The Academic Book as Socially-Embedded Media Artefact

  • Tom Mole

Abstract

For as long as it has existed in its modern form, the academic book has operated in what Jerome McGann calls ‘a double helix of perceptual codes: the linguistic codes […] and the bibliographical codes’. It unites a particular discursive genre with a particular material format. But now the double helix is starting to unravel as new, genetically modified digital formats force us to rethink what the academic book can be. This moment of media change meshes with shifts in the funding and assessment of research, developments in researchers’ intellectual agendas and the challenges of Open Access. As disciplinary boundaries become more porous and scholarly outputs more varied, these changes will affect every stage in the life-cycle of the academic book.

Keywords

academic book of the future academic codex assessment book history format funding monograph hiring PhD thesis promotion research output socially-embedded media artifact the academy 

Notes

  1. 1.
    Jerome McGann (1991) The Textual Condition ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press ), p. 77.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Bonnie Mak (2011) How the Page Matters ( Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Elizabeth Eisenstein (1980) The Printing Press as an Agent of Change ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 5.
    Chad Wellmon (2015) Organizing Enlightenment: Information Overload and the Invention of the Modern Research University ( Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin (1976) The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing, 1450–1850, trans. D. Gerard ( New York: Verso )Google Scholar
  6. Adrian Johns (2000) The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See, e.g., Franco Moretti (2005) Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History ( New York: Verso )Google Scholar
  8. Franco Moretti (2013) Distant Reading ( New York: Verso).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nicholas Carr (2011) The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains ( New York: Norton )Google Scholar
  10. Maryanne Wolf (2008) Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain ( New York: HarperCollins).Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Naomi Baron (2015) Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World ( Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Among many examples, see Andrew Piper (2012) Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press )CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Matthew Kirschenbaum (2008) Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination ( Boston: MIT Press )Google Scholar
  14. Marilyn Deegan and Kathryn Sutherland (2009) Transferred Illusions: Digital Technology and the Forms of Print ( London: Ashgate).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tom Mole 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Mole

There are no affiliations available

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