An Afternoon with Afternoon promotional logo

30th Anniversary Celebration of Michael Joyce's afternoon, a story
hosted by the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver

Reader Biographies

N. Katherine Hayles

N. Katherine Hayles is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the James B. Duke Professor of Literature Emerita at Duke University. She writes on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is the author of the multiple prize-winning How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Her most recent book is Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious.

J Yellowlees Douglas

Yellowlees Douglas has dedicated over 35 years to studying how writing works, including one of the first-ever studies of student writing outcomes in online classrooms, conducted in 1986. Her interest in how reading works in novel environments, like hypertext fiction, led her to discover the cognitive, linguistic, and psychological bases for reading comprehension and recall. Her interest in writing led to over 60 publications spanning more than a dozen disciplines, ranging from management and computer science to genetics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, and pulmonary medicine—including one study currently being used in research on COVID-19. Her fiction was selected for Post Modern Fiction: A Norton Anthology, and her two most recent books, The Reader’s Brain: How Neuroscience Can Make You a Better Writer (2015) and The Biomedical Writer: What You Need to Succeed in Academic Medicine (2018) were both published by Cambridge University Press.

Douglas is a veteran and founder and director of four writing programs, including a writing in the disciplines program, a university-wide first-year writing program, a program in business communication, and an NIH-funded program for faculty, dedicated to writing grants and manuscripts in basic, translational, and clinical medicine, all at the University of Florida. For 15 years, Yellowlees was also a copywriter and partner in an advertising agency with branches in New York, Philadelphia, and London, catering to Fortune 500 clients, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, CunardSeabourn Cruise Lines, and Abbott Laboratories.

Douglas was a contestant on Jeopardy! in 2013 and one of the authors of an amicus curiae brief in the US Supreme Court Case, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Assn., argued in 2010. Douglas received her BA and MA degrees in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and her PhD in reading and writing in post-secondary education from New York University. She is currently Director of Writing and an Associate Professor of English at Holy Names University, in Oakland, CA.

Stuart Moulthrop

Stuart Moulthrop received his first copies of Storyspace and afternoon from Michael Joyce in 1985. His Yale PhD dissertation contains an 18-page coda on afteroon, which his ultimate dissertation advisor, J. Hillis Miller, called the best part of the project. In 1988 Moulthrop was part of the TINAC salon (Textuality, Intertextuality, Narrative, and Computing, or This Is Not a Conference), which allowed Joyce, John McDaid, and himself to spend many aimless hours in Nancy Kaplan's Ithaca kitchen. Other TINAC alumni include Yellowlees Douglas, Jay David Bolter, and official non-member Carolyn Guyer.

Moulthrop's electronic publications include the Storyspace work Victory Garden (1991), which Robert Coover once called a "benchmark" for digital writing, plus a host of works in various web platforms, from Hegirascope (1995, 1997) to Dread Box (2020). In 2007 two of Moulthrop's efforts won international prizes prizes for electronic fiction and poetry. In 2001, Moulthrop and Kaplan founded the School of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore, whose M.A. program briefly included Chris Klimas, who proposed the Twine digital writing platform as a thesis project in 2008. He left the program with his teachers' reluctant blessing in order to concentrate on Twine.

Moulthrop moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010. He hosted the ELO annual conference there in 2014 and the next year, with Dene Grigar, launched the NEH-supported Pathfinders project to document the experience of early electronic literature. This led to the book Traversals: The Uses of Preservation for Early Electronic Literature, (Moulthrop and Grigar) from MIT Press in 2017. Teaching game studies and electronic literature brought Moulthrop to the now thriving Twine world, and in 2018 he joined an ongoing research project by Anastasia Salter, leading to Twining: Critical and Creative Perspectives on the Twine Platform (Salter and Moulthrop), forthcoming from Amherst College Press. Moulthrop is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

John McDaid

John G. McDaid (@jmcdaid) is a science fiction writer, singer-songwriter, and freelance journalist from Portsmouth, RI. His 1993 hypermedia novel, Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouse, was one of the subjects of the 2017 book, “Traversals,” from MIT Press. As a member of the TINAC collective, he has spoken on digital narrative at dozens of colleges and conferences. An MFA candidate in fiction at Salve Regina University, he is currently working on a WWII alternate history novel and an album of original music. Songs and fiction at

Walter Vannini

In 1992, hypertexts were going to revolutionise literature and the world, and Vannini had all it took: an MS in CS, experience as a hypertext researcher, a signed copy of Ted Nelson's Literary Machines and Italy's first copy of HyperCard. So it was only natural that from his encounter with Michael Joyce would erupt a time-defying friendship, a passion for StorySpace and the crazy idea to attempt a world first: translating "afternoon, a story", the world's first literary hypertext, from English to Italian.

The translation (or, rather, the port) saw the light in early 1993 in the form of a booklet-plus-double-diskette (the kind now considered to be a 3D print of the "save" icon) published by Castelvecchi Editore and Human Systems (Vannini's company); it featured "afternoon" in Italian, the first inter(net)view with Michael Joyce and the first hypernovel by an italian author, "RA-DIO" by Lorenzo Miglioli.

The operation was well received in market terms, then the World-Wide Web came around and the world completely failed to change as expected. Vannini today is a certified GDPR auditor, still unable to understand why writing software is so bloody primitive and only occasionally holding a towel and raising a hopeful thumb to the sky.

Mariusz Pisarski

Mariusz Pisarski: translator, editor and director of several digital literature projects in Poland, including translations of Michael Joyce’s afternoon. a story (Kraków 2011) and Twilight. A Symphony (Kraków 2015). The former is an edition published on a CD-rom for offline reading in browsers, the latter a full online edition. He is also an editor and co-author of Michael Joyce. Polski Pisarz (2011, eng. Michael Joyce. A Polish Writer) – a digital monograph on Joyce with interviews and articles partly focusing on writer’s affiliations with Polish Americans and Polish culture.

He holds a PhD on hypertext fiction and is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Journalism and Media, University of Technology and Communication in Rzeszów, Poland and at the Department of Philosophy, University of Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia.

Arnaud Regnauld

Arnaud Regnauld is Professor of American Literature and Translation Studies and Vice-President for Research at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis. After writing extensively on John Hawkes’ later works, he has conducted research on Carter Scholz, Gary Lutz, Diane Williams and Matthew Derby’s short-stories, Percival Everett, Ben Marcus, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Richard Powers’ novels, Jim Rosenberg’s electronic poetry as well as on Mark Amerika, Michael Joyce, Shelley Jackson, Illya Szilak and Grégory Chatonsky’s digital and print works. He is the author of a monograph on Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson (to be published in 2020) and the editor of several collective works, the most recent ones being The Digital Subject, Dijon: Labex Arts-H2H-Presses du réel, 2017 and Subjectivités numériques et posthumain, Presses Universités de Rennes, 2020. His most recent research focuses on new forms of textuality in the digital era and their translation as well as on the relationship between art, literature and philosophy.

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Professor of English and Digital Studies at the University of Maryland, and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies. He is the author of Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press, 2008) and Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (Harvard UP, 2016). Most recently he co-founded and co-directs BookLab, a makerspace, studio, and community press dedicated to teaching the creative and experimental book arts. He has been spending afternoons (and mornings and evenings) with afternoon for about 25 years now, ever since he first heard someone say "poetry" and decided he wanted to hear about it.

Maria Engberg

Maria Engberg is Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology, Malmö University, Sweden. Ph.D. in English (dissertation on digital poetry, Uppsala University, 2007). Engberg is the Director of the research program Data Society at Malmö University ( She is also an Affiliate Researcher with the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech. Main research interests include digitalisation, digital humanities, computational media, augmented, mixed & virtual reality, media theory, urban media, and media aesthetics. Forthcoming work include Reality Media (with Jay David Bolter and Blair MacIntyre, MIT Press).

Heather Malin

Heather has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in institutional advancement and financial oversight, working with organizations in a number of sectors, including higher education, healthcare, and the arts. She has created successful strategies and sustainable fiscal models, and led highly effective teams. Heather has also worked in the for-profit sector, and has particular expertise in project management and systems development.

Heather graduated from Vassar College with a B.A in English with a focus on electronic texts and literary theory.

Dene Grigar

Dene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV). She is a curator of media art and electronic literature, creating exhibits for venues and organizations, such as the Library of Congress, the Modern Language Association, the ELO. She is also the author of media art works, such as “Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts” and “The Jungfrau Tapes: A Conversation with Diana Slattery about The Glide Project,” both of which appeared in Iowa Review Web in October 2004, and When Ghosts Will Die (with Canadian multimedia artist Steve Gibson), a multimedia performance piece that experiments with motion tracking technology to produce narrative. She is also a recipient, with Stuart Moulthrop, of a 2013 NEH Start Up grant for a digital preservation project, entitled Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature and co-author with him on the book entitled, Traversals: The Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing. In 2016 she was awarded the Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship at WSU. She directs the Electronic Literature Lab at WSUV.

Astrid Ensslin

Astrid Ensslin is Professor in Digital Humanities and Game Studies who divides her teaching and research activities between the Departments of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, and Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta. Prior to her arrival, she held faculty, research, and teaching positions in the UK, at the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Bangor. Her main publications include Literary Gaming (MIT Press, 2014), Analyzing Digital Fiction (Routledge, 2013), The Language of Gaming (Palgrave, 2011), Creating Second Lives: Community, Identity and Spatiality as Constructions of the Virtual (Routledge, 2011), Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions (Bloomsbury, 2007), and Language in the Media: Representations, Identity, Ideology (Bloomsbury, 2007). She is the Principal Editor of Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds and has led externally funded research projects on videogames across cultures, reading and analyzing digital fiction, and specialized language corpora. In her previous post at Bangor University she was Deputy Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.