Towards a History of Electronic Literature

Urszula Pawlicka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In her article "Towards a History of Electronic Literature" Urszula Pawlicka investigates the development of theoretical frameworks of and for the study of electronic literature. Pawlicka's objective is show how electronic literature developed and posits that the field underwent to date three transitional phases including several sub-phases where certain aspects and perspectives overlapped. She argues that by distinguishing developments in different phases we can see that electronic literature moved from text to technotext, from text as decoding meaning to text as a process of information and information system, from an interpretation to experience, from visual perception to performativity, from close reading to hyper reading, and several others. The most relevant aspect of the development of electronic literature to date is the attention paid to both theoretical and applied aspects of the background technical base of digitality, namely coding and its importance just the same as the content of electronic literature. Pawlicka suggests that future forms of electronic (digital) literature include aspects of collaborative programming, new media and digital literacy, the development of literary laboratories, the continuation of transdisciplinary projects, and macro and systemic studies of and in digitality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • electronic literature
  • history of electronic literatre
  • theory of literature
  • digital poetry
  • periodization
  • digital literature
  • hypertext

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