Events like this one take place because a lot of people work to make them happen. "An Afternoon with
afternoon" is no different.
I thank, first and foremost, Michael Joyce, because there would be no event without him. Both his creative and scholarly work have inspired, as N. Katherine Hayles points out in her essay, "Electronic Literature: What Is It?", "three generations" of born digital literature and criticism. I personally thank him for helping to organize the event, participating in the Traversal as Reader, and providing so much information about afternoon, a story, for the exhibition.
The event and exhibition are both sponsored by the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) that I direct at Washington State University Vancouver. Founded in 2011, ELL focuses on advanced inquiry into curation, documentation, preservation of electronic literature. A diverse team of faculty, graduates & undergraduates from the CMDC program contributes to the lab's mission and efforts. Assisting with "An Afternoon with afternoon" are Nicholas Schiller, Associate Director, who edited my technical information and located much needed scholarly sources. Holly Slocum, the lab's Project Manager, created the gorgeous design and the coding for the website and provided input into the organization of the event; Greg Philbrook, Technical Specialist, provided guidance for the technical needs of the event. Kathleen Zoller, Undergraduate Researcher, will develop the material we collect from the event into the Scalar book the lab will publish.
I thank my university for its onging support of the lab and the Electronic Literature Organization for its support of the lab's preservation activities.
The 29-year journey leading to this exhibition and event began in 1991 while a graduate student at UT Dallas studying under Nancy Kaplan, who introduced me to hypertext, Storyspace, and Michael's work. Through her suggestion I participated in my first conference —the Computers & Writing Conference 1993—where I met Michael. Four years later, while teaching at Texas Woman's University, I was assigned to drive Michael from the airport to campus for his invited talk to the English Department. Michael may not remember, but during that long haul from Grapevine to Denton, we chatted animately about Janet Murray's Hamlet on the Holodeck, which had just been released. By the end of 2001 I had completed Kate Hayles' NEH Summer Seminar and decided to devote my career to born digital literary art, joining the Board of Directors of ELO in 2006. I became friends with fellow Board Member and hypertext author Stuart Moulthrop, who coincidentially is married to Nancy. By 2013 Stuart and I were collaborating on the Pathfinders project and Traversals book (The MIT Press, 2017), pioneering documentation methodology for born digital literature. Stuart reconnected me with Michael, which resulted in Michael and his wife—noted hypertext author Carolyn Guyer— visiting ELL in 2016. While here, we held a preliminary Traversal of afternoon, a story with the plan to host a live one at some future date. That future is now the present, and for that I am grateful.
I end by thanking my husband and partner John Barber who supports any and all wild ideas I have. Such is the folly of love.