworking group of volunteers.  For a full list of members see our People page.