Digital Publishing in the Humanities Reading Group

An FCHI Interdisciplinary Research Seminar (CHIIRS)

Last fall the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry launched the Digital Publishing in the Humanities Reading Group, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participants explored the concept of open access in the broader framework of digital publishing with the aim of better understanding the relevant contexts and controversies.

This seminar was open to faculty, graduate students, and affiliates. 

Why Open Access?

Open access has long been a hotly contested issue in scholarly publication. Peter Suber, a philosopher and open access advocate, defines open access works as those that are “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” (“Open Access Overview”).

While the concept of open access is deceptively simple, the issues associated with it, such as peer review, copyright, and economics, have been a source of contention among scholars. For example, on the one hand open access is praised for minimizing barriers to information by making immediately available a wealth of scholarship to a wide audience—scholarship that was previously only accessible to those who paid for it through subscriptions or book purchases. On the other hand, some fear that open access will negatively affect conventional publishing; further, it has been criticized for a perceived lack of rigorous peer review.

One might wonder, when compared to conventional publishing, what are the gains and losses associated with open access? Who benefits from open access publishing, and how do they benefit? What new possibilities does open access afford? These questions, among others, will be at the core of our discussion.


Session One (September 6, 2017)

Reading: Selections from Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future (2014), by Martin Paul Eve.

Chapter 1: Introduction, or why open access? 

Chapter 2: Digital Economics 

Chapter 4: Monographs

Session Two (October 4, 2017)

Reading: Selections from Hamlet on the Holodeck, revised edition (2017), by Janet Murray (in attendance)

Books will be provided to all participants by the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

Introduction: A Book Lover Longs for Cyberdrama

Chapter 3: From Additive to Expressive Form: Beyond “Multimedia”

Chapter 4: Immersion

Chapter 5: Agency 

Session Three (November 1, 2017)

Reading: Selections from Traces of the Old, Uses of the New: The Emergence of Digital Literary Studies (2015)By Amy E. Earhart

Introduction: Digital Literary Studies in the United States

Chapter 1. The Rationale of Holism: Textual Studies, the Edition, and the Legacy of the Text Entire

Chapter 2. The Era of the Archive: The New Historicist Movement and Digital Literary Studies

Chapter 3. What’s In and What’s Out?: Digital Canon Cautions