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Technology and Publishing: The Work of Scholarship in the Age of its Digital Reproducibility

Chroniclers of the open-access movement such as Peter Suber have noted that the open, online dissemination of scholarly and research material is reliant upon digital reproduction. Indeed, prior to our present age, notes Suber, all forms of non-rivalrous objects, such as knowledge, were tied to rivalrous modes of communication, such as paper.

Yet, is the digital age so different from the "Age of Mechanical Reproduction" noted by Walter Benjamin early in the twentieth century? Why should new technological mutations drive the ways in which humanities scholars disseminate their work? And is there a danger, we might ask, in letting technological fetishism act as determiners of humanities scholarship? In this talk, Professor Martin Paul Eve will address these matters, which are formative elements of the terrain on which scholarship in the twenty-first century will emerge.


Professor Martin Paul Eve is Chair of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London and Academic Project Director for the Open Library of Humanities. He is the author of three books:Pynchon and Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Foucault and Adorno (Palgrave, 2014); Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future (Cambridge University Press, 2014); and Password: A Cultural History (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2016) and many journal articles. A strong advocate for open access to scholarly material, Martin has given evidence to the UK House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into Open Access; served on the Jisc OAPEN-UK Advisory Board, the Jisc National Monograph Strategy Group, and the Jisc Scholarly Communications Advisory Board; been a member of the HEFCE Open Access Monographs Expert Reference Group; and is a member of the SCONUL Strategy Group on Academic Content and Communications.