20.218 Electronic Literature Organization at Maryland

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 08:05:59 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 218.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 07:59:41 +0100
         From: mkirschenbaum_at_gmail.com
         Subject: Electronic Literature Organization Completes Move
to the University of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) has
established its new headquarters at The Maryland Institute for
Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland.
The move from California was made possible by sponsorships from MITH,
the English department at Maryland, the College of Arts and
Humanities, and the University Libraries. The move was completed
earlier this summer.

Neil Fraistat, director of MITH, said of the move: "In moving from
UCLA to the University of Maryland, the ELO will provide MITH with a
unique opportunity for a truly comprehensive program in the Digital
Humanities, one that focuses equally on migrating electronically the
cultural artifacts of the past and the production of the cultural
artifacts of the future."

ELO President Thom Swiss added: "The Maryland Institute for
Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland,
College Park, is internationally known and, together with the support
of its campus partners in this venture, makes for the best possible
home for the ELO because of our similar, and now collaborative
interests and ambitions."

Founded in 1999 in Chicago, the ELO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization made up of writers, scholars, educators, and
technologists dedicated to exploring how computers can be used for
literary expression, and how born-digital work can use the computer
and the network to build on and extend the tradition of literature.

Landmark events in the ELO's short history include:

* The launch of the Electronic Literature Directory, an acclaimed
database-driven resource of information about electronic literature
maintained by authors and visited by thousands of readers;

* Readings of electronic literature and outreach events in Chicago,
New York, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Providence;

* The Electronic Literature Awards, which recognized exemplary works
of poetry and fiction and rewarded winners with substantial cash prizes;

* The State of the Arts Symposium, which united over one hundred
international writers, scholars, and publishers of electronic
literature at UCLA for two days of panels and presentations and
produced hard-copy proceedings; and

* The Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination (PAD) project's
publication of two reports, Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for
Long-Lasting Electronic Literature and Born-Again Bits: A Framework
for Migrating Electronic Literature.

The ELO has an international network of directors, literary advisors,
and members. The organization's university partners include the
University of Iowa, the University of Illinois Chicago, and the
University of Pennsylvania. The ELO partnerships and its partnership
with UCLA, will continue, as will electronic literature readings,
events, and activities across the country.

The partnership between MITH and the ELO will help both organizations
pursue their related missions. The ELO will work, with MITH's help,
to further its programs and its impact, both internationally and on
the Maryland campus.

The ELO has long sought a partnership with a major research library
to further its initiatives in the realm of the preserving, archiving,
and disseminating electronic literature. Charles Lowry, dean of the
University Libraries at Maryland, said: "To say that the scholarly
information exchange is transforming academic and research libraries
belabors the obvious. Nonetheless it is an essential condition for
defining what libraries will be in the future. Libraries have played
an historic role by providing the secure archive for the scholarly
record. This is vital work worth preserving, but that will be done in
a multitude of new ways. Among them, libraries must assume
responsibility for the output of scholarly and creative work that is
born digital. This is one of the most important reasons that from my
perspective the University of Maryland Libraries have supported the
ELO's move to our campus."

Moreover, a working relationship with a major English department will
allow the ELO to develop its curricular and pedagogical initiatives
in a new way; one of these initiatives, the Electronic Literature
Collection (a digital literary annual to be made available online and
on CD-ROM) is already in progress, with MITH as one of its five
sponsors. Charles Caramello, chair of the English department, said:

"The English Department looks forward to ELO's joining the Maryland
community. ELO perfectly complements Departmental emphases on
creative writing, comparative literary arts, and digital and textual
studies; and its presence on campus will greatly enhance
opportunities for Departmental faculty, graduate students, and
undergraduates to collaborate with artists and scholars in the
vanguard of literature and literary scholarship using twenty-first
century technologies."

James F. Harris, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at
Maryland, also noted how the ELO will complement the campus's
existing strengths, saying: "The College of Arts and Humanities is
very pleased to welcome the ELO to the University of Maryland campus.
We have long had a focus on the creative and performing arts, as well
as the use of new technologies in traditional humanities settings;
the ELO, with its emphasis on the artistic and imaginative use of
computers and new media, is a natural fit and helps complete that
circle. I look forward to a broad range of activities and events that
enhance the creative and intellectual life of the College."

The ELO's new events and initiatives, along with news and information
about the organization, can be found at http://eliterature.org.

MITH news, information, and event postings can be found at

Media Contact: Matthew Kirschenbaum,

Assistant Professor of English,
University of Maryland Associate Director,
Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) Director,
The Electronic Literature Organization

Received on Tue Sep 26 2006 - 03:29:32 EDT

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