• Electronic Literature: Translations
    Vol 6 No 3 (2018)

    ELO 2017

    The ELO (Electronic Literature Organization) organized its 2017 Conference, Festival and Exhibits, from July 18-22, at University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, as well as several other venues located in the center of the historic city of Porto, Portugal. Titled Electronic Literature: Affiliations, Communities, Translations, ELO'17 proposed “a reflection about dialogues and untold histories of electronic literature, providing a space for discussion about what exchanges, negotiations, and movements we can track in the field of electronic literature.” Its aim was “to contribute to displacing and re-situating accepted views and histories of electronic literature, in order to construct a larger and more expansive field, to map discontinuous textual relations across histories and forms, and to create productive and poetic apparatuses from unexpected combinations.” Volume 6 of MATLIT: Materialities of Literature publishes selected articles from the ELO 2017 Conference. These have been divided into three issues according to the conference threads: 6.1 Affiliations, 6.2 Communities, and 6.3 Translations. Essays and research articles are published in the “thematic section,” while texts about artistic projects and installations are presented in the “meadiascape” section.

    Translations

    We quote from the Translations thread description: “Electronic literature is an exchange between language and code. It contains many voices. We want to understand electronic literature as translation in the broadest possible sense.” Starting with Stuart Moulthrop’s provocative state-of-the-electronic-nation diagnosis, the broad sense of translation reflected in this issue extends to remediation or appropriation of European modernists such as Raymond Roussel and Fernando Pessoa, and the recreation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Other topics include algorithmic and human cognition, Inanimate Alice’s translation into Portuguese, electronic editing of self-censorship, a revisit to the effects of hyperfiction on children’s reading, and an account about the use of digital resources for developing literary literacy in the Brazilian context. Simon Biggs’ article on his immersive motion tracking installation provides yet another approach to the expanded notion of translation as an embodied material mediation.

    Rui Torres (University Fernando Pessoa)
    Manuel Portela (University of Coimbra)

  • Electronic Literature: Communities
    Vol 6 No 2 (2018)

    ELO 2017

    The ELO (Electronic Literature Organization) organized its 2017 Conference, Festival and Exhibits, from July 18-22, at University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, as well as several other venues located in the center of the historic city of Porto, Portugal. Titled Electronic Literature: Affiliations, Communities, Translations, ELO'17 proposed “a reflection about dialogues and untold histories of electronic literature, providing a space for discussion about what exchanges, negotiations, and movements we can track in the field of electronic literature.” Its aim was “to contribute to displacing and re-situating accepted views and histories of electronic literature, in order to construct a larger and more expansive field, to map discontinuous textual relations across histories and forms, and to create productive and poetic apparatuses from unexpected combinations.” Volume 6 of MATLIT: Materialities of Literature publishes selected articles from the ELO 2017 Conference. These have been divided into three issues according to the conference threads: 6.1 Affiliations, 6.2 Communities, and 6.3 Translations. Essays and research articles are published in the “thematic section,” while texts about artistic projects and installations are presented in the “meadiascape” section.

    Communities

    We quote from the original description of the Communities theme: “Electronic literature is global. It creates a forum where subjects in the global network act out and struggle over their location and situation. The thread aims to expand our understanding of electronic literature communities and how literature is accounted for within diverse communities of practice.” Eugenio Tisselli’s eco-social take on the weight of light, and Matthew Kirschenbaum’s critique of the e-lit community’s techno-experimental fixation interrogate many of our own assumptions about the digital means of social and artistic production. Those opening interrogations also echo in the digital cinematic practices analyzed by Will Luers or in the feminist projects described by Maria Angel and Anna Gibbs. Sound recording and aural perception, the uses of sound in electronic literature, and digital literature for children are some of the topics addressed in papers that look at different communities of practice.

    Rui Torres (University Fernando Pessoa)
    Manuel Portela (University of Coimbra)

  • Electronic Literature: Affiliations
    Vol 6 No 1 (2018)

    ELO 2017

    The ELO (Electronic Literature Organization) organized its 2017 Conference, Festival and Exhibits, from July 18-22, at University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, as well as several other venues located in the center of the historic city of Porto, Portugal. Titled Electronic Literature: Affiliations, Communities, Translations, ELO'17 proposed “a reflection about dialogues and untold histories of electronic literature, providing a space for discussion about what exchanges, negotiations, and movements we can track in the field of electronic literature.” Its aim was “to contribute to displacing and re-situating accepted views and histories of electronic literature, in order to construct a larger and more expansive field, to map discontinuous textual relations across histories and forms, and to create productive and poetic apparatuses from unexpected combinations.” Volume 6 of MATLIT: Materialities of Literature publishes selected articles from the ELO 2017 Conference. These have been divided into three issues according to the conference threads: 6.1 Affiliations, 6.2 Communities, and 6.3 Translations. Essays and research articles are published in the “thematic section,” while texts about artistic projects and installations are presented in the “meadiascape” section.

    Affiliations

    We quote from the original description of the Affiliations theme: “This thread addresses multiple diachronic and genealogical perspectives on electronic literature, providing room for comparative studies; untold archaeologies and commerces between electronic literature and other expressive and material practices.” Starting with Friedrich Bloch’s analysis of the paratextual construction of the field, the articles gathered here address diverse historical contexts and literary practices for understanding electronic literature. These include the early history of generative and combinatory texts, the reinvention of Mallarmé’s spatial poetics, the relation between concrete and computer poetry, but also the heterogeneity of digital practices when we consider the social semiotics and technological specifics of diverse geographical locations and literary traditions.

    Rui Torres (University Fernando Pessoa)
    Manuel Portela (University of Coimbra)

  • Vox Media: Sound in Literature
    Vol 5 No 1 (2017)

    In the encounter between the historical avant-gardes and changes in communication technologies, literature has opened itself up to the materialities of sound, voice and performance. This process was accelerated and intensified by both mediation and technical reproduction up until the digital revolution, which eventually led to the historical and technological specificity of the post-digital situation. Suffering the effects of massification, the process operated to a large extent on a scene of “re-oralization”, although by then within the historical setting of a “secondary orality”. From the more avant-garde to the more massified environments, from Sound Poetry to Spoken Word or Slam Poetry, without overlooking the vast intermediate territory of “readings (or recitations) of poetry”, it is safe to admit that planet literature has become aware of those ever-growing dimensions: phonetic poetry, sound poetry, recordings of literary texts (either by their own authors or other readers), setting of poems to music (especially in those cases in which the voice is not turned into singing, thus sabotaging the form of “song”), poetry and narrative live readings, spoken word, slam poetry, rap.

    MATLIT’s volume 5 is thus intent on exploring what we call literature as VOX MEDIA: voice as a medium for literature and the disturbances suffered by the medium caused by the combined effects of performance and technologies for mediation, representation and reproduction. And also other instances, such as the tensions between the body and technology, audibility v. inaudibility of text, sound and meaning, physical presence and/or absence of the authors, and so forth. The goal is not only that of generating a catalogue or a compendium of the contemporary effects of VOX MEDIA on the notion of literature, but that of generating an archaeology for VOX MEDIA and for all related phenomena repressed by their historical invisibility.

    Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    Felipe Cussen (IEA, University of Santiago de Chile)

  • MatLit_4.2_Cover Digital Literary Studies 2
    Vol 4 No 2 (2016)

    The thematic section of MATLIT 4.2 consists of a selection of articles based on the papers presented at the international conference Estudos Literários Digitais | Digital Literary Studies”, which took place on May 14-15, 2015, at School of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra. Jointly organized by the PhD Programme in Materialities of Literature, the LdoD Archive, and the Centre for Portuguese Literature at the University of Coimbra, the conference was sponsored by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This event brought together sixty researchers from seventeen countries representing forty-two research and teaching institutions. This is the second of two issues based on the conference (Vols. 4.1 and 4.2).  

    The digitization of artifacts and literary practices, the adoption of computational methods for modelling, editing and analyzing text as well as the development of collaborative forms of research and teaching through networking and communication platforms are three dimensions of the ongoing relocation of literature and literary studies in the digital medium. The aim of volume 4 is to contribute to the mapping of material practices and interpretative processes of literary studies in a changing media ecology. Among the topics covered in this issue, we highlight computational literary analysis (TEI and semantic annotation, TEI and Linked Open Data, corpora and stylistic analysis, literary theory and network theory, macro analysis and visualization), digital scholarly editing, computational writing (uncreative writing and automatic generation of text, internet and micronarrative), and the teaching and dissemination of digital forms and practices. This issue contains a sample of methods, objects and current projects in the field of digital literary studies.

    Manuel Portela (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    António Rito Silva (INESC-ID, University of Lisbon)

  • MatLit_4.1_(cover) Digital Literary Studies 1
    Vol 4 No 1 (2016)

    The thematic section of MATLIT 4.1 consists of a selection of articles based on the papers presented at the international conference Estudos Literários Digitais | Digital Literary Studies”, which took place on May 14-15, 2015, at School of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra. Jointly organized by the PhD Programme in Materialities of Literature, the LdoD Archive, and the Centre for Portuguese Literature at the University of Coimbra, the conference was sponsored by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This event brought together sixty researchers from seventeen countries representing forty-two research and teaching institutions. This is the first of two issues based on the conference (Vols. 4.1 and 4.2).  

    The digitization of artifacts and literary practices, the adoption of computational methods for modelling, editing and analyzing text as well as the development of collaborative forms of research and teaching through networking and communication platforms are three dimensions of the ongoing relocation of literature and literary studies in the digital medium. The aim of volume 4 is to contribute to the mapping of material practices and interpretative processes of literary studies in a changing media ecology. Among the procedures explored in this issue, readers will find computational literary analysis (computational narratology, corpora and translation, macroanalysis and visualization) and computational writing (automatic generation of text, as well as hypertext and intermedia narrative on different platforms). The limits of the digital processing and datafication of artistic forms are also analyzed from the perspective of the history of informational aesthetics. This issue contains a sample of current methods, tools, objects and digital practices in the field of literary studies.

    Manuel Portela (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    António Rito Silva (INESC-ID, University of Lisbon)

  • Arts, Media and Digital Culture
    Vol 3 No 1 (2015)

    The thematic section of MATLIT 3.1 consists of a selection of papers presented at the symposium ActaMedia XI: International Symposium on Media Art and Digital Culture, which took place in 2014 in Lisbon (Palácio Foz, 14-15 November), Coimbra (School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Coimbra, 18-19 November) and São Paulo (São Paulo Cultural Centre, 3-4 December). This was an event that brought together researchers associated with COLABOR/ Center for Research on Digital Languages (ECA-USP), the Post-Graduate Programme in Aesthetics and Art History at the University of São Paulo (PGEHA / USP), the FCT PhD Progamme in Materialities of Literature, and the Centre for Portuguese Literature (CLP) at the University of Coimbra. Extending the collaborative atmosphere of the symposium, the articles gathered here focus on different themes – in the sense of ‘problems’ –, addressing material issues and values associated with digital mediation, paying critical attention to new technologies and configurations of so-called ‘virtual reality’, questioning different objects from an Interart and Intermedia Studies perspective, and discussing the interdisciplinary and methodological implications of Digital Humanities. Those research articles are complemented by an interview with Eduardo Kac and, in the ‘Mediascape’ section, by the presentation of projects authored by Portuguese and Brazilian artists who have explored the expressiveness of the digital medium. Therefore the thematic section aims to contribute to a theoretically consistent and systematic reflection on the digital meta-medium, examining its material determinations and cultural symbolic processes, as well as the challenges it poses for thought, imagination, and action.

    Paulo Silva Pereira (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    Pedro Serra (University of Salamanca)

  • MATLIT_2.1(cover) Book and Materiality
    Vol 2 No 1 (2014)

    The unrest about the fate of the book that has been prompted in successive waves by the now-called “new media” seems to be fading away. That books haven’t vanished, that books even blossomed into a new life, that books are, after all, irreplaceable, that books are perfected and perfectible objects: all these assumptions are as common today as those which had been announcing the book’s near death, by highlighting either its anachronistic features or its utter un-necessity. On the other hand, however, an ongoing debate about the idea of reediting the book is still raging: which portion of new media can be seen, after all, as a reediting of the classic book? And which portion of the classic book can be interpreted as an anticipation of new media? Volume 2, Issue 1 of MATLIT aims to intervene on that debate, centering it on the question of materiality and suggesting a turning-back path from the fundamental question “What is it that new media teach us about the materiality of the book?”

    From that question it is possible to infer the topics for debate contained in this issue of MATLIT.

    Abel Barros Baptista (NOVA - New University of Lisbon)

  • MatLit_1.2 (2013) Writing and Cinema
    Vol 1 No 2 (2013)

    In the final sequence of Un chien andalou (1929) by Luis Buñuel, the couple is strolling along the beach holding hands, in what would be a perfect Happy End, if it were not for the final shot, set in the following Spring, when all that is left of the couple are cardboard reproductions, ruined by nature. The film ends in novelistic imagination (melodrama, double end, false happy ending), which helps us to realize that, as noted by Robert Short, Surrealism did not abandon the narrative nor turn its back on the ‘art of the masses’ (indeed a good definition at the time for the nascent film form, whether in Hollywood or in much of Europe). Un chien andalou, it should be recalled, begins with the intertitle ‘Il était une fois’, and the film moves away from earlier Dada or surrealist avant-garde films (Man Ray, Desnos, Artaud) because it does not move away from the productivity of ‘telling a story’. This is at the heart of the problem, because by refusing the kind of pure formal experimentation that hitherto had defined the avant-garde, Buñuel is not recovering a nineteenth-century version of literature as ‘the art of storytelling to the bourgeoisie’, the version against which the modernist movement had risen. Let us recall here that disclaimer of Mallarmé – a major figure in the critique of representation that will feed modern literature – whereby verses are not made with ideas but with words (or that other saying by Valéry, unable to write sentences like ‘The marquise went out at five o’clock’ ).

    What then is left of the narrative in Un chien andalou? The sabotage of the mechanism of cause and effect, and thus narrative sequence, but at the same time narrative as teleology (or drive). As well as a number of tropes from literature – above all that of metonymy, which allows us to see the work of the unconscious – and a famous signature effect produced at the very beginning by the author-filmmaker himself by means of a razor. The complexity with which Buñuel’s inaugural film addresses the relationship between writing and literature, on the one hand, and cinema, on the other, is situated far beyond the traditional framework in which literary studies conceptualize this relationship, often under the figure of ‘adaptation’, with all its notions of reference (precedence, translatability, loyalty, etc.). Conversely, one can say that film tends to mistake literature, especially the novel, for story, forgetting or minimizing ‘words’, to return to Mallarmé, and opting for ‘ideas’. However, there is no cinema, even in the historical precedent of silent film, without writing, from pre-production (the film script) to post-production (which extends from criticism of the novelization of the screen script, as in several UFA films by Fritz Lang or in films by Spielberg and George Lucas, but also in books that late Godard published based on the texts he had written for his films), or even in the body of the film as subtitles, intertitles, quotes, etc. (Consider the major cases of Godard or Greenaway). And there’s a whole typology of ‘inscriptions’ of writing in films: produced by letters, diaries or poetry at the time of writing or reading, in fictional or documentary treatment. We can mention also a genre as unique as the ‘essay film’, whose literary ancestry is immediately evident in its name, and whose formal process inherits the form of the written essay as hybrid and epistemologically unstable.

    Volume 1, Issue 2 of MATLIT addresses a wide range of occurrences of materiality and reflexiveness of writing in film, trying to think about (i) the relationship between writing and film image, the opportunities for mutual description/translation and the limits of this semiotic description; (ii) writing in cinema, as both theme and inscription; (iii) cinema as writing and language, and language and writing processes as analogies for processes of signification in cinema; (iv) how the materiality of writing in film helps us to think about literature as inscription rather than as ontology. The second issue of the journal is the result of a joint effort by the Doctoral Program in Advanced Studies in the Materialities of Literature and by the FCT-funded research project «False Movement – Studies on Writing and Film» (PTDC/CLE-LLI/ 120211/2010).

    Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    Clara Rowland (CEC, University of Lisbon)

  • MatLit_1.1 (2013) Estranging Pessoa with the Materialities of Literature
    Vol 1 No 1 (2013)

    This inaugural issue of MATLIT dedicates its thematic section to the conference «Estranging Pessoa with the Materialities of Literature», which took place on May 25, 2012, at the Center for Portuguese Literature, University of Coimbra. This one-day conference was jointly organized by the Doctoral Program in Materialities of Literature, the Center for Portuguese Literature (CLP) at the University of Coimbra, and the Laboratory of Advanced Literary Studies (ELAB) at the New University of Lisbon. The selected papers are the result of two ongoing research projects about Fernando Pessoa's work: No Problem Has a Solution: A Digital Archive of the Book of Disquiet (CLP, 2012-2015) and Estranging Pessoa (ELAB and IFL, 2013-2015).

    Manuel Portela (CLP, University of Coimbra)
    Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (CLP, University of Coimbra)

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