With financial support obtained from earning a research award from the department of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise by the Generalitat de Catalunya and with help of other grants from several research institutions, in 2000, Laura Borras Castanyer initiated HERMENEIA along with a research group that determines the contents published on HERMENEIA´s web presence.
For a decade, Borras´ founding group of editors including Joan-Elies Adell, Isabel C. Moll (until 2006), Carles Lindín (as from 2006), and Giovanna di Rosario (as from 2008) worked together in cooperation with researchers from American and European universites (e.g. Brown University, USA and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland) „to offer an international gaze of the digital literature phenomenon“ on a freely accessible web site.
While over the years the infrastructure of the group and its members changed, the objective remained obviously the same: the group investigates in literary studies, electronic literature, and digital technologies. Electronic literature challenges not only the readers perception, but also literary theory and teaching. Consequently, the web presence provides numerous confluent materials and links to primary works, theoretical papers, teaching examples, and other web resources devoted to electronic literature (magazines, personal artist pages etc.).
Although HERMENEIA is the center of elit in Spain, the web site is a place for an international research audience. Its contents feature works and papers by the group as well as by the elit community and appear in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Catalan. HERMENEIA is known for its far-reaching network within the community. In 2005, a collaboration with the city of Vinaròs has lead to a program that includes, among others, lectures on digital literature. A major achievement of this alliance is the conception of an annual international award. The “International City of Vinaròs Award for Digital Literature” calls for digital narratives and e-poetry and entails not only the creation of new works for submission but also facilitates the international distribution of juried works.
Thanks to funding by the Catalan Government and support by the University of Barcelona, HERMENEIA´s research is ensured until 2014; a re-launch will follow and many of the currently unaccessible pages will be recovered.