Be more open!

This research seminar will explore the relationship between feminism, publishing and the politics of communication, and will question what is at stake in the current injunction to be more open.

While the language of openness remains ‘powerful and persuasive’ (Holmwood), open access policy should, Kember will argue, be seen as a mechanism for cost-cutting, tech efficiencies, platform solutionism, privatization and further constraints on academic freedom.

New forms of scholar-led and university press publishing both embody and challenge these values, making publishing a key site of contestation over: the distribution and conditions of research funding; the future of the scholarly monograph; unequal access to and participation in published research and practice; discrimination in scholarly practices such as peer review, citation and free labour.

Kember will use the example of Goldsmiths Press to show how the values of openness can be extracted from neoliberal ideology and how the legacy of feminist and art book publishing can challenge the current emphasis on commercial innovation.

Sarah Kember is a writer, publisher and academic. She is Professor of New Technologies of Communication at Goldsmiths, and Director of Goldsmiths Press. Her research includes feminist studies of media, science and technology and she was recently co-investigator of a research project on digital transformations in publishing. She is the author of ‘Why Write? Feminism, Publishing and the Politics of Communication’.