MLA14. 337. New Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature

Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Parlor F, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Alexandra Saum-Pascual, Univ. of California, Berkeley

1. “Print Alternatives: Hybrid Spanish Writing Today,” Alexandra Saum-Pascual

2. “Digital Technology and New Forms of Literature from a Hispanic Perspective,” Sergi Rivero-Navarro, Harvard Univ.

3. “Interstory: Three Narratives in Media Convergence,” Elika Ortega Guzman, Univ. of Western Ontario

4. “Technological Expropriation in Latin American Poetry: A Historical Perspective,” Marcos Wasem, Bard Coll.

The goal of this special session is to provide a forum in which to trace and discuss emergent digital literature in the Hispanic world. Although digital texts and other new media objects have received increasing attention from the fields of English literature and Media Studies since the popularization of Digital Humanities in the mid 1990s, research about their Spanish counterparts still needs much developing. Hoping to offer a broad range of examples, the four 15 minute-long papers in this session will cover innovative digital and hybrid work by diverse artists (poets, novelists, designers) emerging in Spain and Latin America over the last decade whose experimental digital production allows us to situate them at a new vanguard.

 

Alexandra Saum-Pascual begins the session by delineating a theoretical framework from which to look at these new literary objects, hoping to sketch a new trend in literature that she defines as “post-web.” By post-web she means a type of experimental literature informed by the authors’ computer practices, which share particular web aesthetics and database organization that challenge more traditional reading and writing experiences. Hybrid/post-web literature does not necessarily need to be supported online, it can be read in more traditional printed platforms, although it generally moves to the digital environment expanding the textual platform to a global network. She contextualizes these hybrid poetics within Spanish culture, centering her analysis on the work of the “Mutante” writers –Agustín Fernández Mallo, Jordi Carrión, Javier Fernández and Vicente Luis Mora–, elaborating on their formative sensibility towards new technologies, and their Spanish upbringing. Born circa 1970, and thus children of the Spanish transition to democracy following the death of dictator Franco, this group of authors bears critical significance in contemporary Spanish letters.

 

Sergi Rivero moves the discussion across the waters providing a set of transatlantic examples of new media texts produced by Latin American as well as Spanish artists whose work is defined by the creators’ relation to global connectivity and access to information. Analyzing specific cases of hyperlink narratives from Colombia (“Gabriela infinita”) and Spain (“La hora chunga”), as well as to visually animated poetry (Ana María Uribe’s Anipoemas, Argentina), Rivero outlines a set of aesthetic particularities of digital “writing” in Spanish, expanding on their hybridity, and resulting from the artist’s creative process which now takes place on the virtual space. Reflecting on the changing ways in which artists work and access information from the Web, Rivero moves on to describe examples of collective writing such as “La voz en llamas” where authorship becomes a field of shared practice determined by the user’s digital literacy and knowledge of Spanish (nationality of the participants is irrelevant and undisclosed). All these examples, Rivero claims, highlight new ways in which the “digital medium” becomes an intrinsic way of telling (and hence, modifying) the content of new “literature” in the Hispanic world.

 

Elika Ortega takes up the discussion on evolving products and creative processes, and focuses on current ways of composition/distribution, detailing how media convergence has widened and diversified the production of narratives. The result of this media convergence is a myriad of works all participating in what she calls “interstory”: a type of narrative that has been fragmented by different platforms (blogs, e-books, print books, magazines, e-magazines, video, etc.). The use of different media does not imply a repetition of content, but establishes a dynamic of iteration and complementation, which builds a global narrative. Ortega expands on Rivero’s and Saum-Pascual’s sample of works, offering a new set of transatlantic narratives written in Spanish: Hernán Caciari’s Orsai (Spain-Argentina), Rafael Fernandez’s Mi Cabeza Soy Yo (Spain), and Juan Sánchez’s Balada/Track (Colombia-Canada). She builds on Rivero’s definition of collaborative creative processes by analyzing the particular relation between the projects’ content and the crowd-funded publications from which they originate, exposing a peculiar self-referential, even meta-fictional emergent narrative dealing with its own process of production, distribution and reception, which take place through blogs and social media. Aside from the fundamental persuasive advertising power these entail, interstories also literalize issues of narrative interactivity and immersion calling for a stronger reader engagement and community formation within today’s writing in Spanish.

 

Marcos Wasem wraps up the discussion offering a broad historical framework from which to read these new media objects within canonical Media Theory. On the one hand, Wasem proposes that poetry has always been a practical frontier for language experimentation, in which the changes in communication technology have been incorporated into its experimental practice –from phonographic recordings and photography, to current Internet communication. He focuses on particular work by Uruguayan writers Roberto de las Carreras and Luis Bravo, to exemplify the Latin American case of the 20th Century. On the other hand, Wasem brings back Marshall McLuhan’s Gutenberg Galaxy to explain how the appearance of the printed “book” in the Middle Ages contributed to move from feudal to capitalist society, believing that similar changes in the technologies of cultural distribution can signal to today’s evolving exchange system. Looking at the use of the linotype during the Modernista period, the photocopy machine use by the Brazilian Marginalistas or the Internet in today’s collective blogs series “Elective Affinities” (in all of its Latin American and U.S. manifestations), Wasem builds on Elika Ortega’s distribution enterprise, and highlights how technical developments allow for a quest not only for novel expressive forms, but also for economic alternatives of distribution and exchange.

 

All four panelists of the “Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature” session offer a broad picture of today’s production of hybrid and digital literature in the Hispanic world. Their talks engage in larger cultural projects, hoping to open up several avenues of interpretation of these new media texts in Spanish as well they aim to pose a series of broader interrelated questions about how artists, and subjects in general, confront today’s changing technological and social realities.

 

Call for Papers-Iberian Studies

SHATTERING IBERIA. CULTURAL RESPONSES TO AN ONGOING CRISIS
University of California, Berkeley – March 5th, 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS (December 1, 2013)

Proposal02The Spanish and Portuguese department at UC Berkeley brings you an interdisciplinary conference focusing around the areas of Spain and Portugal, and their cultural and political reactions to the devastating economic crisis that has affected these two countries for the past five years.

The conference will consist of panels, roundtables, or other kinds of sessions proposed by scholars and activists relating to the changing definition of the concept of “crisis” in today’s world, and focusing on the transforming roles of symbolic production. What do new ways of social protest mean in terms of artistic production? Are we witnessing the birth of new types of collaborative popular expression? What is the role of the artist in this situation? And the Government? How do popular practices of collaborative work change our understanding of intellectual property? How can legislation account for these changing practices? How are the 15M movement in Spain, or Que se lixe a troika in Portugal changing the political game? What’s their take on cultural production? We encourage papers with a comparative approach to the Peninsula, reinstating the connections between Spain and Portugal.

This year, we are very fortunate to count with the presence of Amador Fernández-Savater as our Keynote speaker, one of Spain’s most relevant and socially engaged philosophers and journalists, and key participant in the 15M protest movements. We will also count with the special participation of Jordi Carrión, Manuel Filipe Canaveira, Luís Golcalves, Germán Labrador, Luis Moreno-Caballud and Cristina Montalvão Sarmento.

Interested scholars are invited to present proposals for individual papers, entire panels or roundtable sessions by December 1, 2013. Panels will consist of three papers and a commentator/moderator, although other formats are possible. Panel proposals should include a title and brief description of the session as a whole (300 words or less), along with paper titles and abstracts (about 300 words) of all panelists. Short academic bio (including institutional affiliation and contact information) should also be attached. Proposals for individual papers are encouraged -abstract of 250-400 words. All proposals should be sent in MS Word format by email to both of the Program Co-Chairs for the conference: Professor Alex Saum-Pascual (saum-pascual@berkeley.edu) and Catarina Gama (cgama@berkeley.edu). Papers can be delivered in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Applicants will be informed regarding inclusion on the conference program by December 15, 2013.

For more information, please visit site!

New Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature -MLA14 approved session

I am thrilled to announce that our special session, “New Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature” has been approved for inclusion in the program for the 2014 MLA convention in Chicago (program to follow)!cropped-21híbrido3.jpg

The goal of this special session is to provide a forum in which to trace and discuss emergent digital literature in the Hispanic world.

 

Although digital texts and other new media objects have received increasing attention from the fields of English literature and Media Studies since the popularization of Digital Humanities in the mid 1990s, research about their Spanish counterparts still needs much developing. Hoping to offer a broad range of examples, the four papers in this session will cover innovative digital and hybrid work by diverse artists (poets, novelists, designers) emerging in Spain and Latin America over the last decade whose experimental digital production allows us to situate them at a new vanguard.

I am happy to count with the participation of Élika Ortega (@elikaortega – U of Western Ontario), Sergi Rivero-Navarro (Harvard) and Marcos Wasem (@marcwasem – Bard College) in this exciting panel! And I hope all our talks –mine included– will open up several avenues of interpretation of these new media texts in Spanish, as we pose a series of broader interrelated questions about how artists, and subjects in general, confront today’s changing technological and social realities.

Hope to see you there!

Alex @alexsaum

MLA 2014 Call for Papers! -New Digital Vanguards

MLA 2014 – Chicago

129th MLA Annual Convention
Chicago, 9–12 January 2014

Call for Papers: Special Session

 

New Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature
Papers exploring the relationship between new media technologies and recent experimental changes in Spanish-language literature (aesthetics, themes, means of distribution, hybrid genres, mutli-platform, etc).

Proposal Deadline: March 5, 2013

Please submit 250-500-word abstracts to Alexandra Saum-Pascual (saum-pascual@berkeley.edu), by March 5, 2013

 

PAMLA 2013 Call for Papers! –Children of the Spanish Transition

PAMLA 2013 – San Diego

The 111th annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
(PAMLA), to be held in San Diego from November 1st to 3rd, will have a Special Session on Contemporary Spanish Literature (Peninsular): Children from the Spanish Transition.

Proposals are welcome for papers exploring the work of artists born circa 1970 in Spain, and thus, children of the transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. Papers should focus on changing political views, as well as the artists’ relation to new media ecologies, among other cultural and social aspects.
Proposals should be submitted by April 15th via the online form at www.pamla.org, and
should include a brief description (max. 500 words) preceded by an even briefer abstract
(max. 50 words). Presenters will be selected by May 15th.
Questions may be directed to saum-pascual@berkeley.edu
 —

Call for Papers: Special Session

CHILDREN OF THE SPANISH TRANSITION–The panel will explore the work of artists born circa 1970 in Spain, and thus, children of the transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. Papers should focus on changing political views, as well as the artists’ relation to new media ecologies, among other cultural and social aspects.

Proposal Deadline: April 15, 2013

Please review the Guidelines and Procedures before submitting a proposal. In particular, please note:

  • Members may only deliver one paper at the conference. You may submit more than one proposal, but as soon as you accept an invitation, you must inform the organizers of the other sessions that you are no longer eligible to present in their sessions.
  • Papers may not be read in absentia.
  • Participation in the conference requires payment of PAMLA 2013 membership dues by June 1 and the separate conference registration fee by September 15. A combined membership/conference fee is available for convenience, and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this option by June 1.

How to Submit

Submit proposals to any open topic area using the Online Proposal Submission Form. You will need to register and login to access the form (if you created an account last year, you can use it again; if you forgot your username or password, visit the Password Recovery page).

Questions

Questions about a specific session or topic area should be directed to the Presiding Officer, Alexandra Saum-Pascual, at saum-pascual@berkeley.edu. Use these addresses for questions only. Proposals should be submitted using the online form. Completing the form will send an email to the Presiding Officer as well as gather other information we need to construct the conference program.

General inquiries about PAMLA or the conference may be directed to the Executive Director Craig Svonkin at svonkin@netzero.com.

Questions regarding the website or the submission form may be directed to the Webmaster Heather Wozniak at webmaster@pamla.org.