VANCOUVER, Wash. â Authors from the first generation of modern digital writing will visit Washington State University Vancouver during the next 2Â½ years to record readings on the early computer systems for which their works were originally intended.
The U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the Electronic Literature Organization a Digital Humanities Startup Grant for $52,003 for this innovative historical effort, the Pathfinders project. It was proposed by Dene Grigar, associate professor and director of the creative media and digital culture program at WSU Vancouver, and Stuart Moulthrop, English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The nonprofit Electronic Literature Organization promotes the reading, writing, teaching and understanding of literature as it develops and persists in a changing digital environment.
The archive of readings will allow the authors and volunteer readers to explore the textual possibilities of early digital texts. Recordings will take place at Grigarâs “eLit Labâ at WSU Vancouver, where she has collected 24 vintage Macintoshes for the purpose of experiencing electronic literature on the original computers on which the literature was created and intended to be read.
Recorded sessions will be made available through the Electronic Literature Database and will form the basis for multimedia presentations. Using innovative software such as Scalar – a free, open-source authoring and publishing platform – the publications will explore strategies for representing and preserving computer-mediated writing.
Among the works chosen for the project are Judy Malloy’s “Uncle Roger: The Blue Notebookâ (1986), John McDaid’s “Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouseâ (1994) and Shelley Jackson’s “Patchwork Girlâ (1995). Events at the university and at Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge in Vancouver are planned during the artistsâ visits.
Plans also are under way to expand to other key titles from the 1980s and 90s.