Or perhaps more broadly Electronic Literature en Español.

Two events have recently brought my attention to the community of Electronic Literature in Español, although both of these events draw on scholars from multiple languages. The two conferences are:cibersociedad.jpg

  • Literatures from Text to Hypertext (9/21/2006 - 9/23/2006)
  • III Congreso Online Observatorio para la Ciber Sociedad (11/20/2006 - 12/3/2006) [online]

One is currently going on (so you are probably missing it), but the other is not for a few months (so please join us).

Conference: Literatures from Text to Hypertext (9/21-9/23)
Sponsored by Literaturas Espanolas y Europeas del Texto al Hipertexto (LEETHI) from Complutense Universidad in Madrid and the Committee on Comparative Literature in the Digital Age of the International Association of Comparative Literature.

Here is a conference that is taking hypertext seriously, with such traditional or “classic” panel topics as “Literature as Hypertext before the Hypermedia era” and such particularly pertinent topics as “Translation, Reading, and Reception in Hypertext.” The conferencing will take place in Spanish, French, and English.

When looking at the list, I almost get the feeling that I’m looking at a conference at Brown in the early 90s, but then another thought occurs to me. Perhaps there is an international renaissance of scholarship in hypertext. (Or even, possibly reports of the death of literary hypertext have been greatly exaggerated).

Part of my sense of this Back to the Future moment is the presence of George Landow (Dr. Hypertext, & the man who introduced me to hypertext in the early 90s) as the keynote speaker. Yet, this isn’t a historical presentation, but an international, multilingual conversation about current hypertext research with speakers from Israel, Brazil, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, and, of course, Spain. Shifting the focus to comparative literature is part of the work necessary to network the discussion of electronic literature across language groups in multiple languages. (Note: Juan B. Gutierrez will also be presenting his bilingual system Literatronic.)

Online Conference: III Congreso Online Observatorio para la Ciber Sociedad (11/20/2006-12/3/2006)
(Or the third edition of the ONLINE Congress of the Observatory for Cibersociety.) Sponsored by la CiberSociedad, a growing, open, and collaborative digital community of knowledge.

According to their site:

The Congress is an electronic space especially designed for the presentation and interchange of analysis, reflections, investigations, and experiences, of people of diverse backgrounds interested in similar themes all over the world. People who never would meet physically nor would have the opportunity to share these experiences and knowledge, during a fixed time, do it online.

The meetings are free and open to the public but require registration. Topics include:

  • Politics and social change
  • Identity and social groups
  • Communication and culture
  • Education and learning
  • Criticism and innovation

If the Madrid conference seemed to be reviving (or translating) the conversation of literary hypertext into a multilingual exchange, the Third Congress seems tapped into more widespread, contemporary discussions of cyberculture: issues such as new trans-cultural and trans-border groups, cyber-citizenship, and the Copyleft movement. Such issues seem to tie this conference more to AOIR rather than ELO. Nonetheless, electronic literature will be at the forefront of at least one Working Group:

See Narrativa Digital. Literatura y literaturas en la sociedad digital. Nuevas formas de communicacion, nuevas formas de creacion. (I’m sure you already translated this in your head: Digital Narratives, Literature and Literatures en the digital society. New forms of communication, new forms of creation).

As a member of this panel, I would like to invite our readers to attend and join the discussion. Electronic literature author Jaime Alejandro Ruiz, whom I will post about next week, will be one of the coordinators of this working group. We will take up many issues discussed on WRT. So grab your Babel Fish and join us!

3 Responses to “Hipertexto en Español”

  1. 1 Juan B. Gutierrez

    About the Madrid conference, which I attended, I couldn’t agree more with Mark. It is a renaissance of scholar activity in this area. I would not dare to call it again “hypertext”, since this term was abused to the point in which everybody was writing about it without experimental support. The 90’s were a time in which there was more critique written about hypertexts than literary hypertexts. Many promises about the media were made that could not possibly be fulfilled. Now we have learned more about a media that is massively used. In the scientific method, a hypothesis is built, an experiment is conducted and finally the hypothesis is adjusted with the results of the experiment. This process did not happen with early hypertexts. A hypothesis was made, a few hypertexts were produced, but before the experiment yielded significant results the hypothesis was validated, which derailed the field for a decade. Nevertheless, digital narrative is a real possibility; text in produced and consumed in digital media; people is reading and writing at an unprecedented rate; reading and writing fiction still raises interest. Hypertext might be dead, in the sense that classic hypertext theory did not survive the expectations it created, but digital narrative is alive and gaining ground.

  2. 2 Mark Bernstein

    >The 90’s were a time in which there was more critique written about hypertexts than literary hypertexts.

    > A hypothesis was made, a few hypertexts were produced, but before the experiment yielded significant results the hypothesis was validated, which derailed the field for a decade.

    I think this assertion might not be supported by the evidence. Yes, there exists a substantial secondary literature on hypertext, but there even in the early ’90s, there were many hypertexts one could read and study.

    In any case, criticism *typically* proceeds through widespread discussion of some widely known work. A great deal has also been written, for example, about Impressionism in painting. The movement itself occupied perhaps a few dozen painters for a period of a decade or two; a less expansive definition would say that in involved no more than thirty artists over the course of no more than twelve years. Hundreds of critics and historians have subsequently written about Impressionism.

    Your conclusion is flatly wrong, in my opinion, and tendentious; you don’t specify what expectations you mean, or in what sense the theory did not “survive” these expectations.

  1. 1 Español en English: CFP at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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