banner: No Legacy || Literatura electrónica

March marks the beginning of an exciting program in electronic literature, organized by DH Fellow Alex Saum-Pascual, Assistant Professor in Spanish and Portuguese. Electronic literature (or e-lit), as defined by the Electronic Literature Organization, refers to “works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer” and encompasses a broad set of forms and practices. The campus is invited to explore electronic literature through a new exhibit opening on March 11 and a series of guest speaker events this semester.

No Legacy || Literatura electrónica (NL || LE) is the result of a rich collaboration between Prof. Saum-Pascual and Dr. Élika Ortega, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas. Together, the co-curators propose to expose the relationship between English language works of electronic literature and Spanish and Portuguese literature, both print and digital. The exhibit, installed in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery at Doe Library, features works such as Patchwork Girl, a hypertext work by Shelley Jackson, and the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. NL || LE  invites visitors to interact with works in their original environments, such as an iMac G3 from the late 1990s. Devices and works are installed in cases and tables designed by students in Stephanie Lie’s Art Practice and New Media seminar. Learn more about the exhibit from the Berkeley Center for New Media.

NL || LE opens on Friday, March 11 with a symposium on critical approaches to electronic literature and readings by U.S. poet Amaranth Borsuk and Peruvian-Venezuelan writer Doménico Chiappe. The two roundtables with investigate material considerations about electronic literature (literary histories as compared to literary archaeologies) and transatlantic and translinguistic perspectives in the study of global literature. To watch the symposium live, please visit BIDS YouTube channel (streaming begins at 10 AM PST). See the full list of speakers.

photo: Alex Saum-Pascual and Élika Ortega demonstrate Between Page and Screen by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad BouseProf. Saum-Pascual’s new digital humanities course, “Electronic Literature: A Critical Writing & Making Course”, is also bringing e-lit to life for her undergraduate students. Students have spent the semester reading and analyzing works of electronic literature, as well as exploring the affordances of various mediums by creating their own Spanish language pieces of e-lit. Topics covered have included hypertexts, Twitter bots, generative poems, kinetic poetry, augmented reality, and interactive fiction. Students will have the opportunity to present their work at the Digital Humanities Faire on April 13th and a digital salon at the end of the semester. Explore the syllabus and students’ work on the class blog.

Several prominent figures in the world of e-lit will be visiting the class. All guest events are open the public (see event details at the end of this blog post). On March 10, Leo Flores, Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez Campus, will discuss the forthcoming Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3 and the role of e-lit in other languages. On March 29, the class will be joined by Rita Raley, Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her recent research includes work on interventionist media arts practices, digital poetics, and global English. On April 5, students will work with Rui Torres, Associate Professor at University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal.

Event Details

  • Opening Symposium roundtables: Friday, March 11, 10 AM - 12:30 PM, Berkeley Institute for Data Science, 190 Doe Library
    • “Electronic Literature: History / Archaeology / Artifacts” with Dene Grigar, Élika Ortega and Roberto Cruz Arzabal
    • “Transatlantic / Transnational / Translinguistic Perspectives on E-Lit” with Leonardo Flores, Sandy Baldwin, and Alex Saum
  • Opening reception and readings by Amaranth Borsuk and Doménico Chiappe, Friday, March 11, 5:30 PM, Morrison Library (in Doe Library)
  • Leo Flores class visit: Thursday, March 10, 12:30 - 2:00 PM, 122 Barrows
  • Rita Raley class visit: Tuesday, March 29, 12:30 - 2:00 PM, 122 Barrows
  • Rui Torres class visit: Tuesday, April 5, 12:30 - 2:00 PM, 122 Barrows


Image: DH Fellow Alex Saum-Pascual and Élika Ortega demonstrate Between Page and Screen by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse