headshot of Alex Saum-Pascual

Alex Saum-Pascual

Title
Associate Professor
Department
Dept of Spanish and Portuguese
Research Expertise and Interest
Spain, electronic literature, contemporary literature, digital humanities, new media
Research Description

Alex Saum-Pascual is a digital artist, poet, and professor. She is author of #Postweb! Crear con la máquina y en la red (Iberoamericana-Vervuert 2018) and numerous articles, special issues and book chapters on digital media and literature in the Spanish-speaking world, being featured in The Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, The Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, and Digital Humanities Quarterly, among others. Her digital artwork and poetry have been exhibited in galleries and art festivals internationally and have been studied in monographs such as Mujeres poetas del mundo digital (2020), and anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection Vol. 4 (2022). Currently, she is Associate Professor of Contemporary Spanish Literature and New Media at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also part of the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media, the advisory board of the Arts Research Center (Poetry and the Senses programs), and the board of directors of the Electronic Literature Organization

Professor Saum-Pascual teaches a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Post Civil-War Spanish culture, digital media, and literature (digital or not) combining the study of literary texts with other cultural products of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has taught courses exploring the role of media on the construction of the Spanish imaginary, the importance of television shows and their adaptation of social realists works, and the role of theater, popular music, or digital and social media, as means of protest and artistic expression. She is particularly keen in the study of electronic literature (digital prose and poetry), which she has taught at all levels.

Her research expands on the relationship between literature and digital technologies from different perspectives. Her book #Postweb! Crear con la máquina y en la Red (Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2018) analyzes the influence of electronic writing technologies on both printed and born-digital books, exploring what this means for literary experimentalism, and for the prevalence of the literary canon in Spain, in decay since the financial and institutional crisis of 2002 and 2008.

Her new book project, Earthy Algorithms: A Posthumanist Approach to Capital, Climate and Digital Literature (forthcoming 2024) examines further the imbrication of digital technologies in literary production, looking particularly at its engagement with concepts of environmental crisis writ large, through a posthumanist lens. It focuses on the work of digital artists from Spain and the Latin American Diaspora who reconfigure digital materiality not only in relation to its physical and signifying strategies but also regarding the Capitalocene and its exploitation of the Earth and its human and non-human inhabitants.

By applying a methodological scope coming from the fields of New Media and Electronic Literature, Saum-Pascual offers a unique contribution to the field of Digital Humanities in Spanish, and to transatlantic literary and cultural studies overall.

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