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Digitize This Book!

The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now

2008
Author:

Gary Hall

Digitize This Book!

How open access can transform academia for the better

Gary Hall presents a timely and ambitious polemic on the potential that open access publishing has to transform both “papercentric” humanities scholarship and the institution of the university itself. Rigorously interrogating the intellectual, political, and ethical implications of open access, Digitize This Book! is a radical call for democratizing access to knowledge and transforming the structures of academic and institutional authority and legitimacy.

Digitize This Book! makes smart, innovative interventions into fields as seemingly disparate as cultural studies, information science, and intellectual property law—to name but a few this book addresses. Well written and lively, even riotous at times, Gary Hall’s book will certainly not be overlooked or forgotten.

Kembrew McLeod, The University of Iowa

In the sciences, the merits and ramifications of open access—the electronic publishing model that gives readers free, irrevocable, worldwide, and perpetual access to research—have been vigorously debated. Open access is now increasingly proposed as a valid means of both disseminating knowledge and career advancement. In Digitize This Book! Gary Hall presents a timely and ambitious polemic on the potential that open access publishing has to transform both “papercentric” humanities scholarship and the institution of the university itself.

Hall, a pioneer in open access publishing in the humanities, explores the new possibilities that digital media have for creatively and productively blurring the boundaries that separate not just disciplinary fields but also authors from readers. Hall focuses specifically on how open access publishing and archiving can revitalize the field of cultural studies by making it easier to rethink academia and its institutions. At the same time, by unsettling the processes and categories of scholarship, open access raises broader questions about the role of the university as a whole, forcefully challenging both its established identity as an elite ivory tower and its more recent reinvention under the tenets of neoliberalism as knowledge factory and profit center.

Rigorously interrogating the intellectual, political, and ethical implications of open access, Digitize This Book! is a radical call for democratizing access to knowledge and transforming the structures of academic and institutional authority and legitimacy.

Digitize This Book!

Gary Hall is professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University. He is the author of Culture in Bits: The Monstrous Future of Theory, founding coeditor of the peer-reviewed online journal Culture Machine, director of the open access Cultural Studies e-Archive, CSeARCH, and cofounder of the Open Humanities Press.

Digitize This Book!

Digitize This Book! makes smart, innovative interventions into fields as seemingly disparate as cultural studies, information science, and intellectual property law—to name but a few this book addresses. Well written and lively, even riotous at times, Gary Hall’s book will certainly not be overlooked or forgotten.

Kembrew McLeod, The University of Iowa

Digitize This Book! is not, as one might imagine, a call to abandon paper books and join the digital revolution, but a brilliant and wide-ranging reflection on the ways in which digital possibilities open difficult questions about the organization of knowledge and the principles on which decisions about digital possibilities should be made. This book will be indispensable to the most serious thinking about our digital futures.

Jonathan Culler, Cornell University

This is a useful survey of debates about online publishing and theoretical insights on framing the ethico-political issues digitization raises.

Choice

Written in a lively style that mixes at times challenging theory with practical advice for scholars and digital archivists, Digitize This Book! is a product of its time with the potential to shape the future, whether read on paper or on-screen.

Journal of Communication Inquiry

Digitize This Book raises some provocative questions such as: Does open access digital publishing break the hegemonic grip of corporate control of the university? Does this new technology liberate the academic publishing culture or put more pressure on it? This book will be of special interest to researchers and students studying the politics of new media, as well as to cultural policy-makers.

Information, Communication & Society