Presentación: “Los Niños de Ahora y la Literatura Electrónica: Preparación para el Siglo 21”

Mi ponencia “Los Niños de Ahora y la Literatura Electrónica: Preparación para el Siglo 21” está disponible en la Segunda Cumbre Internacional Los Padres de Ahora. Para más detalles, visiten I ♥︎ E-Poetry, donde he preparado un recurso descargable con más de 20 obras de literatura electrónica para niños de todas las edades. A continuación el video promocional (de 30 segundos).

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.


Towards a Geek Pedagogy: A Manifesto

Yesterday I published my first Buzzfeed listicle, titled “6 Critical Concepts We Can Learn From Star Wars.” This is a little project I’ve been mulling over for a while, and many of these ideas were first expressed in my classes. Prompted by the new film and the conversation around the series over the Winter break, I thought I’d harness the buzz around this particular bit of fandom to share some of these basic critical concepts. Continue reading “Towards a Geek Pedagogy: A Manifesto”

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.


Fall 2015 Presentations

Here are some of my upcoming presentations for the Fall:

Now Recruiting: Bot Makers for HackPR 2015

I’m interested in assembling a team for HackPR 2015 (Sept. 19-20) to create the Hostos Bot 2.0 – a software robot that uses the writings of Eugenio María de Hostos to generate new texts and publish them in social media.

Last semester, my Digital Humanities Internship course created Hostos Bot 1.0, a program that draws from a corpus of 16 books written by Eugenio María de Hostos to generate new (and absurd) texts, which are published every 6 hours in social media networks (Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook). This bot was a collaborative effort: under my direction, the DH Internship students prepared the textual corpora, and Anderson Román wrote the program (using Node.js) to generate the texts and publish them to Tumblr.

Here are some features I’m interested in developing for Hostos Bot 2.0:

  • Develop the ability to post directly to Twitter and Facebook, instead of via Tumblr.
  • Develop interactivity via Twitter, so the bot replies to those who wish to address it.
  • To have the bot comment on trending topics in Puerto Rico, by drawing on newspaper headline feeds and selecting language from it to seed its Markov Chain text generator.

I need 2-3 students who can work with Node.js (or can port it to another scripting language), can work with the Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr APIs, and can set this up as an autonomous hosted bot. I can provide guidance and resources for the project.

This bot will be presented at international electronic literature conferences and at the Magna Feria del Libro Eugenio María de Hostos.

If you’re interested and available for the hackathon, please e-mail me at

Presentation: Time Capsules for True Digital Natives

Here’s the text of my lightning talk at ELO 2015, titled “Time Capsules for True Digital Natives.” You can watch a video recording of my presentation, which starts at 35:00 minutes.

How will electronic literature be remembered and studied a century or two from now? Will there even be a concept of electronic literature? Will terms like electronic, digital, or whatever comes next have disappeared back into literature as computing becomes ubiquitous to new generations?

I suspect as much, but I can also imagine e-lit will become framed in historical, literary, and technological ways. The periodization done by Funkhouser and Hayles into “prehistoric,” and “generations” will be fused into a single period spanning from the early computer generated works to a few decades from now. What characterizes our moment? We’re the transitional generation that was raised in a print-centered world and saw its dominance challenged and replaced by the digital. We are the early adopters: the ones who test and explore the expressive potential of digital media in its infancy while living in the late age of print. And that includes our children, who are not as digitally native as we might think.

The notion of digital natives was coined by Marc Prensky in 2001 when he sought to address the educational needs of contemporary students in the face of rapidly developing digital media technologies. It gestures toward a generational shift marked around 1980 This concept has been applied to the generations born after 1980 because they were raised around digital technologies such as video games, personal computers, the Internet, smartphones, touchscreen and wearable devices. The term digital immigrant was applied to everyone born before 1980 for whom such technologies were not as naturalized, who to a greater or lesser extent struggle with adapting to new digital media technologies.

As convenient and problematic as those terms are, I want to suggest that we’re all digital immigrants. Even our children. And our children’s children. Because we still live in the world of the book. Let me explain: I have two children, aged 8 and 5, for whom my wife and I bought pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, and other paper based products for school. In 3rd and 1st grade, respectively, they’ve been learning to write on paper. They are learning to learn on paper. They are learning cursive writing—a writing technique designed to speed up their ability to write, so they can commit to memory ideas presented through lecture and dictation. What’s ahead for them? Will they be taught shorthand? Touch typing would be more relevant, but for how long? How about programming, scripting, coding?

Sure, these skills are available as electives in high school, but as such they reinforce a division between writing and programming. When writing with code and multimedia authoring tools become adopted in primary and secondary schools as the kind of literacy that students need at a foundational level. Those generations, true digital natives, will produce what we now call e-literature, but they’ll just call it writing. And writing will not just be the selection and arrangement of words with an inscription technology, but will include scripting what those words (or variables) do and under what conditions.

Then electronic literature will become naturalized, just as manuscript and typing have become to us.

But we are a bridge generation. We were raised in the world the book built and have embraced these new digital technologies and have an important role to play. In addition to creating and studying electronic literature, we need to preserve our work, so that future generations can look back and understand what people raised with the book made with early, rudimentary, digital tools. They will find the seeds of their developed literary genres in our video games, hypertexts, bots, kinetic and multimedia works, and the many forms electronic literature takes. We must build digital time capsules, for whatever future awaits, including apocalyptic ones.

The ELO has long been committed to digital preservation of electronic literature. Its main contributions are white papers on Preservation Archiving and Dissemination, the Electronic Literature Directory, two (soon to be three) Electronic Literature Collections, curating collections in the Internet Archive, and most recently with the Consortium of Electronic Literature. These ongoing efforts are essential to the longevity of the field, but there’s a piece missing. We need digital repositories of electronic literature, archives that not only store published works of electronic literature, but also editable source files, building materials, multiple drafts or versions of works. This improves their long term preservation prospects because they offer the raw materials of a work so that future media archaeologists can port them or emulate our computational environments to run the works.

And we should also contemplate apocalyptic scenarios. I want us to send a copy of the ELCs and the Electronic Literature Archives on the next Voyager probe launched out of the solar system. We should get e-lit to be included in Humanity’s Greatest Hits.

To achieve that, writers and artists need to continue doing what they do: create great e-literature. Scholars, librarians, and archivists need to continue their work, applying their training towards the study and preservation of this work. Let us keep doing what we do well but with an eye towards the big picture: we are exploring the literacy and literature of our present and the future.

And let us work together to create electronic literature archives so these works can survive the the test of time and what comes after electronic literature.

Leonardo Flores: Full Professor

I am pleased to announce that I have been promoted to Full Professor.

The promotion became effective on July 1, 2015. It should have begun on July 1, 2014, but the UPR didn’t have the budget available to give the salary raise that comes with the promotion. For the past 5+ years all promotions have been on a 1 year delay at all campuses of the University of Puerto Rico. Here’s a copy of the letter, granting my promotion and explaining the delay.

I wish to thank all those who have been supportive of my career, too many to name individually. You (you know who you are) have an invitation to taste my Full Professor Ale (a barleywine designed to age nicely), sometime over the next decade or so. 🙂