CFP for a Webinar on E-literature

Organizer: Dept. of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi

About the Webinar

  • When: 16 – 17 January 2023
  • Call for Papers

We invite artists, practitioners, independent scholars, Ph.D. researchers
and academicians to submit original research papers, case studies, and
media artefacts for a webinar on E-literature, organised by the Dept. of
English, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.


Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines literature as “writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest”. The earliest literary narratives are thought to have originated in the oral mode and with the advancement of civilization, literary activities progressed to the written form like hieroglyphs on wood and papyrus scrolls, palm leaf manuscripts, inscriptions on stone and clay, and eventually on paper. Humanity moved a giant step forward with the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. Publishing literary works became cheaper and accessible to a wider reading public over the course of time. Interestingly, in the later years of the 20th century an oft-held view was the demise of print legacy and the resultant dwindling of readers’ interest in literature itself. However, “reading” has re-emerged as a very important activity in contemporary times, albeit through the electronic medium. The expansion of the World Wide Web has given the literary artist a wide and diverse platform from which to publish their work.

The pioneering literary works through the electronic medium emerged between 1952 to 1995 and most of the practitioners were not even aware that they were creating what we now call E-literature. The internet
revolution and the development of faster word processors, expansion of personal computers and gaming consoles from the 1980s onwards, brought about a paradigm shift in the production and circulation of
literature. Later, more versatile softwares such as HyperCard, Storyspace, and INFORM, along with increasingly powerful media editing and production tools, emerged in the 1980s and 1990s.
The primary identifier of E-literature is that it is “born-digital” and is not merely texts that have been adapted to a digital format. Within the field there is an emphasis on experimentation. For example, Alan Bigelow’s How to Rob a Bank reinvents Bonnie and Clyde for the digital age.

Users can swipe the touchscreen on a smart phone or hit the space bar to
reveal a narrative told through iPhone web searches, text messages, and app activities; digital poet Benjamin Laird wrote ‘Core Values’ in response to Dorothea Mackellar’s classic Australian poem ‘My Country’ which was displayed in a three-dimensional box viewed in-browser or using a virtual reality headset. Montreal based David Johnston has produced ReRites using artificial intelligence trained to imitate contemporary poetry. Piotr Marecki’s Cenzobot is a twitter “bot” that tweets fragments from real Polish censors’ reviews of publications from the communist era. J.R. Carpenter’s The Gathering Cloud is composed as a
pared down version of Luke Howard’s 1803 ‘Essay on the Modifications of Clouds’ with hypertext links and the poetry is accompanied by animation of animals which bridge the link between clouds in the sky and “cloud” computing. In the words of Nasrullah Mambrol, ‘electronic literature is not just a “thing” or a “medium” or even a body of “works” in various “genres”. It is not poetry, fiction, hypertext, gaming, codework, or some new admixture of all these practices. Electronic literature is, arguably, an
emerging cultural form, as much a collective creation of terms, keywords,
genres, structures, and institutions as it is the production of new literary objects.’ E-literature demands a new paradigm of reading which includes the lens of experimental literary practices and also the specificities of the technology and software used to produce such works.

The aim of this webinar is to deliberate on the problematization of literary and theoretical canons by E-lit, the practice of intertextuality and interdisciplinarity, the social and cultural parameters of literary
production, the practical approaches to teaching digital literature and the
emergence of this form in the developing world.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following tracks:

  • Intermediality and E-lit
  • Digital Young Adult Literature
  • E-lit and publishing models
  • Literary and theoretical postulations of E-lit
  • E-lit as Digital Humanities
  • Archive and UI/UX poetry
  • E-lit and its educative and collaborative practices
  • Polysemy and Synaesthesia in E-lit
  • Emerging E-lit practices in South Asia

Please submit abstracts of 350 words and a short bio of 100 words to by 15th Nov. 2022. Acceptance of abstracts will be notified on 30th Nov. 2022. Presenters will have 15-20 minutes to present their work.

Contact Details:

Prof. Simi Malhotra (HOD), Mob: 9818038281, Email:

Dr. Shimi Moni Doley (Convenor, Mob: 9899028752, Email:

Dr. Sumaiyah Naaz, Mob: 9897268766, Email:

Dr. Shazia Salam, Mob: 9899571218, Email:

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