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.

ELC 4: Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions

Electronic Literature Collection Volume 4
Accepting submissions: 17 December 2019 – 15 March 2020
pdf version

The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) seeks submissions for Volume 4 of the Electronic Literature Collection.

From Twine games to “physical” literature, remixes to hypertext, kinetic poetry to ARGs and Twitter bots, all types of digital literary submissions are welcome. Electronic literature (or e-lit) thrives at the intersection of digital media and textuality. The ELO offers a broad definition of e-lit as “works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer” (https://eliterature.org/pad/elp.html). Examples of the range of writing previously collected in Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are available at http://collection.eliterature.org.

Please visit the ELC4 site for instructions on how to submit.

ELO Welcomes New Board Member Anna Nacher

We are pleased to welcome our newest member of the ELO Board of Directors, Anna Nacher.  Newcomers to ELO 2019 in Cork were welcomed by Anna’s tweets, but Anna is no newcomer to ELO or electronic literature.  Her contributions to the field extend into the areas of locative media imagery and virtual reality.  She most recently enjoyed a tour as Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence in Creative Digital Media at Winona State University.

The ELO Board is entirely made up of volunteers who serve for renewable 3-year terms. For more information on Board Members, see our people page.

Below is Anna’s bio:

Anna Nacher – an associate professor at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; Vice Editor-in-Chief for Arts & Cultural Studies Review (Przegląd Kulturoznawczy); and the 2019 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence in Creative Digital Media program at Winona State University (USA).

Her research interests include media art, electronic literature, media theory and environmental humanities. She is currently pursuing a 3-year long research project on the post-digital imagery grant from Polish National Science Centre (entitled, “The aesthetics of post-digital imagery: between new materialism and object-oriented philosophy,” ). The author of three books in Polish; the newest one published in 2016 focuses on a locative media imagery. A reworked version of one chapter has appeared as “Internet of things and automation of imaging: beyond representationalism” in communication+1, vol. 5 (2016). She has published numerous articles in journals and chapters in edited volumes including Hyperrhiz, Electronic Book Review, communication+1. The most recent publication: VR – the culture of (non)participation? “Reframing the participative edge of virtual reality” in Cultures of participation: Arts, Digital Media and Cultural Institutions: Eriksson B., Stage C., Valtysson B. (eds.)  (Routledge 2019).

She is also a part-time musician and a passionate gardener in a tiny permaculture farm located in Slovakian Carpathians.

Announcing “Teaching Electronic Literature,” A Resource for Teachers

ELO is pleased to announce a collaboration with N. Katherine Hayles on “Teaching Electronic Literature,” a resource for teachers featuring useful links to curated collections of works, selected scholarly resources, and sample syllabi and course materials from leading scholars and teachers in the field. The website is a companion to Dr. Hayles’ MLA presentation “Why Teach Electronic Literature” at 3:30 on January 11, 2020.

With this project, Dr. Hayles shares knowledge and experience accumulated since becoming active in the field of electronic literature in 1995, when she directed the first of three NEH Summer Seminars on the topic. Since then, she has remained a leading voice in the study of electronic literature, producing the first systematic survey of the field, Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary. In addition, Dr. Hayles has served as ELO’s President and is the namesake of our annual award for scholarship on digital literature. Her goal in creating “Teaching Electronic Literature” is to make the transition into electronic literature easier for anyone who wants to teach these works.

Assisting in the creation and maintenance of the website is Ryan House, currently a doctoral student in Media, Film, and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Ryan has been a member of ELO since 2016. If you would like to contribute to this resource, please contact him at rnhouse@uwm.edu.

Please share widely!

Announcing the ELC4 Editorial Collective

The ELO is pleased to announce the editorial collective of the fourth volume of the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC4).  Board member Rui Torres will be joined by Kathi Inman Berens, Mia Zamora, and John Murray.  The collective was chosen from among 23 self-nominated volunteers, through an open call circulated this Summer.

The three previous volumes, published in 2006, 2011, and 2016, serve as excellent starting points for investigations into digital literature, and are available free online at http://collection.eliterature.org/

Stay tuned for more news about the call and the timeline for the ELC4, which is planned to be published in 2021.

Below are bios for ELC4 editorial collective:

  • Rui Torres is Associate Professor of Communication Sciences at University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal. He is the director of the book series Cibertextualidades (Ed. UFP) and one of the editors of the Electronic Literature Series (Bloomsbury Publishing). An author of electronic literature, he created and coordinates the Digital Archive of Portuguese Experimental Poetry (https://www.po-ex.net). His poems, essays, and critical writings are available at https://www.telepoesis.net
  • Kathi Inman Berens is Assistant Professor of Book Publishing and Digital Humanities at Portland State University English Department. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bergen’s Digital Culture Research Group, and she curates and researches electronic literature. More info @ https://kathiiberens.com/ and on Twitter @kathiiberens.
  • John Murray is Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media Department at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media of the University of Central Florida. He is a practitioner, researcher, and developer in the space of emerging media and electronic literature. He can be found on twitter as @lucidbard or at lucidbard.com.
  • Mia Zamora is Associate Professor of English at Kean University (NJ) where she directs the Masters of Arts in Writing Studies Program. She is a digital humanist and a #connectedlearning scholar who designs/facilitates learning networks for creative scholarship on the open web.  She was recently the Fulbright Scholar of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway.  Her work is described at her website: http://miazamoraphd.com/ and she can be found on twitter @miazamoraphd.
ELO President, Leo Flores, had this to say:
I am thrilled to see such a talented team in charge of this key publication for our organization and community. The perspectives, strengths, ideas, and sensibilities each editor brings to the table will undoubtedly result in a collection that will capture this moment in e-lit while doing justice to the growth and diversity of languages, backgrounds, and practices that we aspire to in our field. As with previous collections, the editorial collective has complete editorial control over their volume, and the ELO Board of Directors and community will help support them in their mission, by disseminating their calls, volunteering our expertise, and funding editorial retreats for the team to deliberate and assemble the ELC4. I can’t wait to see the results!
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Announcing the 2019 ELO Prizes

At the annual conference of the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO), held this year in Cork, Ireland, outgoing President Dene Grigar announced the 2019 ELO Prize winners, including:

The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

1st Place: False Words 流/言 by IP Yuk-Yiu
Honorable Mention: Little Emperor Syndrome by David Thomas Henry Wright
Committee members: Erik Loyer, Gabriel Gaudette, Johannah Rodgers, Brian Greenspan

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.

Regarding “False Words,” one judge wrote, “I was impressed with the design and execution of this project as a visual, technical, and verbal object.” Erik commented, “I find this piece to be exceedingly elegant in both design and concept—it works on multiple visual, temporal, and signifying scales, and the emergent phenomenon of the character for ‘human’ becoming the last thing to be obscured is very effective.” Another judge added, “It is impressive in its visual design, and strikes me as important for its implicit critique of human rights offenses and censorship, all while conveying the fleeting powerlessness of words and of life.”

Of “Little Emperor Syndrome,” one judge wrote, “Beyond the strong writing, it’s the deep, sustained, and motivated engagement with combinatorics that wins me over with this one—I feel like my choices to reorder the text are clear, meaningful, illuminating, and expressive, and it’s rare to find all of those elements in a single work.”   Another judge added, “It is impressive for sustaining the coherence of such a complex narrative while cleverly encoding its polyphony.

The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature

1st Place: Electronic Literature by Scott Rettberg
2nd Place (tie): Small Screen Fictions co-edited by Astrid Ensslin, Paweł Frelik, and Lisa Swanstrom ; The Digital Literary Sphere by Simone Murray.
Committee members: Monika Górska-Olesińska, Joellyn Rock

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.

Electronic Literature presents a wide-ranging survey of the field of electronic literature. According to the judges, “No other work addresses with such consistency the varied and extensive selection of born digital literary works over the past two decades.” They go on to say, “Also, one finds here a substantive (and varied) context in critical theory and creative practices. It is the first monograph I know of that articulates electronic literature as both a scholarly field and a viable creative practice with much, much room for development.”

Electronic Literature, written by ELO co-founder Scott Rettberg. Not only has Rettberg been pivotal in the formation of this field, but after moving to Norway, he expanded the field through spearheading the ELMCIP directory, an extensive database of digital works, many of which appear in this book.

In support of the anthology Small Screen Fictions, one judge wrote, “I loved that it began with works for young readers, establishing a lifelong readership for e-literature. I appreciated the interactive use of my own small screen to sample content  as embedded in the codex. The topics and perspectives were diverse and the collection casts a wide net.”

Of Digital Literary Sphere, the judges said, the work opens “the discussion about audience, readership, and authorship in electronic literature.” They added, “Murray tracks, more broadly, an emerging set of interactions between print publications and online author/reader conversations. Murray brings Habermas and Adorno, Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault to bear on the audience for literature in the digital media era. This seems to me a highly original and entirely necessary contribution to the e-lit discourse.”

The Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award

Winner: Mez Breeze
Scholar Beneficiary: Kate Gwynne
Committee: Jeremy Douglass, Odile Farge, Mia Zamora, Soeren Pold

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, Australia-based Mez Breeze.

Mez Breeze, who has been working in electronic literature for decades, is known for “net.art, working primarily with code poetry, electronic literature, mezangelle, and digital games.” Mezangelle is a unique language that blends code and text in what previous winner, N. Katherine Hayles, classifies as a computer-age creole. Mez’s more recent work has led to her collaboration on an episode of “Inanimate Alice” as well as other explorations in Virtual Reality.

As previous winners have done, Mez will be passing the monetary award to a scholar who will be working on the artist’s oeuvre.

Scholar Beneficiary Kate Gwynne is a creative practice PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her current research explores character embodiment in Virtual Reality (VR) narratives, specifically works which allow for the self to be experienced as another, and how this transformation is achieved through the embodied possibilities inherent to VR. She holds a masters in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England and has written for the Guardian and The Conversation.

This year’s three committees were chaired by past-ELO President Joseph Tabbi, who was last year’s Hayles recipient.

ELO awards these prizes at its annual conference. The next conference will be held in Orlando, Florida. The call for next year’s awards will be issued months before via ELO’s Website.

Call for Nominations for ELC 4 Editors

ELO has put out the call for self-nominations for editors for the fourth Electronic Literature Collection.  See the full call below and consider answering it, so you can help shape the next volume of this key resource of digital literature.

Qualifications

Nominees must have a PhD or terminal degree (such as an MFA) or a substantive body of elit work to be considered. To avoid conflicts of interest, Editorial Collective members cannot have any of their own work published in the volume they are editing.

Duties

  • working well in a team of 4 editors,
  • assembling and working with a team of international consultants,
  • providing progress reports to the ELO Board,
  • drafting and circulating a call for submissions,
  • developing and applying criteria for selection,
  • being available to travel to one (potentially two) editorial retreats at a location convenient to the editorial collective, funded by the ELO Board,
  • maintaining timely and collegial communications with authors,
  • working with the ELO technical team in publishing the ELC4 in the ELO servers,
  • designing, producing, & publishing the ELC4 on the Web (potentially a physical edition) by June 2021,
  • being available to fine-tune technical and editorial issues with the ELC4 for a year after publication,
  • helping launch and promote the ELC4 once published, and
  • participating in other activities needed to produce and promote the ELC4.

Proposed Timeline

  • September to December 2019: Develop work plan, assemble international consultant team, draft and launch Call for Submissions, receive and close Call for Submissions.
  • January to December 2020: Evaluate and select submissions, have editorial retreat, select and notify authors of decision, begin drafting editorial introductions and designing ELC4, communicate with authors to prepare works for publication and receive source files, prepare image and video documentation, begin production of ELC4.
  • January to June 2021: Editorial retreat (if budget allows), finalize production of ELC4, publish to the Web, produce physical edition, launch ELC4.

Budget

The ELO will provide funding for an Editorial Retreat (or two, if fundraising allows) and for production costs, as needed. The ELO Board of Directors will carry out fundraising activities to support the ELC4. ELC4 Editors will not receive any kind of financial remuneration for their work. The ELC4 Editorial Collective will consist of Dr. Rui Torres, who will lead the team, serve as editor and Board liaison, and three editors chosen by the Board.

Nomination Process

This call will be open until August 15, 2019. The Board of Directors will meet in September to discuss the pool of candidates and assemble a 4-member Editorial Collective charged with producing the ELC4. For nominations, please visit: https://eliterature.org/elc4/