Call for Research Papers in Digital Storytelling in Spain and Latin America

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Call for Papers: Special Issue of Letras Hispanas
Paperless Text: Digital Storytelling in Latin America and Spain (1983-2013)
Special Issue Editors:
Osvaldo Cleger, Georgia Tech
Phillip Penix-Tadsen, University of Delaware
Deadline for Submissions: September 30, 2014
Tentative publication date: Fall 2015

Digital storytelling takes on many forms in Spain and Latin America. Starting from the very
advent of electronic media, the regions’ hackers, programmers, authors and artists have created a spectrum of multimedia literary and poetic projects that represent a diverse array of approaches and concerns. Currently, as countries on both sides of the Atlantic report triple-digit annual growth in e-book sales, the populations of Latin America and Spain are spending increasing amounts of time consuming and creating content for tablets and other digital devices, from personal computers to smartphones to video game consoles. As digital storytelling gains prominence, it brings with it fundamental new challenges for concepts regarding the nature of narrative discourse, from our notions of what constitutes a text, to the contextual meaning of semiotic or literary devices, to models of narrative structure and authorship.

While the hastening spread of new media technology throughout Latin America and Spain is a
relatively recent phenomenon, e-reading and digital storytelling are as old as the first personal
computers that entered the market in the mid-1970s. Scholars commonly refer to the late 1980s and early 1990s as the dawn of digital storytelling, with the publication of some of the earliest works of hypertext fiction, such as Michael Joyce’s afternoon, a story (1987) or Colombian-born author Juan B. Gutiérrez’s earliest versions of Extreme Conditions (1996). However taking into account that interactive fiction had preceded hypertext fiction by at least a decade, with the earliest example, William Crowther’s Colossal Cave Adventure, appearing in 1976, and Don Quijote, La Aventura being released in Spain by Dinamic Software in 1987, it is possible to conclude that digital storytelling has been present for even longer.

Since 2000, the proliferation of social networks, online literary and cultural publications, blogs,
and e-books--along with the mobile devices that make all of these things legible--have made
digital storytelling even more ubiquitous. Likewise, these new media bring with them new
expressive devices that open up a wide range of possibilities for experimenting with stories that
not only combine text with sound and moving images, but that also incorporate such
technologies as Google Maps, touch screens used for navigation or for triggering animation and effects, or the tablet’s GPS, camera and audio capabilities to display an augmented reality layer embedded in the story. These and other contemporary transformations to the practices of reading and writing are expanding what authors can do--and readers can experience--when it comes to digital storytelling.

For this special issue of Letras Hispanas we will consider papers addressing Digital Storytelling in the Ibero-American context from a variety of perspectives and methodologies. We are particularly interested in articles that focus either on specific e-genres (such as hypertext fiction, blog-fiction, location-based narrative, etc.), on the effects of specific media technologies on storytelling, or on specific questions related to the creation, distribution and consumption of digital media in the Latin American and Spanish context.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Software, platforms and devices that have transformed the art of storytelling
• Interactive fiction (or Aventuras Conversacionales) during the Golden Age of Spanish
Software (1983-1992)
• Hypertext and multimedia narrative and poetry from Latin America and Spain
• Blog-fictions and Blog-novels from Latin America and Spain
• Hybrid textualities: from blog to book (blook) and back again
• Extreme short fiction (or minificción) on Twitter and other social networks
• Serialized online narratives
• Location-based narratives or geolocative narratives
• Augmented reality and storytelling
• Animated and interactive stories for the iPad and other tablet readers
• Children’s literature for e-tablets
• The e-book industry in Latin America and Spain
• Cultural representation in new media
• Video games and storytelling
• Procedurality and storytelling
• Interactivity and storytelling
• Challenges and prospects for the future of digital storytelling in Ibero-America

Submission process:
Authors must submit a detailed abstract (300-500 words, English or Spanish) and preliminary
bibliography by September 30, 2014 to the special issue editors, Osvaldo Cleger ( and Phillip Penix-Tadsen ( Please copy both in your email with the subject line “Special Issue of Letras Hispanas.” Authors will be selected for inclusion in the special issue based on the strength of these abstracts, but publication is contingent upon review of the completed manuscript.

All completed manuscripts must be submitted by January 15, 2015. Manuscripts will be accepted in English and Spanish. All submissions should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length and must adhere to the MLA Style Manual. All submissions will go through the regular double-blind review process of Letras Hispanas and follow the standard norms and processes for peer reviewed publications.

For more information about this call for papers, please contact the Special Issue Editors or the
Directors of Letras Hispanas, Sergio Martínez ( and Agustín Cuadrado


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