A Site for Collaborative Reading of E-Lit

As scholars experiment with collaborative, multimodal approaches to analyzing electronic literature, the tools, methods, and practices of such collaboration become increasingly an issue. How do we share, edit, archive, and publish arguments that address and evolve across multiple types of data, platforms, and disciplines? How can the approaches (data visualization, code analysis, textual explication, bibliographic history, etc.) be shared in ways that other scholars can engage not just with the final interpretations but also with the processes that lead to them? Recent publications such as 10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10, represent the value of such collaborative efforts in combining media archaeology, platform studies, software studies, and Critical Code Studies. Our own work in collaboratively close reading William Poundstone’s “Project for Tachistoscope: [Bottomless Pit],” which we presented at ELO 2010 (held at Brown University) and are now developing as a book for Iowa UP, has prompted us to reflexively consider how the processes of our own collaboration might prove generative to other scholars. Supported by an ACLS Collaborative Scholarship Fellowship 2012-2013, we are developing an open-access scholarly website to facilitate collaborative critical interpretations of digital art, a platform for digital humanities scholarship focused on born-digital poetics. The goal is to produce a workbench where scholars can apply critical tools to works of electronic literature and share the results of their investigations. We propose to present this website, in its nascent stages, and discuss its ambitions and affordances to producing complex, multimodal, and collaborative critical readings.