Gender in “Bits”: Critical Thinking and Pattern Recognition in World Electronic Literature Platforms

Abstract (in English): 

Panel description

This panel explores how digital environments affect literature, and more specifically, how writing and reading practices speak across electronic literature platforms. If it is true that every medium develops its own telling structure and, thus, each platform allows authors specific literary affordances and constraints. It is also true, from a narratological point of view, that the same medium could spawn different products (Ryan 2004). With this in mind, panel members focus on female literary creations, coming from different geographic regions. Their papers analyse the ways in which platforms affect narrative and poetic construction, including gender patterns highlighted in the selected examples. Methodologically, qualitative and quantitative research methods are used, including close reading, digital hermeneutics, distant reading, semiotics and Material Engagement Theory (MET).

HStudies Research Group, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Individual abstracts

Posthuman Intermedial Semiotics: From the Holodeck to Mez Breeze’s micro-V[R]erse
Asun López-Varela (Complutense University Madrid, Spain)

From a semiotic perspective, this presentation explores V[R]erse, a collection of poems and micro-stories that celebrates well-known E-lit artists, turning the pieces into Posthuman VR experiences. Australian net.artist and game designer Mez Breeze uses VR sculptures to add to these micro-stories. From a semiotic and MET perspective, the paper explores desktop-based VR.

A Hermeneutics of Stephanie Strickland, Cyntia Lawson Jaramillo and Paul Ryan’s Slippingglimpse
Maya Zalbidea (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)

This study offers a hermeneutical analysis of the Flash interactive poem Slippingglimpse. This hermeneutical analysis pays attention to the common features of poetry such as poetical language, structure, form and rhythm, as well as the particular signs used, as well as the effects and the computer elements it integrates.

Labiba Khammar’s Critical and Creative Works
Eman Younis (Beit Berl College, Israel)

This paper sheds light on the experience of the Moroccan writer and critic Labiba Khammar, who is one of the pioneering Arab women writers in the field of digital literature. Labiba wrote an important theoretical book, a theoretical project that was followed by a practical creative project: Guraf wa Maraya. Through this work, Khammar discussed the issues of writing a novel through a series of stories that are disconnected and connected simultaneously.

Unfixed Gender Patterns in World Electronic Literature Platforms
Giovanna Di Rosario (Polytechnic of Milan, Italy) and Nohelia Meza (Independent Scholar, Mexico)

This research describes and analyses the ways in which traditional markers of identity, such as gender, are reconfigured in digital literature. The study aims at understanding the role of place and gender in a poetic digital environment. By investigating and applying distant reading techniques to works authored by female writers from Europe and Latin America, Di Rosario and Meza trace the unfixed and polyhedric feminine literary and poetic voices embedded in E-lit creations.


ELO 2021: Gender in bits, May 28

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Milosz Waskiewicz