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Electronic Literature Showcase

April 3-5, 2013

About | Schedule | Resources

Please join the Digital Reference Section for an Electronic Literature Showcase to be held April 3-5, 2013 on site at the Library of Congress.

Events include:

  • Exhibition and Open House. "Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms."External Link Read and interact with works of electronic literatureExternal Link spanning the last thirty years of literary history, selected by guest curators Dene Grigar and Kathi Inman Berens. Chat with Library of Congress specialists and visiting experts, view vintage digital media and equipment, and join in a variety of hands-on activities. On Friday, see additional items from the Deena Larsen CollectionExternal Link (MITH, U. of Maryland).
  • Literary Readings. "Electric Hour." Each day at noon, authors of electronic literature read and discuss their recent or significant works.
  • Book Display. Twentieth-century artists' books along with older forms of experimental printing and bookmaking provide context for the emergence of electronic literature. On April 4, view selections from the Library's Rare Book collections, hosted by the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
  • Keynote Address and Panel Discussion. On the afternoon of April 5, scholars discuss the pasts, futures, and present shape of electronic literature:
    • Keynote: “Failure to Contain: Electronic Literature, Digital Literacy, and the State (Machine) of Reading,” by Stuart Moulthrop (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee), noted hypertext author and literary scholar.
    • Panel: “Electronic Literature in the Humanities, Art, Technology and Science.” Literary scholars Kathi Inman Berens (University of Southern California), Dene Grigar (Washington State University Vancouver), Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland), and Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) explore electronic literature’s connections to major areas of knowledge and creativity.

The Twitter hashtag for the showcase will be #elitloc.

Schedule

All events take place in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress (see maps and directions), and are free of charge and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 3

    • Exhibit and Open House:"Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms."External Link 10 am-4 pm. Whittall Pavilion.
    • Workshop: Personal Digital Archiving. 10:30 am. LJ-G07.
    • "Electric Hour, a Reading of Electronic Literature," with authors Stephanie Strickland and Deena Larsen. Noon. Whittall Pavilion.

Thursday, April 4

    • Exhibit and Open House: "Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms."External Link 10 am-4 pm. Whittall Pavilion.
    • "Electric Hour, a Reading of Electronic Literature, " with authors Alan Bigelow, Steve Tomasula, and M.D. Coverley. Noon. Whittall Pavilion.
    • Rare Book Display and Open House. Noon-3 pm. Lessing J. Rosenwald Room (LJ-205).
    • Workshop: Personal Digital Archiving. 3:00 pm. LJ-G07.

Friday, April 5

    • Exhibit and Open House: "Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms,"External Link with items from the Deena Larsen CollectionExternal Link (MITH, U. of Maryland). 10 am-1 pm. Whittall Pavilion.
    • "Electric Hour, a Reading of Electronic Literature," with authors Nick Montfort, Stuart Moulthrop and Dan Waber. Noon. Whittall Pavilion.
    • Keynote Lecture: “Failure to Contain: Electronic Literature, Digital Literacy, and the State (Machine) of Reading,” with Stuart Moulthrop. 2:30 pm. LJ-119.
    • Panel Discussion: “Electronic Literature in the Humanities, Art, Technology and Science.” 3:30-5 pm. LJ-119.
      • Kathi Inman Berens,"The Great American Novel: System Update"
      • Dene Grigar, "Reading Electronic Literature"
      • Matthew Kirschenbaum, "Electronic Literature as Cultural Heritage"
      • Nick Montfort, "E-Lit in the Library"

Resources

What is Electronic Literature? It is more than a computer screen and different from an ebook or a digitized text. It is hypertext narrative, literary games, interactive fiction, kinetic poetry. Not just a new way to display the written word, electronic literature exploits the digital world's capacity for multiplicity and interactivity to create new forms of literary expression that can't be fully replicated in print. Like all literature, it explores the human condition—but as "born digital" content it is now mediated by underlying computer code, often combining the written word with sound, images, animation, and video.

"Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms." Guest curators Dene Grigar and Kathi Inman Berens have developed a Web site to accompany and supplement the exhibit of electronic literature on view at the Library of Congress, April 3-5, 2013—and to serve as an ongoing resource thereafter. Please see "Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Forms"External Link for a full list of works shown, as well as artists' and curatorial statements.

Spine Poems. Spine poems connect books—35 million of them at the Library of Congress—and electronic literature because spine poems "misuse" books by breaking out of our usual ways of engaging them. When people "stack, snap & share," spine poems bridge the physical world of books with stories that are born digitally. Spine poems stack books and ask us to read differently than we are accustomed to doing.Participate remotely by stacking your own spine poems, snapping an image, and posting it to spinepoetry.com. Your poems will be exhibited at the Library April 3-5, and will then have an ongoing presence on the World Wide Web.

Learn more about Electronic Literature. Some good starting points to learn more about electronic literature include:

 

Questions? Contact us via our Ask A Librarian page.
Susan Garfinkel, Coordinator

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