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 Electronic Literature, specifically building multimedial environments and experiences for live performance, installations, and curated spaces; desktop computers; and mobile media devices. She has authored 16 media works such as “Curlew” (2014), “A Villager’s Tale” (2011), the “24-Hour Micro E-Lit Project” (2009), “When Ghosts Will Die” (2008), and “Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts" (2005), as well as 55 scholarly articles and four books. She also curates exhibits of electronic literature and media art, mounting shows 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. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization, Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews and Literary Studies in the Digital Age (LSDA), and a series editor for Electronic Literature, with Bloomsbury Press. In 2017 She was awarded the Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship by her university. She also directs the Electronic Literature Lab at WSUV.

Recent Awards:
Honourable Mention, 2018 Open Scholarship Award, Canadian Social Knowledge Institute;
2017-19 Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship;
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, International Digital Media Arts Association;
2016 Real Hero Honoree, "For Exemplary Service to Education";
2014 WSUV's Student's Award for Teaching Excellence

Project Management, Curating, Multimedia Design, Interactive Design

Favorite Quote:
"No guts, no glory"

Some 1sts:
Created the 1st research website in North Texas (1993); was the 1st person to defend a dissertation in a virtual environment (1995)
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Certifications & Additional Education
In progress: The Digital Archives Specialist certificate from the Society of American Archivists (2017--); completed: Intensive Professional Development course, "Curating after New Media," from the University of Sunderland, London Campus (2014) and post-doc in interactive art with the Planetary Collegium at the University of Plymouth (2002-4)

dgrigar@mac.com, dgrigar@wsu.edu

Twitter Handle:

(360) 546-9487

CMDC Website:

WSUV Address:
14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98686-9600

Administrative Work

For the last 12 years I have directed the CMDC Program, doubling the number of faculty lines and growing the number of students from 44 in 2006 to 250 in 2018.  With a tag line of “Learn, Think, Build” we specialize 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 am serving for a second term as President of the Electronic Literature Organization.

Current Research

Rebooting Electronic Literature

Rebooting Electronic Literature is an open-source, multimedia book that documents seven pre-web works of electronic literature held in the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) library at Washington State University Vancouver. Written and produced by the ELL Team—Dene Grigar, Nicholas Schiller, Vanessa Rhodes, Mariah Gwin, Veronica Whitney, and Katie Bowen—the book features 85,000 words of artist biographies, descriptions of media, and critical essays; 350 photos of artists, works, and their original packaging; and 55 videos of artist readings and interviews and Live Stream Traversals.

A Comprehensive Online Portal for Electronic Literature Works (COPE)

COPE sees the migration of the Electronic Literature Organization’s (ELO) archives to an open source repository system that ensures their preservation and access to the public. It is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. PIs: Dr. Dene Grigar, Professor & Director, Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver; Nicholas Schiller, Librarian III, Washington State University Vancouver; Dr. Abby Adams, Digital Archivist, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; and Dr. Leonardo Flores, Professor, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez

Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices

Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices, co-edited with James O'Sullivan, is a volume of essays that provides a detailed account of born-digital literature by artists and scholars who have contributed to its birth and evolution. It will be published in 2018 by Bloomsbury Press.

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    Digital Storytelling

    DTC 354

    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.

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    Design & Composition

    DTC 336

    This course teaches the principles of multimedia design and includes theory and practice for visual, sonic, movement, gestures, and interactivity. The final project involves the development of an interactive piece that utilizes projections and the Kinect Game System to tell a story.

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    Language, Texts, and Technology

    DTC 375

    "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.

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    Senior Seminar

    DTC 497

    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.

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    Curating Multimedia Exhibits

    DTC 338

    This special topics course focuses on how to curate exhibits for galleries and other venues, working specifically with electronic literature, or "e-lit"––that is, born digital "works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer."

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    Digital Diversity

    DTC 475

    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.


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 published 55 articles, averaging over two or more per year, and four books.

Media Art
  • DrowZ Driver App. With Drs. Hans Van Dongen (WSU Spokane, Sleep Lab), Sandip Roy (WSU Pullman, Engineering) and Michael Ebinger (WSU University Center for Innovation). Funded by a Commercialization grant from WSU, this app utilizes a patented sensor and algorithm to detect drowsy driver behavior via steering wheel motion. Completed June 2016
  • Drowsy Driver App. With Drs. Hans Van Dongen (WSU Spokane, Sleep Lab), Sandip Roy (WSU Pullman, Engineering) and Michael Ebinger (WSU University Center for Innovation) I am working to develop an app that utilizes a patented sensor and algorithm to detect drowsy driver behavior from steering wheel motion. $50K/$22K to my team.
  • Devonian Botanic Garden App. An interpretative app for the Devonian Botanic Garden's New Islamic Garden, Edmonton, Canada. Hussein Keshani, University of British Columbia, Lee Foote, Devonian Botanic Garden; Dene Grigar, WSUV. Funded by a 2014 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). $198,259.
  • Curlew. A work of e-Poetry that tells the story of one man’s encounter with the forces of nature. It involves three versions 1) a three-wall projection for a black box environment for live performance, 2) a single monitor for gallery installations, and 3) an app-book environment for tablets. It debuted in October 2014 at the OLE .01 International Festival of Electronic Literature. Naples, Italy, and will be featured at the ELO media arts show in Bergen, Norway, in August 2015.
  • “Grand Emporium of the West.” Fort Vancouver Mobile. With Brett Oppegaard (WSUV, CMDC). Digital narratives developed for iPhone and Android focusing on the history of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Funded by a 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities, “We the People” (through ODH), $19,421.
  • “A Villager’s Tale.” Fort Vancouver Mobile. With Brett Oppegaard (WSUV, CMDC). Digital narratives developed for iPhone and Android focusing on the history of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Funded by a 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities “Start Up Grant.” $50,000.
  • "Things of Day and Dream." Corporeal poetry. With Jeannette Altman.
  • Rhapsody Room. Virtual environment for language explorations and digital poetry.
  • “Virtual DJ". With Steve Gibson (U Victoria, Fine Art). Performance-installation involving sensor-based motion tracking technology.
  • When Ghosts Will Die. Narrative performance-installation. With Steve Gibson (U Victoria, Fine Art). Finalist. Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards, 2008.
Books & Peer-Reviewed Essays
  • O'Sullivan, James & Dene Grigar. Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices. Manuscipt completed & submitted for publication to Bloomsbury Press.
  • O’Sullivan, James & Dene Grigar. "The Origins of Electronic Literature on the Web." SAGE Handbook of Web History. Forthcoming fall 2018.
  • Grigar, Dene. "Archiving Electronic Literature: Selection Criteria, Methodology, and Challenges." Journal of Archival Organization. Manuscript accepted and in final revision.
  • Grigar, Dene and Nicholas Schiller. "Born Digital Preservation: A Live Internet Traversal of Sarah Smith's 'King of Space.'" International Journal of Digital Humanities. Manuscript in production.
  • Grigar, Dene, Nicholas Schiller et al. Rebooting Electronic Literature: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media. Published June 2018
  • Grigar, Dene & Stuart Moulthrop. "Traversals: Documenting Experience in Electronic Literature." The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. Ed. Jentery Sayers. NY, NY: Routledge Press.
  • Published.
  • Grigar, Dene & Stuart Moulthrop. Traversals: The Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing. The MIT Press, 2017
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  • Grigar, Dene. "Rhapsodic Textualities." Digital Media and Textuality: From Creating to Archiving. Ed. Daniela Cortes Maduro. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript International Academic Publishing, 2017
  • Grigar, Dene. "The Legacy of Judy Malloy's Uncle Roger. #WomenTechLit. Edited by Maria Mencia. University of West Virginia Press's Computing Literature book series, 2017.
  • Mauro, Aaron, Daniel Powell, Sarah Povin, Eric Dye, Bridget Jenkins, and Dene Grigar. "Toward a Seamful Design of Networked Knowledge: Practical Pedagogies in Collaborative Teams". Special Issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly.
  • Grigar, Dene. "'Syn[ning]' Bravely: Introduction to Next Horizons." Hyperrhiz 17. Spring 2017.
  • Grigar, Dene. "Electronic Literature and Digital Humanities: Opportunities for Practice, Scholarship, and Teaching." Doing Digital Humanities: Practice, Training and Research. Edited by Constance Crompton. NY, NY: Routledge Press. Book in production.
  • Grigar, Dene. "MOOs and Participatory Media." Social Media Archaeology and Practice. Ed. Judy Malloy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Oppegaard, Brett and Dene Grigar. “The Interrelationships of Digital Storytelling Mobile Media.” The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies. NY, NY: Routledge, 2013. 17-33.
  • Grigar, Dene, John Barber, Will Luers, Michael Rabby, Aaron May, and Brett Oppegaard. “Teaching Mobile App Design and Development.” International Digital Media & Arts Association Journal (9) 2013: 49-63.
  • “Hyperlinking in 3D Multimedia Performances.” Beyond the Screen: Transformations of Literary Structures, Interfaces and Genres. Ed. Jörgen Schäfer and Peter Gendolla. Bielefeld, Germany: Transaction Publishers, March 2010.
  • Grigar, Dene. "The Present [Future] of Electronic Literature." Transdisciplinary Digital Art: Sound, Vision and the New Screen. Ed. Randy Adams, Steve Gibson and Stefan Muller. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag Publications, 2008. 127-142.
  • Thomas, Sue and Dene Grigar. “The Emergent and Generative in Nature, the Digital and Art” “Wild Nature and the Digital Life” Special Issue, Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol 14, No. 7 - 8 (2006). 30 Nov. 2006.
  • Grigar, Dene. “The Role of Sound in Electronic Literature.” trAce Online Writing Center. Spring 2006.
  • Barber, John and Dene Grigar. New Worlds, New Words: Exploring Pathways for Writing about and in Electronic Environments. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2001.
Non-Peered-Reviewed Books & Essays
  • Grigar, Dene, Nicholas Schiller, et al. Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature, 2nd Edition. In progress.
  • Grigar, Dene. "'The Great Migration’ and Other Tales of Jason Edward Lewis’ Mobile Poetry.” Forthcoming in P.o.E.M.M. The Album. 2015.
Conferences, Keynotes & Invited Talks
  • "Preserving a Cultural Legacy of Born Digital Literature." Forthcoming at the 2018 International conference on Arabic Electronic Literature: New Horizons and Global Perspectives. RIT-Dubai Campus. February 2018.
  • "Exposé! The Global Practice of Curating E-Lit Exhibits." Forthcoming at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Art Festival. July 2017; Porto, Portugal.
  • "The Sappho Syndrome: Concerns in Preserving Works of Born-Digital Media." Forthcoming at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Art Festival. July 2017; Porto, Portugal.
  • Invited Talk. "Electronic Literature and the Art of Preservation." Forthcoming. Kingston University. London, UK; February 1, 2017
  • “Local Digital Humanities.” The 2017 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2017; Philadelphia, PA.
  • "Interfaces & Reader Experience." Keynote at International Digital Media Arts Association. October 2016; Winona, MN.
  • "Rhapsodic Textuality." Keynote at International Conference on Digital Media and Textuality. November 2016; Bremen, Germany.
  • "Best Practices for Arching Electronic Literature.” The 2016 Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Arts Festival. June 2016; Victoria, B.C.
  • "Challenge of Archiving and Documenting Electronic Literature.” Archival Uncertainties: International Conference on Literary Archives. April 2016; British Library, London, UK.
  • "Reader Mediations in Electronic Literature." Forthcoming at The 2016 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2016; Austin, TX.
  • "New Collecting––Curating after New Media Art." International Symposium of Electronic Art.” August 2015; Vancouver, B.C.
  • "Intermediality and Electronic Literature." The Electronic Literature Organization 2015 Conference. August 2015; Bergen, Norway.
  • "Open Roundtable: Curating and Creating Electronic Works in  Arts Contexts"." The Electronic Literature Organization 2015 Conference. August 2015; Bergen, Norway.
  • "Botanic Gardens, Technology and Innovative Ways to Connect People with Nature." The Botanic Garden Conservation International Conference. Missouri Botanic Garden. April 26-May 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO.
  • "Uncle Buddy and an Argument for Collection." Narrative 2015. March 2015. Chicago, IL.
  • “Electronic Literature: Searching for Definition.” OLE.01 International Festival of Electronic Literature. October 2014; Naples, Italy.
  • "Preserving Literature through Documenting Readers’ Experience: The Pathfinders Project." The Electronic Literature Organization 2014 Conference. July 2014; Milwaukee, WI.
  • “Digital Humanities and Media Studies: Exploring the Intersections.” With Jason Rhody, Anne Balsamo, Noah Waldrip-Fruin, and Lauren Klein. The 2014 Society for Cinema and Media Studies. March 2014; Seattle, WA.
  • “New Literary Terms for Poetry of the Computer Medium.” The 2014 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2014; Chicago, IL.
  • “Critical Making in the Digital Humanities.” The 2014 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2014; Chicago, IL.
  • “hooks in the 21St Century: Feminist Pedagogy in Action.” The 2013 Digital Humanities Conference. July 2013; Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • “Digital Writing: Performances and Readings of Electronic Literature.” The Association of Writers & Writing Programs 2013 Conference and Book Fair. April 2013; Boston, MA.
  • "Chercher l’exhibition". The Electronic Literature Organization Paris. September 2013; Paris, France.
  • "Bringing the Art of Design to the National Park Service: The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project.” The Electronic Literature Organization 2012 Conference. June 2012; Morgantown, WV.
  • “Narrative in Social Media.” The 2011 Inter-Society of Electronic Artists Conference. September 2011; Istanbul, Turkey.
  • "Contrasts and Convergences of Electronic Literature." The 2012 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2011; Seattle, WA.
  • “Art and Platforms: Artistic Practices of Electronic Literature.” The 2012 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2011; Seattle, WA.
  • “Teaching App Design and Development.” The 2011 International Digital Media & Art Association Conference. October 2011; Savannah, GA.
  • “Sound as Sensory Modality in Electronic Literature.” The 2010 Modern Language Association Conference. January 2011; Los Angeles, CA.
  • “Practice-Led Research.” A special two-day symposium associated with “Creative Nation: Writers and Writing in the New Media Culture.” December 2010; U of Western Sydney.
  • “The Intermedial Experience of Barcodes.” The 2010 International Digital Media & Arts Association Conference. November 2010. Vancouver, BC.
  • “Reconsidering the Electronic Literary Artifact: E-Books, Twitterature, and Digitalized Richard Brautigan.” With Terry Harpold and John Barber. Archive and Innovate: The 4th International Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Festival. June 2010; Providence, RI.
  • "'A Breach, [and] an Expansion': The Humanities and Digital Media." Special Panel entitled "Locating the Literary in Digital Media." The 2009 Modern Language Association Conference. December 2009; Philadelphia, PA.
  • “E-Ject: On the Ephemeral Nature, Genres, & Criticism of Electronic Objects.” Digital Art and Culture. December 2009; Irvine, CA.
  • “Undergraduate Research, Civic Engagement, and Digital Media.” The International Digital Media & Arts Association 2009 Conference. November 2009; Muncie, IN.
  • "Foundations for a Program in Digital Media: A Case Study." With John Barber. International Digital Media & Arts Association 2008 Conference. November 2008; Savannah, GA.
  • “Hyperlinking in 3D Multimedia Performances.” Hypertext 2008. June 2008; Pittsburgh, PA.
  • "Corporeal Poetry: Experiments with 3D Poetry in the MOVE Lab." Visionary Landscapes: The 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference. May 2008; Vancouver, WA.
  • “Mindful Games: Play Environments, Cognition, and Embodiment.” The Society of Literature, Science, and the Arts. November 2007; Portland, Maine.
  • “Process-Intensive Literature.” The Future of Electronic Literature, sponsored by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities and the Electronic Literature Organization. May 3, 2007; College Park, MD.
  • “'The Telebody': Case Studies of the Intersection of Globalism, Identity, and Technology in the Media Arts.” The 2007 Conference on College Composition and Communication. March 2007; NY, NY.
  • “The Present [Future] of Electronic Literature.” Interactive Futures 2007. November 2007; Victoria, BC.
  • “Changing Perspectives of War and Violent Gaming: Translating a Performance-Installation to a Non-Zero Sum Serious Game.” With Steve Gibson. 2007 Digital Arts and Culture Conference. September 2007; Perth, Australia. (Invited but unable to attend).
  • “New Media + Rhetoric : A Round Table Discussion.” With David Sutton, Cheri Crenshaw, Jennifer Brockman, Aliscia Rogers, and Christi Hilger. The Computers and Writing Conference. May 2006; Lubbock, TX.
  • “Rhetoric of the Senses.” The Computers and Writing Conference. May 2006; Lubbock, TX.
  • “Kinesthesia and Interactivity in Electronic Literature.” Collision 2006 Symposium on Inter-arts Research and Practice. September 2006; Victoria, BC.
  • “Mad, Noble, or Simply Human?: Scientists in Literature and the Media.” With Sidney Perkowitz and Jennifer Rohn. The 4th European Society of Literature and Science Meeting. June 2006; Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • “The Role of Sound in Electronic Literary Works.” Interactive Futures 2006: Audio Visions. February 2006; Victoria, BC.


I share an office suite with the CMDC faculty in The Digs (VMMC 24) located in 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) or hunkered down working in the MOVE Lab (VCLS 3). Because I carry my phone everywhere I go, email or text messaging is the best way to contact me. I also love Facebook and Twitter, so Friend me and Follow me.

Contact Me
  • marker image14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave., Vancouver, WA, 98686
  • phone image +1 360 546 9487
  • mail image dgrigar@mac.com
  • magnifier imagehttp://dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc
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