Just came across this presentation by Gary Hall via. Twitter:
In Technics and Time French philosopher Bernard Stiegler shows how Western philosophy has forgotten that its origins lie with technics – how it has in fact “repressed technics as an object of thought”. In my contribution to Generation Open I will show how today many scholars and researchers likewise forget and repress the media technologies by which their own work is not only produced, published and distributed, but also commodified and privatised by for-profit companies operating as part of the cultural industries. (Ironically enough, this includes Stiegler himself.)
Such repression is noticeable when research is made available via transnational corporations associated with disruptive digital technologies, including social and mobile media, search engines and the cloud. Witness the way neoliberal “technologies of the self” such as Facebook and Twitter are encouraging early career researchers in particular to be highly visible entrepreneurs of themselves. When it comes to publishing their PhDs, many junior scholars are now finding themselves in the position of having to take on the responsibility for managing, branding, promoting and marketing their work, ideas and charismatic authorial personalities by disseminating their research using tweets, blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos. They have to do so in order to gain advantage in the competition for jobs, book contracts, funding, attention, recognition, fame.
Yet nowhere is this repression and forgetfulness regarding the commodification of knowledge more evident than from the way in which academic research and publication continues to be dominated, for scholars at all levels, by the print-on-paper codex book and journal article, together with many of the concepts and practices that have been inherited with them from the era of writing, the book, and especially the industrialisation of printing that took place from the middle of the 18th century onwards. The latter include the individualized author, the proprietorial subject, intellectual property and copyright. But they also include the signature, the proper noun or name, uniform multiple-copy editions, the long-form argument, fixity and originality. In fact, these historically inherited concepts and practices contribute intimately to the ongoing privatisation of knowledge and research by for-profit publishers through their continued shaping of the conditions of possibility in the academy.
Drawing on my experience as co-founder and co-director of Open Humanities Press, I will demonstrate how the transition to Open Access is creating opportunities for us to rebel against both of these cultural industry-dominated models – both the classic ‘closed’ and the newer ‘semi-closed’– when it comes to the production, publication and distribution of our knowledge and research.