WSU Vancouver’s “Pathfinders” invites community to explore early electronic literature

Tue, 10/08/2013 - 12:29pm -- brenda_alling

VANCOUVER, Wash. – “Pathfinders,” a research project led by Dene Grigar, director of the creative media and digital culture program at Washington State University Vancouver; and Stuart Moulthrop, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will present author Shelley Jackson at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Angst Gallery at 1015 Main Street, Vancouver, Wash. This event is free and open to the public.

Jackson is the author of “Patchwork Girl,” a work of electronic literature published in 1995 that is often discussed as an important work of hypertext fiction. It was written in Storyspace, which is one of the first stand-alone, hypertext-authoring software programs before Web browsers became common, and published in Eastgate Systems. Early electronic literature will be the focus of Jackson’s lecture.

“Pathfinders” explores the concept of digital preservation, questioning what happens to literary works meant to be experienced digitally when the medium it was displayed on updates, changes or becomes obsolete. The project includes an exhibit of early digital literature displayed on vintage computers at Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge located inside the North Bank Artists Gallery at 1005 Main Street, Vancouver, Wash.

The focus of “Pathfinders” is to make documentary video recordings of Jackson and two readers as they interact with electronic literature. These recording sessions are called “traversals.” Jackson’s work, as well as that of three other authors who are the subject of this research project,  will be produced as a multimedia book for free distribution to scholars and others interested in early digital literature.

“Pathfinders” is funded by a Start Up Grant from the Office of Digital Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information about the Pathfinders project, visit

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Dene Grigar, Creative Media and Digital Culture, 360-546-9487,   

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,