Next Horizons: ELO 2016  | 10-12 June 2016
 | University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.


 Call for Papers and Works of E-Lit Art


Deadline for Scholarly Activities: December 6, 2015
 | Deadline for Media Art Festival Works: December 6, 2015 | Submission Form

At the annual conference held in Bergen, Norway in August 2015, ELO explored “the end(s) of electronic literature,” construed broadly as the contours, edges, and boundaries of the field and practice. This year the ELO 2016 Conference & Media Art Festival asks now, What’s next? What investigations, interventions, and creations lie beyond the horizons of born digital writing?

“Next Horizons,” the ELO 2016 Conference & Media Art Festival, looks to answer these questions with the intentional connection, integration, and expansion of electronic literature into the Digital Humanities through a partnership between the Electronic Literature Organization and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). ELO 2016 takes place at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, B.C. where over 750 scholars convene each year at DHSI to learn and expand their knowledge of DH tools, methods, and criticism. Taking place from 10-12 June and co-chaired by Drs. Dene Grigar and Ray Siemens, ELO 2016 will feature critical papers and artistic works of electronic literature. Additionally, because collocating the conference and art festival within DHSI presents the unique opportunity for collaborations between the two communities that may result in new knowledge about electronic literature and DH, it also offers opportunities––new formats and approaches to the conference––that take advantage of this affordance.


Opportunities for Participation

ELO 2016 emphasizes both scholarship and creative activities. All events will be peer-reviewed and juried by scholars and artists with expertise in the specific area reflected in the topic or method. Comments will be sent to all who submit a proposal or work. For more information, contact Dene Grigar, President, ELO, dgrigar at mac dot com

1. Scholarship: Conference Presentations and Other Forms of Scholarly Activities

We seek proposals for papers that look critically at works of electronic literature from a variety of theories and approaches but also address special areas of interest, including:

  • Games
  • Fan Fiction
  • Feminist E-Lit
  • Sound
  • Digital Publishing
  • Preservation
  • Deep | Close Reading of Electronic Literary Works

Because we are interested in integrating DH scholarship into electronic literature contexts, formats for presenting ideas include traditional concurrent sessions but also are expanded to include other modes of presentation and engagement. Formats include:

Concurrent Sessions –– We will offer five concurrent sessions during the conference that feature no more than four simultaneous presentations. Participants will have 15-20 minutes per presentations, depending on the number of presenters. Each session will be moderated.

Featured Presentations –– This session is envisioned at having no more than two presenters giving a 30-minute talk each, moderated by a topic specialist. We also plan to offer only two concurrent sessions of Featured Presentations each day of the conference. These papers will be prepared in advance of the conference and made available to conference participants. Additionally, they will be collected and published in a special issue of Hyperrhiz. Submissions for a Featured Presentation will be made available through the Submissions Form. A special jury comprised of members from the ELO’s Literary Advisory Board will make the selection.

Provocations –– We will hold two lightning sessions, called “Provocations,” one each day of the conference” with 10 presenters giving a 5-minute talk that addresses a specific theme. Saturday’s theme is “Games,” and Sunday’s is “Fan Fiction.” A moderator will synthesize comments and engage the audience in a discussion following the presentations.

New Scholars/Artists Poster Session –– Held on Friday afternoon at the Faculty Club at the University of Victoria from 5:00-6:00 p.m., this session unites the ELO and DHSI communities by showcasing research and art in a poster session. We especially welcome scholars and artists/DH makers new to the ELO and/or DHSI to participate. Participants are also asked to engage the audience by talking about their work during the session.

Action Research Sessions –– This session takes place five times during the conference and is aimed at generating new scholarship relating to electronic literature & DH in the form of a white paper, online archival documentation, or a published report. Each session is based on a theme and limited to 24 participants who will work in teams led by an expert in the topic area. Activities include:

  • Editing scholarly and literary entries for the Electronic Literature Directory and ELMCIP
  • Wikipedia-A-Thon of e-lit authors, scholars, and works
  • Best practices for preserving mobile works of electronic literature
  • Credentialing digital scholarship & creative activities for program and professional development
  • The Traversal and Its Application to Other Forms of Digital Media

Drop-In Workshops –– We are offering two drop-in workshops, one each on Saturday and Sunday, for participants interested in gaining an understanding of a particular concept or practice. Because these sessions involve hands-on practice, participants are encouraged to bring their laptops and mobile devices to the session; other necessary materials will be determined by the workshop leaders. We are looking for workshop leaders in the following areas:

  • Scalar development
  • Unity 3d for interactive environments
  • Building an academic audience with social media and SEO
  • Making e-lit with Twine
  • Arduino for physical, digital book production
  • Virtual gaming with Oculus Rift and Meta
  • Principles of visual design for online media
  • Team dynamics and project management

Special Note: The Submissions Form will provide options for 1) Concurrent Sessions, 2) Featured Presentations, 3) Provocations, 4) New Scholars/Artists Poster Session, 5) Action Research Sessions, 6) Drop-In Workshops. We also encourage proposals involving other topic areas.

Proposals for all scholarly activities must be submitted via the conference website on the Submission Form, coming October 11.

2. Media Art Festival Screenings, Readings and Performances, and Exhibits

We seek innovative and experimental works of electronic literature for a festival of screenings, gallery exhibit, readings and performances, and sound installations.

Screenings –– We are interested in screening professional quality video and animated narratives and poetry. Works are limited to 10 minutes in length and should be saved in .MP4 or .MOV formats. This event takes place in University of Victoria’s Cinecentro theatre.

Gallery Exhibit –– An exhibit of desktop and mobile works of electronic literature will be held during the conference, beginning 10 a.m. Friday, June 10 and ending 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

Readings and Performances –– Artists are encouraged to read / perform / talk about their work. The time allotted for each artist is dependent upon the accepted number of artists, but will be limited to no more than 10. This event takes place at Felicita’s on the University of Victoria campus.

Sound Installations –– For the first time at an ELO conference, we are emphasizing sound as a form of electronic literature. The focus of this strand will be “storytelling” and could be explored in a variety of sound-based forms, including soundscapes, sound walks, sound collages, sound art, sound maps, phonography, field recording, radio-audio drama, radio transmission art, and audio performance. Artists are encouraged to consider storytelling based on sound sources other than the human voice, combined with sound effects, silence, and imagination to convey a narrative. Artists may propose sound-based works that operate without a screen and are designed for careful, primary listening experiences. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Selected works will be included in a curated exhibition that will include installations and dedicated listening experiences. Sound walks, performances, and site-specific installations may be considered for other locations about the University of Victoria campus. Sound artifacts will be made available after the conference for online streaming or on demand listening through a dedicated website.

All venues are located on the University of Victoria campus. ELO 2016 will provide basic technological needs such as computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices and mobile mounts, power cords, and cables. Specific equipment needs will to be supplied by artists. Specialized equipment must be provided by artists. ELO is not responsible for shipping costs. Proposals for all creative activities must be submitted via the conference website on the Submission Form. For more information, contact Dene Grigar, President, ELO, dgrigar at mac dot com