Unconference 17-18 January 2023

As part of the annual New Media Writing Prize, for the first time, we are hosting a fully online 2-day “unconference” symposium, 17-18 Jan 2023, hosted by BU in partnership with with the Prize and the British Library. The Unconference will culminate in the awards evening for the New Media Writing Prize on 18 January 2023.

NMWP Unconference Theme: Social Good

How can we change our world with our digital art and literature?

Our unconference call for proposals sought creative approaches to conference activities: events, works, and activities that aim to serve a social purpose (such as projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals): “Digital Literature for Social Good”. Activist projects, works for education and sustainability, events to brainstorm new digital lit approaches to improving society and culture—it’s all fair game. How can we change our world with our art and literature?

Over the past couple of months, we’ve put together a fantastic two days of discussions, workshops, artists’ talks, and brainstorming sessions. (See the schedule here.)

Join us!

Registration is open to those who would like to attend and participate in these creative sessions.

Please also join us for the ultimate event in our NMWP Unconference, the New Media Writing Prize Awards Evening, which is free and open to the public. Our keynote is Deena Larsen, creator of Marble SpringsModern Moral Fairy Tale, and other frequently studied and taught works of electronic literature. The 2021 NMWP winner, Joannes Truyens for Neurocracy, will give a featured talk, and awards will be given for the Chris Meade Memorial Main Prize, the Journalism Prize, Student Prize, and the Opening Up Prize (which is still open for voting here!).

We hope to see you there!

CFP: ELO 2023 Coimbra (Extended Jan 31; July 12-15, 2023)

ELECTRONIC LITERATURE ORGANIZATION 2023 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND MEDIA ARTS SHOW

OVERCOMING DIVIDES: ELECTRONIC LITERATURE AND SOCIAL CHANGE

JULY 12-15, 2023 – COIMBRA, PORTUGAL

Deadline January 31

(CFP: updated January 20, 2023)

Join us this summer for four days of digital art and scholarship at the ELO 2023 Conference and Media Arts Show in beautiful Coimbra, Portugal, the 12th to the 15th of July.

The 2023 conference, “Overcoming Divides: Electronic Literature and Social Change,” advocates the dismantlement of economic, political, linguistic, and cultural barriers, focusing on the relation between art and society, as well as on the subversive potential of electronic literature.

Art and literature compulsively respond to undergoing socio-political transformations. Whether overtly committed to social causes or inevitably engulfed by waves of change, writers and artists are influenced by dramatic shifts motivated by local or global issues such as climate change, economic crisis, military conflicts, and repressive or coercive government policies. The field of electronic literature, whose continuous reconfiguration is deeply intertwined with technological advancements, is no exception to this pattern. Equipped with the pervasiveness of network technology, as well as with software that can analyze and portray reality with the utmost detail, electronic literature is harnessed with adequate tools to voice environmental and social concerns and to expose oppressive and corrupt regimes. Highly experimental and focused on an introspective journey that aims to explore the creative amplitude of emerging technologies, electronic literature’s self-reflexive nature is also frequently mobilized to defy normative perspectives over literature and art, as well as to challenge deep-rooted cultural misconceptions.

During this conference, we aim to explore how electronic literature uses its critical media approach, as well as its close affinity with computation, to assume a socially engaged stance. In a time when walls are being raised once again, this conference examines electronic literature’s role in the dismantlement of new and old barriers between people.

ELO23 will be held in a national monument (Convento São Francisco), overlooking the University of Coimbra as well as Coimbra’s Uptown and Downtown areas, both designated World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013. Challenging the social asymmetry represented by the uptown/downtown divide, ELO23 will be extended from the university to the entire city center. Performances will be opened to the public, and exhibitions will take place at different locations in the city, thus integrating ELO Conference into Coimbra’s rich cultural life. Remote (online) participation will be limited to the scholarly dimension of the conference.

We welcome scholarly and artistic proposals that explore a connection between electronic literature and the following themes, among others:

  • the role of literature in social change;
  • collaborative platforms and activist software;
  • digital humanities and memory preservation (archive);
  • environmental damage caused by digital technologies;
  • the impact of climate change;
  • language barriers, translation and linguistic diversity;
  • disabilities and accessibility;
  • mental health, trauma and cognitive diversity;
  • social and economic inequality;
  • digital literacy and societal transformation;
  • gender divide and identity diversity;
  • migrations and border enforcement;
  • hybridity, recombination and multilinearity as aesthetics of subversion;
  • documentary forms and nonfiction narrative.

Organizers
Electronic Literature Organization (ELO)
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra (FLUC)

Partners and Sponsors
Center for Portuguese Literature (CLP)
Instituto de Comunicação da NOVA (ICNOVA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Programa de Doutoramento em Materialidades da Literatura, Universidade de Coimbra
Universidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP)
Câmara Municipal de Coimbra
Exploratório – Centro Ciência Viva de Coimbra
Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra
Berkeley Center for New Media

How to submit your proposals

How to submit your proposals

All proposals will undergo a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Please read the instructions carefully. You may submit only one proposal for each mode of participation (paper/panel; workshop; artwork; performance).

ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS: PANELS AND PAPERS

We welcome submissions for stand-alone papers as well as organized panels. Individual submissions for stand-alone papers should include an abstract (250-350 words), as well as a short list of references (4-6 main works). Individual papers will be presented as part of conference organized panels. Each presentation will be 15 minutes long, followed by a 20-minute Q&A. Please specify in your submission if this presentation will be in person or online.

Three or four-person panels should include a brief overview of the panel’s rationale (100-150 words), as well as individual abstracts of each presentation: abstracts (250-350 words), including a short list of references (4-6 main works). Panels will have a total presentation time of one hour, and should allow for a 20 minute Q&A section. Please specify in your submission whether this panel will be in person or fully online. Hybrid panels will not be supported.

Please submit via Easy Chair <https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2023> by January 31, 2023, 11:59pm EST. While proposals should be in English, panels can be presented in other languages. Note that no translation services will be offered. In case of acceptance, abstracts will be included in the program and proceedings.

Participants will be notified of acceptance by February 20, 2023.

WORKSHOPS 

We welcome submissions for hands-on and participatory workshops. Proposals should include a 250-350 word abstract (as well as a short list of references if applicable; 4-6 main works). Please specify in your proposal the structure of the workshop, any tangible outcomes (if any), pedagogical goals, expectations from participants, requirements for participants (previous knowledge, technical expertise, devices needed, etc.). Make sure you describe any technical requirements for your workshop’s implementation at the conference.

All workshops will have an allocated time of 2 hours. Please specify in your submission if this workshop will be in person or online.

Please submit via Easy Chair <https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2023> by January 31, 2023, by 11:59pm EST. While proposals should be in English, workshops can be presented in other languages. Note that no translation services will be offered. In case of acceptance, abstracts will be included in the program and proceedings. 

Participants will be notified of acceptance by February 20, 2023.

ARTWORK: EXHIBITION OF DIGITAL WORK
We welcome submissions for two different public exhibitions addressing (1) environmental issues and (2) social issues, i.e., repression, inequality, and segregation.

Please send proposals including an artist statement (250-350 words) detailing the aesthetic intentions, the structure of the piece, and its relationship to the conference and chosen exhibition theme (Exhibition 1 or Exhibition 2). In addition, provide documentation of the work (URLs), author name(s), biographical note(s), and specific technical requirements for display at the exhibition venue.

Please submit via Easy Chair <https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2023> by January 31, 2023, 11:59pm EST. Proposals should be in English, but displayed work can be in other languages. In case of acceptance, artist statements will be included in the program and proceedings.

Artists will be notified of acceptance by February 20, 2023.

PERFORMANCES

ELO23 will host two nights of performances open to conference participants and the general public. We welcome performance proposals addressing the conference’s main theme of electronic literature and social change.

Please submit proposals including an artist statement (250-350 words) detailing the aesthetic intentions, the structure of the piece, and its relationship to the conference theme. In addition, provide the author name(s), biographical note(s), and a description (250 words max.) of the nature of the performance, as well as any technical requirements.

Please submit via Easy Chair <https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2023> by January 31, 2023, 11:59pm EST. Proposals should be in English, but performances can be in other languages. In case of acceptance, artist statements will be included in the program and proceedings.

Performers will be notified of acceptance by February 20, 2023.

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As with any ELO event, ELO23 will follow the organization’s code of conduct. We are committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, class, religion, or linguistic and cultural background. For more information, please refer to https://eliterature.org/about/codeofconduct/

Chairs

Daniela Côrtes Maduro (Universidade de Coimbra)
Manuel Portela (Universidade de Coimbra)
Alex Saum-Pascual (University of California, Berkeley)
Rui Torres (Universidade Fernando Pessoa)

Feel free to contact us: eloconference2023@gmail.com.

Extended Deadline for ELO 2022 Papers

Attention, all ELO 2022 participants with accepted papers:

The full paper submission deadline has been extended to May 2, 2022.

The ELO 2022 Conference accepts both abstracts and full papers. If you input just an abstract in the online form, you will be able to present your work at the Conference, and we will include the abstract in the Conference Guide.

If you also  upload the full paper, we will be glad to include it in the Conference Proceedings.

Use this form: https://forms.gle/tzDDMtiFZaWEWeq99

ELO22 Call for Proposals (May 30-June 1)

ELO22 Call for Proposals

Conference: May 30-June 1, 2022
Deadline: January 7, 2022
#ELOitalia
Submit via EasyChair.

The HStudies Research Group of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), with the University of Nagoya, Graduate School of Humanities (Japan), the Arab Academic Institute of Education/Arab Union for Internet Writers, the Digital Culture Center of Ciudad de México (Mexico), the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Informática, Literatura e Linguística and the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazilian Digital Literature Observatory (Brazil), the Pontificio Collegio Gallio (Italy) have collaborated to organize the ELO 2022 International Conference and Media Arts Festival.

The theme for ELO 2022 is E2Lit: Education and Electronic Literature#ELOitalia

We invite artists, researchers, scholars, PhD candidates, experts and practitioners to submit works, papers, case studies, and media artefacts for presentation at the festival and in the different venues of the in-person conference and online workshops and seminars. 

THEME RATIONALE

Our society lives in a moment of complexity, where the exponential emergence of a web-based culture has triggered a different approach in relation to the spaces of communication, relationship, and learning. During the last years, the advent of new personal and wearable devices has favoured the emergence of a new literacy, based on a convergence culture (Jenkins, 2006).

Forms of fiction and literature underwent a process of disembodiment and cross-fertilization during the revolution from the Gutenberg Galaxy — printed paper, mass distribution — to the McLuhan Galaxy — new media, hypertext, collaborative writing — (Castells, 2003). The dimension of literacy has moved from a semiotically-measured geometry (De Saussure, 1916; Hjelmslev, 1969) to a dislocation and a deconstruction of contents and channels that give expression to new products (Derrida, 1974; Landow, 1994; Bolter & Grusin, 1999). The impact of social media on narratology has redefined the meaning of readership and authorship. The author has not only lost their traditional role, but becomes an icon of themself, a collective-minded producer that is self-perceived through the extra-flexed eye of the amniotic network in which they define their narrative experience (De Kerckhove, 2003). 

Literature takes on different roles within the so-called new media. Particularly, digital literature is central to the humanities and to the culture that emerges from the digital environment (Grigar, 2021) and it may play a central role in education too.

Every generation develops blended competencies under the influence of new tools and communication frameworks (Bardi, Ciastellardi, Di Rosario, 2019). For several years now when it comes to storytelling and literature, we have seen cultural references in a continuous process of transformation and redefinition, both because of digital tools available to the public, and because of different emerging channels of dissemination and distribution that are (self)produced in an increasingly massive way. What appears is a different form of understanding and learning, and a new form of education for people at any level and at all ages (not limited, thus, to a scholarly perspective).

This conference seeks to shed light on digital literature according to the epistemological crisis of authorship and the new dimension of participation and relationship offered by both the Web and new media. The conference will offer keynote speeches and talks to examine specific case studies. Moving from the state of the art, the aim is to investigate the interdisciplinary relations in the field of electronic literature, in order to recognize patterns of theories, technologies, and social dimensions of the phenomena to offer a critical toolkit to understand and map out the emerging knowledge and practices created by this field and the multifaceted dimension of education.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following conference’s tracks:

  • E-lit as Digital Humanities: Digital layers, multifaceted comprehension patterns and critical thought to redefine the e-lit dimension in educative environments.
  • Education beyond the (e)book: The possibilities of participatory culture in educational environments. How can e-lit promote values like democracy, pluralism, participation, diversity and sustainability…
  • Coding education: the use of e-lit to set up essential skills to adapt to the digital age.
  • E-practitioning: Literature and digital practices at crossroads.
  • We are platforms: Rethinking e-lit and its educative role and collaborative practices after the emergence of the pandemic.
  • AIrchive and UXPoetry: E-lit and its preservation between Artificial Intelligence and the need of a new poetic of user experience (UX). 
  • Digital Heterotopies: The possibilities within e-lit to present, criticize and denounce everyday social rhetoric.
  • Education on diversity and sustainability: E-lit as cultural practice to educate about integration, gender respectfulness and global sustainability. 
  • Politics and Policies: Education on e-lit as a framework for civic engagement and civil society.
  • STEAM-punk: The cross-fertilization among STEAM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) and the different approaches to e-lit culture. 
  • Polysemy and synaesthesia: E-lit forms and works to open a different perspective of meaning and knowledge across multisensorial and plural dimensions of understanding. 
  • Electronic Opificium: The Aesthetics of Tech. Experiments and handcrafted works to revitalize the idea behind literature and its digital possibilities.

Interdisciplinary contributions are especially welcome.

Accepted abstracts will be presented in the parallel sessions of the Conference and full papers will be published in the proceedings of the Conference. The conference organizing committee will provide a selection of the best papers to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Submit via EasyChair.

Conference Talks in COMO (ITALY) & online

Submissions are welcome across the following formats: 

  • Paper (15 min – a presentation of a single paper by one or more authors – 500 words abstract). Paper submissions should be at most 3500 words long.
  • Poster (1- page poster – format A2). 250-word (max) proposal.
  • Panel (90 min – a proposal for a complete panel including 3 or 4 separate papers on the same general topic – 250 word overview plus 250 word individual abstracts).
  • Lightning Talks  (90 min – a proposal for a complete set of lightning talks, including 4-6 participants – 250 word overview plus 50-100 word descriptions of individual  5-7 minute talks).

Submissions should include the title of the submission, the name(s) and affiliation(s) of contributor(s), biographical notes for contributors, and a 500-word abstract.

The ELO22 conference will feature different synchronous and asynchronous venues. Online pre- and post-conference workshops and seminars will be organized in Japan, Israel, Finland, and Brazil.

For the in-person conference talks can be given in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese.

The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2022. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by the members of the scientific committee.

Submit via EasyChair.

Festival Exhibition in Como (ITALY) & online

We invite proposals of digital artworks and e-lit pieces to be featured as part of the in-person ELO Conference and Art Festival on E2Lit: Education and Electronic Literature.

All forms of electronic literature, multimodal writing, digital art, playful narrative, literary games, hypertext, and screen fiction will be considered. 

Please, be detailed on any special requirements. Submissions should provide the following information: 

Author name(s) and biographical note(s); 500-word artist statement detailing the aesthetic intentions, the structure of the piece, and its relationship to the conference theme. 

If you would like your work to be considered for a performance, please indicate that on the submission with an additional description (250 words max) of the nature of the performance as well as any technical requirements.

Statements should be anonymized for peer review. Technical specification providing exact details of what will be required to facilitate the work’s inclusion in the exhibition. This should include information on the materials, technologies, and spatial requirements necessary, and what the artist will require the gallery to provide. Please, be as detailed as possible regarding physical components and needs, including wireless internet. 

Pieces accepted to either exhibition will need to be delivered (physically or virtually) prior to the exhibit’s opening, and will remain on display after the conference ends before being returned to the artist.  

The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2022.

Please, note, do to time constraints, participants may only appear in the program twice, including combinations of artworks and talks.

Submit via EasyChair.

For more information, contact Giovanna Di Rosario ELO 2022 Chair, e2lit@hstudies.net or giovanna.dirosario@hstudies.net 

Partnerships

Pontificio Collegio Gallio (Italy)

Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

The Arab Academic Institute of Education/Arab Union for Internet Writers

Nagoya University (Japan)

Federal University of São Carlos (Brazil)

Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)

Digital Culture Center of Ciudad de México (Mexico)

 

New Maverick Award goes to Talan Memmott

The ELO is proud to announce the recipient of a brand new prize: The Maverick Award.  This first ever award goes to Talan Memmott.

The Maverick is awarded  to an independent spirit: a writer, artist, researcher, programmer, designer, performer, or hybrid creator who does not adhere to a conventional path but creates their own and in so doing makes a singular contribution to the field of electronic literature.

As founder of an alternative learning institution, creator of one of the first online journals of e-lit, author of celebrated works of e-lit, scholar of digital media, and an artist who challenged every medium he worked in, Memmott is a singular figure in the world of electronic literature.

Throughout his career, Talan Memmott has blazed a path in digital literature.   He is the author of over 40 electronic literary works, and the novel My Molly De parted (Free Dogma Press). His works, perhaps epitomized by Lexia to Perplexia, have been the subject of acclaim and extensive critical analysis.

Memmott is also the Founder and President of UnderAcademy College, an unaccredited undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate anti-degree institution.  UnderAcademy College situates itself as a shadow-academic environment offering alternative courses and anti-degree programs in a variety of subjects. This alternative site of education has offered one-of-a-kind courses, such as How to Read and Write Fake News: Journullism in the Age of Trump, which Memmott co-taught.

Memmott holds an MFA in Literary Arts/Electronic Writing from Brown University and a PhD in Interaction Design/Digital Rhetoric and Poetics from Malmö University.

Memmott has taught and been a researcher in digital art, digital design, electronic writing, new media studies, and digital culture at University of California Santa Cruz; University of Bergen; Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden; California State University Monterey Bay; the Georgia Institute of Technology; University of Colorado Boulder; and the Rhode Island School of Design. He is currently Associate Professor of Creative Digital Media at Winona State University.

He has collaborated on many digital projects, including netprovs, such as, “I Work or the Web,” and the 2018 Congress of Fakes at ELO in Montreal.  He has served up computationally generated gastropoetic marvels with Scott Rettberg as part of ELO Cork and ELOrlando.

Memmott has  also given extensive service to ELO, having held a position on the Board, including Vice President.  He was a co-editor for the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2 (ELO). He was also a co-editor of the ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature.

During the award ceremony ELO Vice President Caitlin Fisher offered an origin story for the award: The idea came up at the wake for Damon Loren Baker for an award recognizing, the artists and scholars, like Damon, “amazing people, as part of the ELO Community, who are not likely to win the other awards because they are on a crazy, brilliant, genius path all their own.”

In the future, the Maverick Award is to be nominated and elected by the Literary Advisory Board. The award: $500 and a bottle of St. Germain.  Rettberg explained that the new award would go to someone “who took an unconventional path and who really colored outside of the lines, and of course, Damon is part of this prize, which is a bottle of Saint Germain, Damon’s favorite liqueur.”

Pressman’s Bookishness wins the 2021 N. Katherine Hayles Prize

Bookishness cover image

Winner:
Bookishness, by Jessica Pressman

Honorable Mention:
Antología Lit(e)Lat. Vol 1. by Leonardo Flores, Claudia Kozak, and Rodolfo Mata (eds)
.break.dance by Marisa Parham

ELO is proud to announce that The 2021 N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature goes to Jessica Pressman for Bookishness: Loving Books in a Digital Age (Columbia 2020).

Winner:
Bookishness, Jessica Pressman

From the publisher’s page:

Twenty-first-century culture is obsessed with books. In a time when many voices have joined to predict the death of print, books continue to resurface in new and unexpected ways. From the proliferation of “shelfies” to Jane Austen–themed leggings and from decorative pillows printed with beloved book covers to bookwork sculptures exhibited in prestigious collections, books are everywhere and are not just for reading. Writers have caught up with this trend: many contemporary novels depict books as central characters or fetishize paper and print thematically and formally.

In Bookishness, Jessica Pressman examines the new status of the book as object and symbol. She explores the rise of “bookishness” as an identity and an aesthetic strategy that proliferates from store-window décor to experimental writing. Ranging from literature to kitsch objects, stop-motion animation films to book design, Pressman considers the multivalent meanings of books in contemporary culture. Books can represent shelter from—or a weapon against—the dangers of the digital; they can act as memorials and express a sense of loss. Examining the works of writers such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Jennifer Egan, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Leanne Shapton, Pressman illuminates the status of the book as a fetish object and its significance for understanding contemporary fakery. Bringing together media studies, book history, and literary criticism, Bookishness explains how books still give meaning to our lives in a digital age.

According to the prize jury:

Bookishness provides a provocative look at the status of the book in the post-digital age. Pressman’s formulation of “bookishness” offers a compelling heuristic for considering the role of the overdetermining power of the book amidst the media shifts of the 21st century. Rather than sequestering electronic literature, Bookishness integrates a discussion of the digital with print-based texts, ushering in a new moment in e-lit scholarship in expertly crafted prose.”

Jessica Pressman is associate professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, where she cofounded the Digital Humanities Initiative.  Pressman previously won the N. Katherine Hayles award forcoauthor of Reading “Project”: A Collaborative Analysis of William Poundstone’s “Project for Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit}” (2015), which she co-authored.  She is the author of Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media (2014) and coeditor of Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era (2013) and Book Presence in a Digital Age (2018).

Honorable Mentions:

Leonardo Flores, Claudia Kozak, and Rodolfo Mata (eds). Antología Lit(e)Lat. Vol 1.

Front page of LiteLat

https://litelat.net/

The Latin American Electronic Literature Network (litElat) aims to bring together academics, researchers and artists who are interested in topics / works of electronic literature in the Latin American context. According to the jury,

Lit(e)Lat is an overdue and powerful anthology that brings to the forefront the crucial contributions of Latin American and Caribbean writers to electronic literature since the 1960s. Collecting and curating this body of work, Lit(e)Lat expands the canon of electronic literature and demands attention to and promotes discovery of the remarkable work of these writers.”

.break.dance by Marisa Parham

breakdance cover image

http://smallaxe.net/sxarchipelagos/issue03/parham/parham.html#about

.break .dance is a time-based web experience opened in response to a prompt for a Small Axe Archipelagos issue, launched by Alex Gil and Kaiama Glover, and guest-edited by Jessica Marie Johnson. In thinking through and against the machineries of commercial interface efficacy, this pocket intentionally shows its material and discursive seams. Rooted in a sense of anarchival play, it is designed for multiple engagements, changes over time, and assumes no one will take the same path through. In its interface and experimental performances, .break .dance begs temporal patience and playful engagement with digital space. Here, touching and playing and looking are important to thinking. You can also read the process piece that goes with this project here. Acccording to the jury:

“.break.dance offers a compelling model of criticism that is itself a masterful piece of electronic literature. The piece prompts electronic literature scholars to look beyond the genres of monograph, anthology, and journal article to consider how the innovative and experimental methodologies of electronic literature can rewrite the rules of scholarship as we know it, using digital systems to dismantle larger systems of oppression.”

About the Award

The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature is an award given for the best work of criticism, of any length, on the topic of electronic literature. Bestowed by the Electronic Literature Organization and funded 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, with 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. One prize for Honorable Mention is awarded and consists of 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.

Jury: Elika Ortega-Guzman, Roopika Risam, and Mark Marino

Kate Pullinger Wins Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award

ELO is proud to announce the winner of this year’s Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award Kate Pullinger:

Kate Pullinger

Ben Langdon Photography

Kate Pullinger: https://www.katepullinger.com/about-kate-pullinger/

As a print, film, stage, and new media writer, Kate Pullinger has brought these worlds of literature together for over three decades. Early on, she taught online at trAce, and for years she has supported many critical initiatives to introduce digital fiction and digital literacy in schools in the UK and internationally. As a celebrated print author, including winning the 2009 Governor General’s Award, Kate has done much to extend awareness of electronic literature, while creating some of its most innovative projects.

She developed “Lifelines,” accompanied with teacher’s book and successfully used in many schools. She is also one of the creators of “Inanimate Alice,” a pedagogical blockbuster that has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Indonesian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Inanimate Alice: Episode Six – The Last Gas Station was the 2016 Honorable Mention for the Robert Coover Prize. She has been the driving force behind a variety of workshops, programs, initiatives, and more to support developing the future of e-lit. Pullinger developed Ambient Literature Project. She also co-wrote the 2020 scholarly book: Ambient Literature Towards a New Poetics of Situated Writing and Reading Practices. Pullinger has brought the concept of electronic literature to tens of thousands of people, including the UK Prime Minister, through the “Letters to an Unknown Soldier” Project.

Kate Pullinger has supported ELO conferences and has advised ELO throughout the decades. She is also an editorial director of “The Writing Platform” that since 2013 is a wonderful digital resource of knowledge about digital storytelling for writers.

Her most recent digital fiction, “Breathe,” a ghost story that knows where you are, is available for free on your phone. It was shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize in 2019. She also wrote “Jellybone,” a novel for smartphones in 10 episodes.

According to the judges,

“Kate Pullinger’s fictional explorations of digital media for expressive purposes challenges the rhetoric of transparency in favor of a storytelling practice that brings together enjoyment and reflection. Her continued combination of poetic imagination and digital media education has achieved a broad public engagement with the constraints and affordances of electronic literature.”

She is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University as well as Director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries (CCCI).

ELO is grateful to Kate for elevating and extending the art of digital writing, bringing it to new communities of readers and writers!

Announcing: ELO 2021 Keynotes

ELO 2021 Conference and Festival: Platform (Post?) Pandemic
Conference Keynotes | May 26th – 28th • Aarhus University and the University of Bergen, Norway
#eloppp | https://eliterature.org/elo2021/

Lai-Tze Fan | Assistant Professor

University of Waterloo, Canada

Lai-Tze Fan Lai-Tze Fan [pronounced: ligh (“light” without the t) + chee] is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a Faculty Researcher of the Critical Media Lab and Games Institute. Her federally funded research explores digital storytelling, media theory and infrastructure, research-creation and critical making, and systemic inequalities in technological design and labour. Fan is an Editor and the Director of Communications of electronic book review and a Co-Editor of the digital review. She is Co-Editor of the 2020 collection Post-Digital: Dialogues and Debates from electronic book review (Bloomsbury), Co-Editor of the ebr special gathering “Canadian Digital Poetics,” and Editor of the forthcoming special double issue “Critical Making, Critical Design.”

Archana Prasad | Founder & COO

Dara.network and BeFantastic

Archana PrasadArchana Prasad has been actively engaged with technology enabled participatory art practices for more than two decades. As Founder & CCO of Dara.network, she looks at taking her interest to foster creative cross-border collaborations further by helping change-makers and institutions build social capital. She engages public awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through BeFantastic, an international Tech-Art platform founded by her in 2017.

Olga Goriunov | Professor

Royal Holloway University, London, UK

Olga GoriunoOlga Goriunova is Professor at Royal Holloway University of London and author of Art Platforms (Routledge, 2012) and Bleak Joys (with M.Fuller, University of Minnesota Press, 2019). An editor of Fun and Software (Bloomsbury, 2014), she was a co-curator of software art platform Runme.org (2003) before the age of social platforms. She also wrote on new media idiocy, memes and lurkers. Her continuing interest in the intersection of aesthetics, computation and subjectivation has led to her current work on machine learning and subject-construction.

CFP: ELO 2021 Conference and Festival: Platform (Post?) Pandemic

ELO 2021 Conference and Festival: Platform (Post?) Pandemic
Co-chairs: Søren Pold, University of Aarhus and Scott Rettberg, University of Bergen

Dates
The academic conference will take place May 24-28th, 2021. Workshops will take place May 24-25 and the main conference will take place May 26-28th. The arts program will unfold over a longer span of time, with a series of events and exhibitions during March, April, and May 2021.

DEADLINES (Note Extensions)

Submission deadlines:
Academic Proposals: Jan. 15 Feb 1
Full Papers & Posters: April 28

Exhibitions:
Post-Human Electronic Literature: Jan 8 Jan 11
Covid E-lit: Jan. 8 Jan 11

Platforming Utopias (and Platformed Dystopias): Feb. 1
Kids E-Lit: Feb. 1.

Performances: Feb. 1 Feb. 8

Conference Theme

While international travel has become virtually impossible due to widespread restrictions, the pandemic has pointed to our global connectedness: this is an aspect of platformed culture we will embrace in this conference. For the first time, the ELO conference will not be constrained by orientation to a particular location or time frame, but will unfold over three days and be hosted by institutions in Scandinavia, India, and the United States in synchronous and asynchronous events taking place online around the clock, including presentations, exhibitions, performances, workshops, and social events.

Globalized platforms present new opportunities for writers and readers both because of their large audiences and the fact that new forms of electronic literary cultures are emerging around them. The current rise of global platforms and platform culture however challenge Electronic Literature’s history of developing independent, purpose-specific platforms, since commercial platforms are often closed formats with largely rigid templates for ‘content’. In this sense, forms of criticality are challenged by the fact that the platforms are typically owned, maintained and often quickly updated (and sometimes made obsolete) by global corporations.

Digital platforms are not new: gaming consoles operating systems, programming languages and the web itself were discussed as platforms before the current platformization. The integration of hardware and software in many platforms has been seen in gaming consoles, PCs, phones and tablets, and can be seen as a result of initiatives from the fields of ubiquitous computing, Internet of Things and business strategies leading to the design of walled gardens. With the combination of social media, apps, search engines and targeted advertisement, platformization has become increasingly dominant in digital media. The platformization of culture is highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic as physical platforms for art, culture and the public have become difficult to access at times where physical meetings, travel, public institutions and life in general have been challenged. Digital platforms have entered into our most private and intimate spaces, raising questions about surveillance, capture, and who’s reading our reading and writing. Connecting, meeting, working and reading on platforms have been defining moments for our contemporary life during the pandemic comparable to the way the clock defined industrialized life. What do digital and digitization mean now, and what is left out and missing when culture is streamed?

Globalization has become less seamless, as global trade and collaboration is affected, but we are more connected in our individual lives and worries. Furthermore, the big, rapid changes of culture and society during the pandemic have raised fundamental questions about other urgent challenges: the climate crisis, equality in relation to race and ethnicity, the social, and the liberation and equality of gender and sexuality. The pandemic situation has led to both hope and despair in relation to new and old political struggles such as the #metoo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, which have also been fought on and off platforms.

With this conference we aim to investigate how the future will be platformed: what will come after the pandemic and how can we explore this from the pandemic? The pandemic will not be over when we meet on the conference platforms, rather it is a condition from which to rethink and explore the future, and learn from how life has changed during this period: What has the pandemic crisis made us see that was not before apparent to us, and how do we build upon the lessons we have learned to develop a more sustainable and equitable future? We seek explorations and research into electronic literature that examines how we are platforming the future. What are the practices and poetics of contemporary electronic literature? How to thrive as electronic readers and writers within the constraints of platform culture? How to be critical on and of platforms? How to develop alternative literary platforms? What are the global dimensions? How do we connect and disconnect on platforms? What could and should platform e-lit be? How does platform culture relate to the traditions and history of electronic literature?

The conference theme can be addressed in several ways including the following:

  • Platform electronic literature: How does data and literary production, writing and reading practices converge in platforms? How does electronic literature inhabit platforms? How are new forms and audiences developed? How is electronic literature hosted, exhibited, archived, disseminated and cared for with and in platforms?

  • Platform history: Historical platforms and electronic literature, platform obsolesence, and the constant upgrade.

  • Platform determinism, dependence and criticism: To what extent does platform determine literary practice and genre? To what extent are the forms and genres of electronic literature limited by our dependence on particular platforms? And how can we best archive and preserve platform-dependent e-lit? To what extent do literary practices work against the grain of platforms or reshape them? How is electronic literature critical on and of platforms?

  • Pandemic platforms: How have the specific circumstances of the pandemic affected the production of electronic literature and the cultural practices surrounding it? What are our post-pandemic cultural platforms going to be?

  • Platform politics: Hashtag movements and platforms for change. Platforms as ways of organising political activity.

  • Platform utopia: speculative futures, alternative platforms, writing for difference.

  • Platformed globalisation and colonialism: How are new global and local forms of electronic literature emerging? How does electronic literature deal with globalisation and new forms of (post-)colonialism? E-lit in different continents, countries and languages.

  • Platform identities: Identification, profiling, identity politics, race & ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

  • Platform culture: (Dis-)connection: (anti-)sociality, (not)meeting, (un)care.

  • Platform performance: Literary programming, live-coding, algorave, and other forms of performance that take place within platforms.

  • Platform literacy: multisensory reading, mobile and spatial reading, reading contexts and voices, reading of generated, profiled and dynamic/streaming text, platform and narrative.

  • Digital literary audio platform: audio walks, ambient literature, site specific audio stories, voice assistants and other audio interfaces.

  • Platforms for digital literacy: What sorts of platforms and creative works best serve the needs of young digital readers? Platforms for children’s E-lit.

We will strive for maximum open accessibility in archiving and disseminating all conference outputs.

Keynote speakers will be selected by the conference committee to respond to the conference theme.

Types of Conference Submissions Accepted

  1. Full papers: 2,000-4,000 words. Full papers will be accepted via a two-stage submission process, with an abstract of 500 words for the first submission deadline and full papers due by April 28th. Full papers will be published open access on the conference site and the ELMCIP database. We will also strive to find journals who will consider selected papers for special issue publication. Full paper presenters will also participate in a live roundtable discussion of their papers (5-minute presentation plus discussion). Accepted abstracts will be grouped into peer panels, and peers will be asked to give feedback on each other’s papers.

  2. Panel presentations: Proposals for panel presentations including 3-5 presenters for a one-hour session. Panels may include a series of short presentations bound by a theme or may feature a roundtable discussion of a particular topic or project. Abstract submission max 500 words.

  3. Posters: We will accept submissions of one-page posters in PDF format (A4, A3, or A2 size) to illustrate a project or theme in visual format. Posters can include links to interactive, networked and dynamic content not hosted at the conference site. Posters will be displayed on the conference site and will be discussed in a virtual poster session with short lightning talks. Abstract submission max 500 words. Complete poster due by April 28th.

  4. Workshops: We will accept proposals for workshops based on live hands-on activities, demonstrations, tutorials etc. Abstract submission max 500 words.

  5. Virtual Engagement Events: sessions based on innovative strategies for creating engagement and connection. Abstract submission max 500 words.

    Submissions are accepted on EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2021

The primary shared language of the conference will be English, and abstracts should be submitted in English, though we welcome proposals for papers, panels and presentations in other languages.

Submissions are restricted no more than two per person.

Submissions to the academic program will be due Jan. 15th Feb 1, 2021.

Accepted full papers and posters will be due April 28, 2021.

Exhibition Submissions

Exhibitions for ELO 2021 will unfold on an extended time scale from March-May 2021. All exhibitions will be fully exhibited online, though some will also include local physical exhibitions. Jason Nelson will be the main exhibition coordinator.

The following exhibitions will be part of the festival:

  1. Posthuman Electronic Literature. An online exhibition with a projection exhibition component focused on electronic literature and media art that addresses posthumanism. To be featured during European SLSA conference at the University of Bergen. Curated by Joseph Tabbi, Scott Rettberg, Jason Nelson, Eamon O’Kane. MARCH 4-7, 2021. Submissions accepted until Jan 8th, 2021.

  2. COVID E-Lit. An online exhibition of works that respond thematically to the pandemic and/or are produced within the specific context of platform culture during the pandemic. A library exhibition version of the exhibition will also be produced. Curated by Anna Nacher, Søren Pold, and Scott Rettberg. APRIL 2021. Submissions accepted until Jan 8th, 2021.

  3. Flashback: A special celebration of Flash and Shockwave e-lit held in the Electronic Literature Repository with artists on hand to talk about their work. Curated by Dene Grigar at Washington State University Vancouver’s Electronic Literature Lab. MAY 24-28, 2021.

  4. Platforming Utopias (and Platformed Dystopias): This will be the largest open submission exhibition, responding to the conference theme. MAY 24-28 2021. Submissions accepted until February 1st, 2021.

  5. Platform as a place of study – E-lit as already decolonised: A series of exhibitions, workshops and activities focused on Indian and Asian E-Lit that will unfold through Spring 2021. MARCH-MAY 2021. Call will be announced separately. Curated by dra.ft

  6. Kid E-Lit: An online exhibition of electronic literature for young audiences, and work work by young authors. Curated by Mark Marino and Maria Goicoechea. MAY 24-28, 2021. Submissions accepted until February 1st, 2021.

    Submissions are accepted on EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2021

Not all works submitted need to be designed specifically for the online context. Documentation of other sorts of work, such as material artifacts, printed materials, installations, may also be submitted, along with a plan to exhibit them online. Digital materials can also be exhibited in non-web formats, such as a VR space. Each of the open submission exhibitions have separate submission requirements.

Performance Submissions

Ian Hatcher will be the main curator of the Performance program. For performance submissions, we will accept both submissions for live virtual events and for pre-recorded events that have taken place in a live venue. Performance time for synchronous events. should be specified as short (up to 8 minutes) or long (up to 15 minutes). In addition, we will accept proposals for keynote performances (up to 30 minutes), for 2-3 slots that will be featured in the program. Recorded performance videos or other documentation of live performances may also be submitted for an asynchronous exhibition. Submissions accepted until February 1st 8th, 2021.

Submissions are accepted on EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=elo2021

Conference Fee

The conference fee will be $100 plus ELO membership for employed academics. The conference fee portion will be waived for independent artists and researchers without institutional support (by request). The conference fee will support technical infrastructure, development and costs related to exhibitions.

Division of Responsibilities

The leadership responsibilities for the conference academic program and arts program will primarily shared between Aarhus University (Academic program, led by Søren Pold) and the University of Bergen (Arts program, led by Scott Rettberg), working in close coordination. Two additional partners include Washington State University Vancouver’s Electronic Literature Lab (led by Dene Grigar) and the India-based dra.ft collective (led by Nanditi Khilnani).

We plan for the conference to unfold in multiple time zones with synchrous activities organized by the partners in India (dra.ft), Scandinavia, and the United States of America.

About the partners

The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) https://eliterature.org is an international organization dedicated to the investigation of literature produced for the digital medium. Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1999, the ELO now has a presence across North America and in South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.  Our members hail from a wide array of disciplines and areas of study, including Art, Literature, Communication, Computer Science, Humanities, Digital Humanities, Media Studies, Womens’ Studies, and Comparative Media.

Aarhus University, Digital Aesthetics Research Center https://darc.au.dk/Digital Aesthetics Research Centre (DARC) functions as a shared intellectual resource that identifies, analyses, and mediates current research topics within digital art and culture; producing experiments, research projects, publications and public events. The aim is to create a space for critical reflection on digital cultural transformation. The centre was formed in 2002. The purpose of the centre is to bring together researchers at Aarhus University with an interest in digital art and culture (net., software, code, sound etc.). The centre organises invited talks, seminars and conferences like the seminal Read_me conference and Runme Dorkbot City Camp in 2004. DARC has hosted research projects such as The Aesthetics of Interface Culture, published working papers and dissertations on digital art and culture.

DARC maintains its focus on bringing together researchers at Aarhus University, forming research projects, collaborations and international networks. We publish newspapers and a journal, APRJA, arrange yearly international PhD seminars (with transmediale festival and shifting partners), internal research seminars, larger research conferences, and organize public exhibitions and events with digital media artists and researchers from around the world. Besides contributing analytically and theoretically to the field, DARC also engages in practical experiments (often in collaboration with artists and practitioners). DARC researchers have for example collaborated with Danish and international libraries for more than 10 years on promoting and exhibiting electronic literature.

University of BergenBergen Electronic Literature Research Group: The Bergen Electronic Literature Research Group (BEL), led by Professor Scott Rettberg, studies literary works created for digital media and related digital art forms. An important project for us is the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base, the most extensive open-access research database in the field. Our research often combines theory and practice, as in the award-winning VR narrative Hearts and Minds, winner of the 2016 Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature. Members of our group frequently publish scholarship on electronic literature, including recently Electronic Literature by Scott Rettberg (Polity, 2018), described by prominent e-lit theorist N. Katherine Hayles as “a significant and important book by the field’s founder that will be the definitive work on electronic literature now and for many years to come” and the two volume Post-Digital: Debates and Dialogues from the Electronic Book Review (Bloomsbury, 2020), edited by Joseph Tabbi.

BEL frequently organizes international symposia and workshops, such as the Electronic Literature Knowledge Base Symposium and EcoDH seminar in 2018 and welcomes international speakers and visiting researchers. In 2015 we hosted the international Electronic Literature Organization conference and literary arts festival. We embrace innovative forms of scholarly publishing, such as a four-part series of collaborative articles, conversations and interviews on the Metainterface and critical works of artistic digital media published in 2018-19 in the electronic book review. BEL has published annual reports documenting group activities since 2011, which are available in the Knowledge Base.

Washington State University Vancouver‘s Electronic Literature Lab (ELL): Founded and directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, ELL is a media archaeology lab created for the advanced inquiry into the curation, documentation, preservation, and production of born digital literary works and other media. It serves as the site of digital preservation for the ELO and, so, manages the organization’s archives and repository. Additionally, ELL has hosted numerous post-doctoral scholars and has served as the site of numerous research projects, including Pathfinders(Grigar and Moulthrop, 2015) and Traversals (Moulthrop and Grigar, 2017); prominent exhibits of electronic literature at the Library of CongressInternational Symposium on Electronic Art, the British Computer Society, and other venues; five to seven Live Traversals of early born-digital literature each year; and an annual publication entitled Rebooting Electronic Literature that documents its many activities. It has been supported by grants, most notably from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2013) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and through the university’s Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship. Finally, the lab reconstitutes outmoded e-lit works, most recently Annie Grosshan’s The World Is Not Done Yet and Deena Larsen’s Kanji Kus. They are currently rebuilding Erik Loyer’s Strange Rain, Christy Sanford’s Red Mona, and Richard Holeton’s Figurski at Findhorn on Acid. Collaborating with Grigar on the conference will be Holly Slocum, ELL’s Project Manager; Nicholas Schiller’s ELL’s Associate Director, Mariusz Pisarki, ELL 2020-2021 Research Affiliate, Greg Philbrook, ELL’s Technical Specialist, and Kathleen Zoller, ELL’s Undergraduate Researcher.

dra.ft: dra.ft is a movement, a festival, a community, a long-term research project that explores emergent ideas of text and its future. It draws from the idea of poetic computation where the machine and author are collaborators. It is in these intersectional spaces that we can produce, perform and embody new meanings and develop new texts. The festival dra.ft encourages unfinished, work in progress, prototypes, tests (essentially drafts) of texts and text-making.

dra.ft is now an active online community of writers, designers and creative technologists engaging through virtual events, meet-ups and online social spaces.