Dene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver whose research focuses on the creation, curation, preservation, and criticism of born-digital literature and net art.
She has authored 16 media works such as “Curlew” (2014) and “A Villager’s Tale” (2011), as well as 71 scholarly articles and six books. She has curated exhibits at the British Computer Society and the Library of Congress and for the Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA), among other venues. With Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee) she developed the methodology for documenting born-digital media, a project that culminated in an open-source, multimedia book, entitled Pathfinders (2015), and book of media art criticism, entitled Traversals (2017), for The MIT Press. Her recent book, co-edited with James O'Sullivan (University College Cork) and published by Bloomsbury Press in 2021, is entitled Electronic Literature as Digital Humanities.
Grigar served as President of the Electronic Literature Organization from 2013-2019 and is now the Managing Director & Curator of organization's The NEXT. Since 2003 she has been Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews. In 2017 she was awarded the Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship by her university, where she also directs the Electronic Literature Lab.
For the last 16 years I have directed the CMDC Program. With a tag line of "Learn, Think, Build" the program specializes in game studies & design and making media objects like mobile apps, video, 2 & 3D animation, games, etc. The program is now one of five Signature Programs on the WSUV campus. I also direct the Electronic Literature Lab and serve on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization as the Managing Director & Curator of The NEXT.
ELO's The NEXT is a virtual museum, library, and preservation space that holds 30 collections amounting to close to 3000 works of net art, born-digital literature, and various forms of interactive media. It maintains and makes its archives accessible for the next generation and responds to the growing need for open-access, travel-free cultural and research experiences for today's public and scholars. Seeded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The NEXT is managed on behalf of the ELO by faculty, staff, and students at the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver.
The Challenges of Born-Digital Fiction: Editions, Translations, and Emulation addresses the growing concern about how best to maintain and extend the accessibility of early interactive novels and hypertext fiction or narratives. These forms of born-digital literature were produced before or shortly after the mainstreaming of the World Wide Web with proprietary software and on formats now obsolete. Preserving and extending them for a broad study by scholars of book culture, literary studies, and digital culture necessitate they are migrated, translated, and emulated—yet these activities can impact the integrity of the reader experience. Thus, our book centers on three key challenges facing such efforts: 1) precision of references: identifying correct editions and versions of migrated works in scholarship; 2) enhanced media translation: approaching translation informed by the changing media context in a collaborative environment; 3) media integrity: relying on emulation as the prime mode for long-term preservation of born-digital novels.
DTC 392 is part of the CMDC Program's Game Studies and Design Certificate that provides students with a deep understanding about theories and history of video games.
This course The course focuses on theories, methods, and practices relating to born digital literature. Topics include history of the form and field, trends, and challenges. Hands-on experiences are planned.
This course explores narrative from a variety of approaches for computing devices, including desktop computers, smart phones, and tablets. Students will learn how to analyze digital narratives with an eye toward understanding how best to produce their own.
This course teaches the principles of multimedia design and includes theory and practice for visual, sonic, movement, gestures, and interactivity.
"Language, Texts, and Technology" explores "the relationship between technology and communication; writing [re: authoring] practices from a historical point of view" ("WSU Catalog"). It is understood in this context that these three concepts refer specifically to computer language, computer-based texts, and computer technology.
The Senior Capstone course prepares DTC majors for careers in digital media or entry into graduate programs in digital media or a related field. Attention is given to providing a hands-on experience with directing and participating in a large digital media project; teaching how to engage in a critique of digital work; and helping with the preparation of requisite materials, like proposals, portfolios, resumes, cover letters, and writing samples needed for a professional career. Here are examples of the kind of real-world projects I have guided them through in my classes.
This special topics course focuses on how to curate exhibits for galleries and other venues, working specifically with net art, interactive media, and born-digital literature
A required core course for all DTC majors in The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program, DTC 475 "Digital Diversity" teaches crucial information about "the cultural impact of electronic media, especially the World Wide Web; issues of race, class, gender, and sexually online." My course uses video games as the lens by which to study diversity.
I have curated 22 exhibitions and performances for venues, such as the British Computer Society, the Library of Congress, and the Paul Walkins Gallery at Winona State University, for organizations including the ACM Hypertext, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, Modern Language Association, and the Electronic Literature Organization, and events like the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. I currently serve as the Curator of ELO's The NEXT.
Making is not separate from thinking. This basic concept suggests that creation lies at the heart of my scholarship. The writing I do generates from the art and design I produce and results in new theories and approaches to my work and potentially have impact on the work of others. Over the course of my academic career, I have produced numerous media art projects, published nine books and 67 articles, overseen the reconstruction of seven works on interactive media, and given 154 talks.
While grants help to fund research projects, they also serve a more important role in showing value and impact of my work. Likewise, receiving external support for my program and students make it clear that they are valuable assets to the community. Since 2010 when my program became an independent unit, I brought in approximately $100K per year in donations for student fellowships and grant funding, which also provides support for students.
I share an office suite with the CMDC faculty in The Digs (VMMC 24) on the ground floor of the multimedia building. When I am not there, I can be found in the beautiful Skybox where ELL is located (VMMC 211A). You can also reach me on Zoom, Slack, email, or via text message. I also love Facebook and Twitter, so Friend me and Follow me.