Dene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver whose research focuses on the creation, curation, preservation, and criticism of Electronic Literature, specifically building multimedial environments and experiences for live performance, installations, and curated spaces; desktop computers; and mobile media devices. She has authored 14 media works such as “Curlew” (2014), “A Villager’s Tale” (2011), the “24-Hour Micro E-Lit Project” (2009), “When Ghosts Will Die” (2008), and “Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts" (2005), as well as 52 scholarly articles. She also curates exhibits of electronic literature and media art, mounting shows at the Library of Congress and for the Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA), among other venues. With Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee) she is the recipient of a 2013 NEH Start Up grant to support the digital preservation of early electronic literature, a project that culminated in an open-source, multimedia book entitled Pathfinders and book of media art criticism, entitled Traversals, for The MIT Press. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization and Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews. In 2017 She was awarded the Louis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship by WSU.
For the last 11 years I have directed the CMDC Program, doubling the number of faculty lines and growing the number of students from 44 in 2006 to 250 in 2017. With a tag line of “Learn, Think, Build” we specialize in game studies & design and making media objects like mobile apps, video, 2 & 3D animation, games, etc. The program is now one of five Signature Programs on the WSUV campus. I also direct two research labs, The Electronic Literature Lab and The MOVE Lab, and am serving for a second term as President of the Electronic Literature Organization.
BioLabVR: Competency-Based Learning in Simulated Environments is a Virtual Reality project aimed at producing the medium and tools for a multisensory, interactive, and immersive environment through which to teach concepts in biological sciences by direct experience, makes these activities possible.
Traversals: The Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing (2017), co-authored with Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee), is a book of critical essays about the four works documented in Pathfinders. It was released in March 2017.
Pathfinders (2015) is an open-source, multimedia book that documents four works of early digital literature, specifically pre-web hypertext fiction and poetry, from 1986-1995. Co-Authored with Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee), it was funded by a 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities "Start Up Grant."
Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices (2015), co-edited with James O'Sullivan, is a volume of essays that provides a detailed account of born-digital literature by artists and scholars who have contributed to its birth and evolution. It is under contract with the University of West Virginia Press and will be published in 2017.
This course explores narrative from a variety of approaches for computing devices, including desktop computers, smart phones and tablets. Students will learn how to analyze digital narratives with an eye toward understanding how best to produce their own.
This course teaches the principles of multimedia design and includes theory and practice for visual, sonic, movement, gestures, and interactivity. The final project involves the development of an interactive piece that utilizes projections and the Kinect Game System to tell a story.
"Language, Texts, and Technology" explores "the relationship between technology and communication; writing [re: authoring] practices from a historical point of view" ("WSU Catalog"). It is understood in this context that these three concepts refer specifically to computer language, computer-based texts, and computer technology.
The Senior Capstone course prepares DTC majors for careers in digital media or entry into graduate programs in digital media or a related field. Attention is given to providing a hands-on experience with directing and participating in a large digital media project; teaching how to engage in a critique of digital work; and helping with the preparation of requisite materials, like proposals, portfolios, resumes, cover letters, and writing samples needed for a professional career. Here are examples of the kind of real-world projects I have guided them through in my classes.
This special topics course focuses on how to curate exhibits for galleries and other venues, working specifically with electronic literature, or "e-lit"––that is, born digital "works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer."
A required core course for all DTC majors in The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program, DTC 475 "Digital Diversity" teaches crucial information about "the cultural impact of electronic media, especially the World Wide Web; issues of race, class, gender, and sexually online." My course uses video games as the lens by which to study diversity.
I have mounted 16 exhibits for venues such as the Library of Congress and the Paul Walkins Gallery at Winona State University, organizations including the International Symposium on Electronic Art, Modern Language Association and the Electronic Literature Organization, and events like the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. I also participated in the one-week intensive course, "Curating after New Media," offered by Dr. Beryl Smith (University of Sunderland, UK) in February 2015 in London.
Making is not separate from thinking. This basic concept suggests that creation lies at the heart of my scholarship. The writing I do generates from the art and design I produce and results in new theories and approaches to my work and potentially have impact on the work of others. Below is a list of scholarly works in which I have been involved since 2006, along with the book produced in 2001. In total, over the course of my 20 year academic career, I have published over 50 articles, averaging over two or more per year.
While grants help to fund research projects, they also serve a more important role in showing value and impact of my work. Likewise, receiving external support for my program and students make it clear that they are valuable assets to the community. Since 2010 when my program became an independent unit, I brought in approximately $100K per year in donations for student fellowships and grant funding, which also provides support for students.
I share an office suite with the CMDC faculty in the Digs located in the ground floor of the multimedia building. When I am not there, I can be found in the beautiful Skybox where ELL has been relocated or hunkered down working in the MOVE Lab. Because I carry my phone everywhere I go, email or text messaging is the best way to contact me. I also love Facebook and Twitter, so Friend me and Follow me.