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ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

Espen Aarseth and Stuart Moulthrop: End over End (Keynote)

Thursday August 5th • 9:00-10:30 (Egget)

This is a two-part meditation on where electronic literature came from, some of the places it’s been, and how (and why) it might possibly go on.
Espen Aarseth will look at the roots of electronic literature in the period before 1997, discussing the origins of digital writing in terms of contemporary art and theory.  Particular attention will be given to interactive fiction and what happened to it.
Stuart Moulthrop skips over the really important bits (1997-2010) and concentrates on the state of electronic literature in the current decade, especially the intersection of various text-generation schemes with latter-day conceptualism and “the new illegibility.”
Both keynote speakers will offer critical prospects on the very idea of electronic literature, the meaning of the name, and various present and future ontologies for our discourse.
Espen Aarseth is principal researcher at the Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen. He has published research on digital power and democracy, SF and cyberpunk, digital media, digital literature, humanistic informatics, games and narrative, women and gaming,game ontology, games and crossmedia, game addiction, and mobile games. He is also co-founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Game Studies, founder of the Digital Arts and Culture conference series, and co-founder of the following conferences: Philosophy of Computer Games, The History of Games, and Games and Literary Theory, as well as author of Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Johns Hopkins UP 1997), a comparative media theory of games and other aesthetic forms.

Born 1957 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, Stuart Moulthrop is a writer, cybertext designer, and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His early work, Victory Garden (1991), has been mentioned among the "golden age" works of hypertext fiction. Later works, including Hegirascope (1995), Reagan Library (1999), and Under Language (2007), pertain more closely to our current age of artificial fibers. Moulthrop is the author of many essays on hypertext and digital culture, including some that have been multiply anthologized and translated.

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