Dene Grigar

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This image shows Dene Grigar speaking in an auditorium at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
Dene Grigar speaking during the Colloquium at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, the University of Victoria, British Columbia, June 2014.

Dene Grigar is a digital artist and scholar based in Vancouver, Washington. She was the President of the Electronic Literature Organization from 2013 to 2019.[1] In 2016, Grigar received the International Digital Media and Arts Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Dene Grigar married John Barber.[3] Her mother is from what was then Czechoslovakia.[4]


Grigar is Professor and Director of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.[5] Her scholarship is largely focused on electronic literature, and has appeared in journals like Computers and Composition[6] and Technoculture.[7] She co-authored Traversals: The Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing (MIT Press 2017) with Stuart Moulthrop.[8] The book was a product of a 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Startup Grant.[9] Grigar's scholarly interests can be traced back to the early 1990s, when she took a class with Nancy Kaplan.[10]

Grigar has done extensive work curating exhibitions of digital art and electronic literature, including for the Library of Congress[11] and Modern Language Association.[12] Grigar helped lead the ELO repository in 2018, which was funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.[13] Grigar is now curating and editing the NeXt, an online digital museum and library, which presents preserved and emulated works of digital art and writing.[14]

Grigar was a member of the Kairos editorial board.[3]


Grigar co edited a volume of essays, Electronic Literature as Digital Humanities: Contexts, Forms, and Practices. This work collates essays on the state of electronic literature in 2021.



Grigar's essays mainly concern pedagogy and archiving aspects of electronic literature.

  • Defending your life in MOOspace: A report from the electronic edge, 1997 with John Barbar (presented at the Thirteenth Computers and Writing Conference, 1997)[16]
  • Over the line, online, gender lines: Email and women in the classroom, 1999.[17]
  • On Chance and Change and the Paths on Which They Take Us, 2006[4]
  • he Jungfrau Tapes: A Conversation with Diana Slattery about The Glide Project, both published by the Iowa Review Web[18]
  • Electronic literature: Where Is It?, 2008.[19]
  • Curating Electronic Literature as Critical and Scholarly Practice, 2014[20]
  • Born digital preservation of e-lit: a live internet traversal of Sarah Smith's King of Space, 2019[21]
  • The computer is not a tool to help us do whatever we do, it is what we do, it is the medium on which we work: Dene Grigar in conversation with Piotr Marecki, 2019
  • Challenges to Archiving and Documenting Born-Digital Literature: What Scholars, Archivists, and Librarians Need to Know, 2021 (Grigar's chapter in Electronic Literature as Digital Humanities: Contexts, Forms, and Practices.)

Electronic Literature and Artworks[edit]

Grigar has produced a number of multimodal artworks, including:

  • Fallow Fields: A Story in Two Parts (2004) was published in The Iowa Review Web,[22]
  • When Ghosts Will Die, a finalist in the 2006 Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards.[23]
  • 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project centers on a collection of 24 stories about life in an American city in the 21st Century and involves 140 characters or less delivered—that is, "tweeted"—on Twitter over a 24 hr. period. Launched on Friday, August 21, 2009. The work asked for other contributions, and over 85 stories were submitted by 25+ participants from five countries in that timeframe[18]
  • Fort Vancouver Mobile project was funded by the NEH.[24] This was a locative / mixed media effort that brings together a core team of 23 scholars, digital storytellers, new media producers, historians, and archaeologists to create location-aware nonfiction content for mobile phones to be used at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.[18]
  • Curlew, which was featured at the 2014 OLE.1 festival in Naples,[25]


Traversals: A method of preservation for born-digital texts, with Stuart Moulthrop, 2017[26] (includes The Many Faces of Judy Malloy's Uncle Roger)

Collections and Collaborations[edit]

Dene Grigar's 1997 Nouspace Gallery and Media Lounge was a MOO that "offered a place to continue thinking about what it means to live and work online and how one best interacts with and presents multimedia on the web." as Marjorie Luesebrink described in #WomenTechLit as a landmark innovation [27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "People | Electronic Literature Organization". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  2. ^ "iDMAa Award Recipients". Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  3. ^ a b "Kairos: Past, Present and Future(s)". Kairos. June 1997. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Grigar, Dene (2006). Technology and English Studies (1st ed.). Routledge. ISBN 9781003064305.
  5. ^ "Dene Grigar | English | Washington State University". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  6. ^ Grigar, Dene (2007). "What New Media Offers". Computers and Composition. 24 (2): 214–217. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2007.02.003.
  7. ^ "Documentation of Exhibit—The Intermedial Experience of Barcodes | Technoculture". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  8. ^ "Traversals". MIT Press. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  9. ^ "Pathfinders | Dene Grigar & Stuart Moulthrop, Co-Pis". Pathfinders. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  10. ^ "Interview with Dene Grigar". electronicliteraturereview. 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  11. ^ "Electronic Literature Showcase". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  12. ^ "E-lit Exhibit and Performance at MLA 2012". Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  13. ^ "ELO Repository Launches". Electronic Literature Organization. December 30, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  14. ^ "The NEXT". Electronic Literature Organization. November 21, 2022.
  15. ^ Grigar, Dene; Marecki, Piotr (2019). "The computer is not a tool to help us do whatever we do, it is what we do, it is the medium on which we work: Dene Grigar in conversation with Piotr Marecki" (PDF). Przegląd Kulturoznawczy. 2 (40): 229–243. doi:10.4467/20843860PK.19.013.10908. S2CID 213489516.
  16. ^ "New Words, New Worlds. Exploring Pathways for Writing about and in Electronic Environments Forum". Thirteenth Computers and Writing Conference 1997. 4–9 June 1997.
  17. ^ Grigar, Dene (1999). "Over the line, online, gender lines: E-mail and women in the classroom". Feminist Cyberscapes: Mapping Gendered Academic Spaces: 257–281. ISBN 9781567504385.
  18. ^ a b c Malloy, Judy. "The Process of Creating New Media". Narrabase. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  19. ^ Grigar, Dene (December 2008). "Electronic Literature: Where Is It?". Electronic Book Review. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  20. ^ Grigar, Dene (2014). "Curating Electronic Literature as Critical and Scholarly Practice". Digital Humanities Quarterly. 8 (4).
  21. ^ Grigar, Dene; Schiller, Nicholas (2019). "Born digital preservation of e-lit: a live internet traversal of Sarah Smith's King of Space". International Journal of Digital Humanities. 2: 47–57. doi:10.1007/s42803-019-00004-w. S2CID 88469882.
  22. ^ "Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts". Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP). Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  23. ^ "Drunken Boat 8". 2006. Archived from the original on 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  24. ^ "The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  25. ^ "OLE.1" (PDF). International Festival of Electronic Literature, Naples. 2014.
  26. ^ Grigar, Dene; Moulthrop, Stuart (May 1, 2018). Traversals: A method of preservation for born-digital texts. Routledge. pp. 351–361. ISBN 9781315730479.
  27. ^ #WomenTechLit. West Virginia University Press Computing Literature. p. 17.