Media Studies (Pomona)
We are paid, by and large, and whether we like it or not, for delivering certain kinds of knowledge-work to paying clients. We teach, we advise, we lecture, and so forth, and all of this is primarily done within the constraints of someone else's needs and desires. But the job also involves, or allows, to varying degrees, reserving some measure of our time and devotion for projects that are just ours, projects whose greatest benefits are to our own pleasure and to the collective advancement of the field as a whole. If we’re already operating to that extent within an open-source model, what's to stop us from taking a further plunge, opening publishing cooperatives, and thereby transforming academic publishing from its current (if often inadvertent) non-profit status to an even lower-cost, collectively underwritten financial model? I can imagine two possible points of resistance within traditional humanities scholars toward such a plan, points that originate in individualism and technophobia.
© 2006 Kathleen Fitzpatrick
"On the Importance of the Collective in Electronic Publishing," The Valve (http://www.thevalve.org/go), 30 March 2006. http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/article/on_the_importance_of_the_collective_in_electronic_publishing/