ELO Salons: Beyond 2020

Abstract (in English): 

First proposed by Annie Abrahams and Deena Larsen at the 2019 ELO Conference in Cork, the ELO Salons initially comprised 10 online sessions on the second Tuesday of every month from February to November 2020. The sessions encompassed close readings and ensuing discussions, collaborative writing experiments, ontological examination of elit, and approaches to increasing elit accessibility and archivability. Each session has been led by a different attendee, recorded, and archived. Conceived by Deena Larsen as "almost like an extended family, which has a core group of people that participated and could function online”, the Salons have been a point of brightness in an extremely difficult year for many.

For this proposed Virtual Engagement Event, we would like to look back on the fascinating discussions and discoveries of the last year of salons, and look forward to the next. Hosting panelists will include Salon creators Deena Larsen, Johannah Rodgers, and Caitlin Fisher, as well as various session leaders. A Salon organizer will moderate, posing questions to the hosts and attendees alike, and supplement the discussion with images and documents arising from the last year’s engagement.

Most importantly, the current Salon participants will open the floor to future participants, seeking to build upon its first year in terms of activities and members. What more can we do with these Salons? Who else can we reach? What doors can we open, and how can we enrich our community? We have already engaged in projects increasing accessibility to elit work, exploring marginalized voices, revisiting the foundations of elit, and developing new avenues for creation and discovery of elit. We welcome discussions as to how we can evolve these interactions further, and invite all ELO members and conference attendants to join us.

The ELO Salons have been a fun thing to look forward to, rather than another dreary required zoom meeting. We started a bit before the pandemic, promising a chance to examine issues and works, and even collaborative tools that lie at the heart of our mutual obsessions: electronic literature. This virtual engagement session will be an open working session to allow participants to reflect on the highlights of the ELO Salons and to help shape its future.

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Record posted by: 
Milosz Waskiewicz