Call for Papers and Works: Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe

September 11-13th, 2008 at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway.

The Fall 2008 Bergen Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe will build upon the work of the e-poetry seminar held in Paris in February 2008 at the University Paris 8, the 2007 e-poetry conference in Paris, the 2007 Remediating Literature Conference in Utrecht, and other recent activity in the field of electronic literature in Europe. The goals of this gathering are:

1) To provide an opportunity for European researchers to share and discuss their current research on electronic literature, e-poetry, and digital narrative forms.

2) To provide a forum for European authors of electronic literature to share, demonstrate, read, or perform their work.

3) To discuss and explore the foundation of a European research network focused on electronic literature, funding opportunities for such a network, and network activities.

The seminar will last three days and will include about 20-30 participants. The day-long meetings during the first two days will consist of short presentations of papers in panel format. Additionally, there will be performances, readings, and demonstrations of electronic literature in the evenings. The third day of the conference will be dedicated to proposing and discussing the formal establishment of a research network on electronic literature in Europe. Paper presentations should be in English. Presentation and performances of works can be made in English or in the native language of the presenter.

Registration for the seminar is free. There may be a fee for a conference dinner only. There will be no simultaneous sessions, so the number of presentation slots available will be limited, but researchers not selected to present are also free to attend. Both electronic literature authors and researchers are encouraged to submit proposals.


Any paper topic related to the seminar theme is welcome. Some subjects might include:

– Close readings of specific works of electronic literature.
– Ontologies and definitions of e-lit forms.
– National or language-group histories (or pre-histories) of e-lit.
– Procedural literacy and electronic literature.
– Relations between e-lit and other literary and artistic forms and movements.
– Issues involved in translating electronic literature.
– Issues involved in recording, archiving, and preserving e-lit.
– Electronic literature in cultural contexts.
– Pedagogy and approaches to teaching e-lit.
– Proposals for research network activities (e.g. archiving projects, publications, establishing a journal, pedagogical resources, etc.).

Presentations of papers should last no longer than 20 minutes.

Researchers should send an abstract of approximately 500 words before June 20th to


Authors wishing to present works of electronic literature should submit the following before June 20th:

1) A 500 word abstract describing the work, how the author intends to present it, and any technical requirements and how long it will take to present your work (max 30 minutes). The title of the work and all authors should be clearly identified. The abstract should be sent to

2) If the work is published online, the URL at which it is located should be included in the abstract.

3) If the work is a non-web application, is published in other media than the web, or is performance-dependent, three copies of a CD-ROM or DVD including the work or video documentation of the work should be sent before June 20th to:

Scott Rettberg, Associate Professor
Literary, Linguistic, and Aesthetic Studies (LLE)
The University of Bergen
Postbox 7805
5020 Bergen

What is Electronic Literature?

The term refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice, some of which are:

* Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
* Kinetic poetry presented in Flash and using other platforms
* Computer art installations that have literary aspects
* Interactive fiction
* Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
* Poems and stories that are generated by computers
* Computer-enabled combinatory literary forms
* Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work
* Literary performances that use the computer or network to develop new ways of writing


The deadline for abstracts and works is June 20th. A response will be given by July 25th. Final papers must be submitted by September 1st for online proceedings that will be published after the seminar. A website with further information will be published later this summer.


Scott Rettberg, University of Bergen
Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen
Phillippe Bootz, Paris 8 University
Maria Engberg, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Talan Memmott, Blekinge Institute of Techonology
Raine Koskimaa, University of Jyv‰skyl‰
Susana Tosca, IT University of Copenhagen


Submission of abstracts and proposals should go to: Questions about the seminar should be directed to Scott Rettberg: scott(at)

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