A New Beginning

I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a position as Chairperson and Professor in the Department of English at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, starting on July 1, 2019.

This marks the end of a fruitful career at the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez Campus. Here are a few milestones from my journey that began over 30 years ago.

  • 1988-1992 – My undergraduate studies at UPRM, during which I served as EDSA president and Student Representative for 2 years and earned the Mellowes Award.
  • 1992-1994 – I received a UPR Presidential Scholarship for my MA studies at Bowling Green State University.
  • 1994-1999 – I joined the English Department as an instructor, at the end of which I was granted a promotion to Assistant Professor, Tenure, and a Study Leave.
  • 1999-2003 – I studied at University of Maryland, supported by UPRM with a Study Leave with Financial Aid.
  • 2003-2008 – I returned and served as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor.
  • 2008-2012 – I served the College of Arts & Sciences as Associate Dean of Assessment and Educational Technologies.
  • 2012-2013 – I became a Fulbright Scholar in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, receiving 25% sabbatical support from UPRM.
  • 2013-2017 – I returned to UPRM and received seed money and research release time to develop I ❤️ E-Poetry, the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3, and other publications, and was promoted to Full Professor.
  • 2017-2019 – I have served the English Department as Interim Director.

I owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to my alma mater which has contributed to my academic and professional formation. And that includes the faculty that taught and mentored me, my colleagues and friends who I’ve collaborated with, administrators who saw my potential and invested in me and my projects, and last (but not least) my students, who have taught me more than I could possibly teach them. My Curriculum Vitae and other accomplishments have been built upon this institutional context.

I also owe it all to my dear family. My parents gave me the gift of a stable loving childhood, an excellent education, and modeled professionalism. My brother and sister (and cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews!), all of whom have been inspirations as they have succeeded in other career paths. My North Carolina family has been so loving, and helpful, and supporting all along the way since Kara and I joined paths. My children Olivia and Blake have allowed me to look at electronic literature and digital media through fresh eyes, seeing its importance, potential, and areas for future development. And my dear wife Kara, who has given so much of herself to build a life and family with me, has been foundational to my academic, professional, and personal success in more ways that I can say. I quite literally owe this success to her.

No really. Even before becoming a Proposal Development Specialist at UPRM, Kara has been the secret weapon behind every successful proposal I have ever written. It was she who took one look at my cover letter for Appalachian State (which I had unsuccessfully applied for the year before, not even getting an interview) and noted that my approach was flawed. I was presenting myself as a scholar, not as someone with the leadership skills needed to direct their English Department. And so, I rewrote my letter from the ground up, leading to this moment. If you’re curious or interested in the story of my development as a leader, here’s a copy of my letter.

I’m also grateful for my scholarly community. We who are fascinated by what happens to literature when created in conversation with electronic and digital media are many, but we are spread thin around the world. So when we come together in our conferences, festivals, and social media spaces we celebrate and help build our field, our scholarship, and our craft. Beyond these moments, we support each other through collaboration, peer review, sharing ideas and resources, invitations, writing letters of support, and being references for each other. We grow strong together.

Two institutions in the field have helped shape me as a scholar. The Digital Culture program at the University of Bergen is a special place that I joined as a Fulbright Scholar in 2012-2013. They were instrumental in helping me launch my research and have honored me with invitations to join them for dissertation defenses, public lectures, and other scholarly activities. The Electronic Literature Organization has also been a nurturing space for my scholarship, and I am honored that its Board of Directors has increasingly entrusted me with projects and leadership roles within the organization.

Finally, I want to thank the peers I will be joining at Appalachian State University, particularly the members of the Search Committee, the faculty and staff of the English Department, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences. You have made this a very constructive and welcoming process, and I am honored by the trust you have placed in me. I’m looking forward to joining you this coming academic year and getting to know you all through collaboration and fellowship.

Thank you for this new beginning.

Olá Portugal!

I am pleased to announce that from July 10-23 I will be visting Porto in a series of scholarly activities and public appearances sponsored by the Fulbright Specialist Program, the Fulbright Commission in Lisbon, and Universidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP).

Schedule:

  • July 13-14: Available for meetings and consultations 9:00 – 12:00, 13:00 – 16:00 UFP CETIC.
  • July 14: Presentation: “Electronic Literature and the Future of Writing” 18:00 – Salao Nobre at UFP.
  • At the Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Festival (July 18-22):
    • July 18: Meeting:  litElat: Latin American E-Literature Network 16:00 – 18:00 at Sala Fernando Pessoa, EEPG.
    • July 19: Panel Presentation: “Mainstreaming Electronic Literature” 10:30 – 12:15at UFP Auditório.
    • July 21: Roundtable Presentation: “Translations and Renderings” 10:30 – 12:15 at UFP Auditório.

Contact Information:

If you are interested in meeting with me in the Porto area, don’t hesitate to contact me via e-mail so we can schedule an appointment, especially on July 13-14.

Additional information:

If you’re interested in knowing more about electronic literature, you can watch my TEDx talk on YouTube or attend the Electronic Literature Organization 2017 Conference and Festival (see poster below), with scholarly presentations, exhibitions, and performances at UFP and around Porto.

And special thanks to Dr. Rui Torres for this generous invitation!

Support the ELC3 with Your Vote

A publication I co-edited, the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3 (ELC3) has been nominated for a 2016 Digital Humanities Award in the category of “Best Use of DH for Public Engagement.”

Please support this publication with your vote here. Voting is open until Friday, February 25.

For more information of these awards read on or visit their page:

Digital Humanities Awards are a set of entirely open annual awards run as a DH awareness raising activity. The awards are nominated and voted for entirely by the public. These awards are intended to help put interesting DH resources in the spotlight and engage DH users (and general public) in the work of the community.

I have been nominated twice for DH awards in the past for I ♥︎ E-Poetry, earning the following awards:

 

 

New Video & Resource: My Networked Narratives Studio Visit

On Tuesday, January 31, I participated in the first Elements of Networked Narratives Studio Visit. Here’s a description of the course and event, which was hosted by Mia Zamora (@MiaZamoraPhD) and Alan Levine (@cogdog).

Networked Narratives is an open connected course of digital storytelling, world building, civic imagination, and a bit of digital alchemy. Join a group of registered students at Kean University for a journey starting January 16, 2017

The studio visit was recorded via Google Hangouts on Air and is now published on YouTube (see below) and beautifully documented and annotated (via Hypothes.is) in their website.


Thank you, Mia, Alan, and all the participants for the invitation and putting together such a wonderful experience and resource!

My Appointment as Department of English Interim Director

I am pleased to share the good news that I have been chosen to serve as the next Interim Director of the Department of English at UPR: Mayagüez.

I wish to thank all the colleagues who supported my candidacy with their vote, writing, and encouragement. This couldn’t have happened without you.

I also wish to thank my wife Kara and my mother Nelsie for their incredible support. I couldn’t do it without your help. And thanks to my loving children Blake and Olivia for their patience with me as I become busier over the next few years.

I especially want to thank Interim Dean Fernando Gilbes Santaella and Chancellor John Fernandez Van Cleve for placing their trust in me.

I’m looking forward to working with the administration and my colleagues to strengthen and transform our English Department so that it can better serve our students, our University, Puerto Rico, and the world in the challenging times ahead.

Mi columna en 80 Grados

Hoy publicaron mi primera columna en la revista digital puertorriqueña 80 Grados, titulada “La literatura electrónica y el futuro de la palabra“.

Este es el comienzo de una serie de columnas mensuales acerca de la literatura electrónica, su historia, trayectoria, tradiciones en distintos países, idiomas y las tecnologías utilizadas. En esta serie se podrán vislumbrar algunos de los futuros potenciales de la palabra en los medios digitales, más allá de los ebooks. Este tipo de escritura es importante tanto como fenómeno literario como una manera de promover y cultivar el alfabetismo digital. El mercado de empleos del presente y futuro lo requiere y nuestro sistema educativo debe incorporarlo por el bien de nuestro pueblo puertorriqueño.

Esta columna es parte de un proyecto recién aprobado por el Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez y la Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades, titulado “La literatura electrónica en Puerto Rico: Divulgando el futuro de la palabra.” Para más detalles del proyecto, lea esta entrada en mi blog.

¡Estoy muy entusiasmado por esta oportunidad de conversar con mi pueblo!

Now Hiring: Two Graduate Research Assistants: Programming and Translation

I am hiring two graduate research assistants to work with me in a project titled “La Literatura Electrónica en Puerto Rico: Divulgando el Futuro de la Palabra.

Both Graduate Research Assistantships are for 300 hours of work during this 2016-17 academic year, divided into 10 hours/week for 15 weeks each semester. The assistantships pay $12 per hour for a total of $1,800 per semester, $3,600 for the whole academic year. These assistantships do not pay for tuition, fees, or other benefits.

To qualify for these assistantships you need to be enrolled full time in a graduate program at UPRM and be available for both semesters of the 2016-17 academic year. The assistantship will be renewed for the Spring 2017 semester based on excellent performance during the Fall 2016 semester. Here’s a general listing of the requirements and duties associated for both assistantships:

Programmer

  • Requirements: Knowledge and experience with programming for Web based technologies: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, etc. You don’t have to know all of these technologies, but the more, the better. And you need to be willing to learn about what is needed for the job. Guidance and some training will be available.
  • Duties: Programming work for I ♥︎ E-Poetry and DH Internship related projects, developing WordPress plugins and themes, programming a Jekyll port of I ♥︎ E-Poetry, from Ruby back-end to front end template design, and performing other related programming tasks.

Translator

  • Requirements: Fully bilingual in Spanish and English. Meticulous, editorial-level mastery of writing in Spanish. Interest in translation, poetry, literary criticism, and electronic literature.
  • Duties: Translation work for I ♥︎ E-Poetry, help leading and training DH Internship team in translation and porting of I ♥︎ E-Poetry resources, editorial work, and performing other related tasks.

How to Apply

E-mail me (leonardo.flores@upr.edu) the following:

  • A brief letter (500 words or less) in which you establish:
    • Your interest in the project.
    • Your qualifications, relevant skills, and experience.
  • A 1-page resume listing:
    • Education
    • Relevant coursework and experience.
    • Two references and their e-mail addresses.

New Grant: “La Literatura Electrónica en Puerto Rico: Divulgando el Futuro de la Palabra”

I am pleased to announce that I have won a grant from the Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH: Puerto Rico’s National Endowment for the Humanities branch) and the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) for a project titled “La Literatura Electrónica en Puerto Rico: Divulgando el Futuro de la Palabra.”

This public humanities project seeks to bring electronic literature with a focus on digital literacy to the Puerto Rican community and school system through the following activities:

  • Translating I ♥ E-Poetry into Spanish.
  • Redesigning its website for ease of access by multiple audiences in Spanish and English.
  • Offering 16 presentations in schools in western Puerto Rico.
  • Writing a monthly column in 80 Grados.

In support of this project, the UPRM has assigned 3 credits of my time for two semesters this academic year to dedicate to the project. The FPH will fund two graduate research assistants (a programmer and a translator), an external technical advisor, and some of the online costs for the project.

I’m thrilled to launch this project and am very grateful to the UPRM administration and the FPH for their support.

Publicaciones y Entrevistas en Español

 

La mayoría de mi trabajo académico es en inglés ya que soy profesor de Inglés y mi preparación es en las tradiciones literarias angloparlantes. Pero eso no significa que no me apasione la literatura– tanto tradicional como electrónica– en español y en otros idiomas. Los temas que atiende la literatura electrónica cruzan barreras de idioma, lenguaje y nacionalidad. A continuación, proveo un breve listado de entrevistas y artículos recientes que he hecho en español.

Para un listado más completo de publicaciones, entrevistas y otros escritos, visite mi página de publicaciones o vea mi Curriculum Vitae.

 

I ♥ E-Poetry Impact Report

Every so often, I need to explain that single line in my Curriculum Vitae dedicated to I ♥ E-Poetry (listed under Blogs), because it is likely to be overlooked by proposal reviewers. Digital publications, especially self-published blogs are seldom valued in traditional academic settings, after all.

So I have put together a brief report based on Google Analytics data for the site from December 19, 2011 to October 11, 2015.

Enjoy!