A grant from the Quebec government will allow West Virginia University’s Department of English to bring in speakers for a digital writing mini-conference in April as well as provide aid for research projects.

Sandy Baldwin, associate professor of English and director of the Center for Literary Computing, applied for the $6,000 grant.

The grant aims to do two things: Bring faculty from Quebec who focus on digital writing to WVU’s digital writing conference and facilitate research between WVU and Canadian faculty.

The Laboratoire NT2 at Universit� du Qu�bec � Montr�al focuses on new technologies and new textualities. The university is a leading center for studying digital writing, with a focus on the creative aspects of digital writing. Baldwin wants to introduce their work, specifically the Quebecois aspect to WVU. Their work will be presented at the conference.

Secondly, Baldwin has an existing research project with the NT2 Lab, which involves creating an integrated search engine for research into electronic literature on the web. This grant will facilitate a meeting between the investigators in this project.

The project involves 10 research centers around the world, all of which are developing online databases devoted in part or in whole to electronic literature.

“The field of electronic literature now has a critical mass: it is taught at universities everywhere, and featured in libraries,” Baldwin said. “However, there are no standard and unified research tools for the field. Our project is creating the first of such tools.”

All of the 10 projects are reconfiguring their databases to make records available in a standard format. These records will be indexed and made available as a search engine over the web.

The Department promotes digital writing in a variety of ways. They offer courses in digital writing, as well as a study abroad program in Portugal focusing on the topic. WVU is also home to the only book series focused on creative aspects of digital writing. The series features monographs by leading scholars, and is edited and produced by students in the department. It is released and marketed through a distribution agreement with the WVU Press.

Baldwin wants attendees of the conference to learn more about the diversity electronic literature, particularly the exciting Francophone electronic literature being studied by NT2.

The conference will take place in April 9-11. It includes additional support from the WVU Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. The conference is free and open to the public.

For more information on the grant, or the conference please contact Sandy Baldwin at Charles.Baldwin@mail.wvu.edu or by phone at 304-293-9703.



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Director of Communication and Marketing, Eberly College
304-293-6867, Devon.Copeland@mail.wvu.edu

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