Panels and Speakers

Panel 1. A Multitude of Models: Radical Open Access in Practice

This panel will showcase a number of projects that are currently experimenting with alternative models for open academic and scholarly publishing. Some are scholar-led; others are exploring the boundaries between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of the university through being deliberately and provocatively ‘para-academic’; while others again have been explicitly designed to emphasise the ethics of publishing and the responsibility it places on us to radically rethink the material practices and social relations of scholarly communication. In their ‘working against the grain’, many of these projects diverge quite significantly from the importance that is generally attached in mainstream open access debates to the development of centralised platforms, interoperable archives, APCs and sustainable business models. (As Armin Beverungen and Helge Peters point out, the emphasis on ‘having a business model’ has only really emerged in the last 10 years or so.) Brought together like this these projects will present their ongoing work as part of the conference’s overall discussion of the exciting intellectual and political potential of open access. This first panel will thus start the conference by deliberately highlighting the diversity of methods, models and approaches that are available for the communication and sharing of research.
Speakers:       Meson Press:                    Mercedes Bunz (University of Westminster)               
                          Mattering Press:               Joe Deville (Goldsmiths)
                         MayFly Books:                   Christopher Land (University of Leicester)
                         The Goldsmiths Press:     Sarah Kember (Goldsmiths)
                         Punctum:                            Eileen Joy (BABEL Working Group) - Skype

Chaired by:    Rupert Gatti (Cambridge University/Open Book Publishers)
Panel 2.  Affirmative Disruption: Diamond Open Access, the Academic Gift Economy and the Common

For many advocates, open access represents a radical alternative to the kind of business ethics that underpins the disruptive innovation of global capitalism’s knowledge economy. At the same time they are only too aware that open access is currently being made to serve the need for further commercialization of knowledge and research. While being careful to take into account problems such as that concerning free labour, this panel will investigate the extent to which a range of different concepts, values, methods and practices of open access provide a means of affirmatively disrupting the current political economy of scholarly publishing. They include those associated with ‘diamond’ open access, the academic gift economy, and the common (as distinct from the public, which has been often used to reduce the space of the common).
Speakers:                  Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster)
                                     Marisol Sandoval (City University London)
                                     John Holmwood (The University of Nottingham)
                                     Armin Beverungen (LeuphanaUniversität Lüneburg)
Chaired by:               Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths)
Panel 3. Radical Accountability

The Radical Accountability panel will concentrate on different ways in which policy makers, funders, institutions and presses can be made more accountable, not least by uncovering the true costs of academic publishing through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and collective forms of data gathering and sharing. It will take as its focus those open access advocates who have exerted pressure for a greater degree of responsibility and transparency on the part of funders, publishers and institutions. These advocates have done so by comparing the cost of closed print to open access publishing; by revealing the huge profits that are being made by the commercial publishing conglomerates (many of which are still involved in aggressively avoiding paying the standard rate of corporation tax in the UK); and by means of boycotts such as the Cost of Knowledge campaign.
Speakers:        Stuart Lawson
                                     David Harvie (University of Leicester)
                                     Gary Hall (Coventry University)
Chaired by:                Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University)
Panel 4. ‘Open’: Alternative Genealogies

This panel will explore the genealogies of ‘open’ – including open society, open science, open education, open government and so on – in order to arrive at a more nuanced and rigorous understanding of the contemporary discourses surrounding open access. To be sure, an important feature of its historical development is the way different groups have envisioned open access in different ways. Open access is even seen by some as having predated the digital. This is especially the case when the politics of publishing are taken into account, such as those apparent in the production of artists’ books, radical pamphlets and working papers (e.g. those of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham). What, then, are the specific values, methods, practices and material-discursive performances that have shaped open access in its present incarnations?
Speakers:               Nate Tkacz (Warwick University)
                                  Janneke Adema (Coventry University)
                                  Christopher Kelty (UCLA)
Chaired by:            Joe Deville (Goldsmiths)
Panel 5. Chains of Equivalence: From Open Knowledge to Internet Piracy

Panel 5 will discuss the extent to which the open access movement is capable of establishing what the political philosopher Ernesto Laclau called ‘chains of equivalence' with other movements and struggles that are also dealing with aspects of openness – not just those associated with open knowledge, open science, open data, grey literature, altmetrics and so on, but also those areas in the arts, humanities and social sciences that conceive digital media more explicitly in terms of power, conflict and violence. Those associated with critical media theory, p2p networks and so-called ‘internet piracy’, for example. Can open access entertain the idea of establishing chains of equivalence without succumbing to fantasies of consensus, the sharing of standards and even interoperability. Would interoperability, in which a multitude of distributed systems, platforms and repositories are indexed and linked, so that their contents can be located by all the main search engines and harvesters, not render undesirable the idea of having a plurality of open movements, theories and philosophies that may at times conflict and contradict one another, but which can nevertheless contribute to the construction of a common, oppositional horizon?
Speakers:              Dominique Babini (CLACSO) - Skype
                                 Felix Stalder (Zurich University of the Arts) - Skype
                                 Stevphen Shukaitis (University of Essex)
Chaired by:           Gary Hall (Coventry University)
Panel 6.   Radical Open Access: Towards a Critical,   
                  Experimental and Processual Posthumanities

Open access is for many an important first step in the development of new, collaborative, processual and multimodal forms of knowledge and research. But it is very much only a first step. The ability to reuse and remix research works and other materials requires a far more radical engagement with ideas of openness than one concerned mainly with increasing access. It is just such a radical engagement with ‘open’ that this last panel will work towards. It will do so by drawing attention to a number of projects that are already experimenting critically and creatively with aspects of publishing that have been inherited from the era of writing and printing on paper - ideas of the fixed and finished book, for example - in an attempt to rethink what publishing is and what it can be. As part of this Panel 7 will engage with subjects that are still seen as taboo in academia, such as plagiarism and piracy. It will also explore the agential relations of the very platforms on which we publish. What kind of active roles do software tools such as WordPress and OJS play in our academic and scholarly networks when it comes to what and how we read, write, record, analyse? Do we need an ‘image liberation front', as Joanna Zylinska suggests in her project on nonhuman photography? And given that ideas of the human, originality, intellectual property and the book are of such fundamental importance to the humanities, to what extent is any such rethinking of what publishing is to be understood in terms of a possible ‘posthumanities’?
Speakers:       Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University)
                                  Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths)
                                  An Uncertain Commons - Skype
                                  Tara McPherson (USC) – Skype
Chaired by:            Janneke Adema (Coventry University)
Closing Remarks: Is a Radical Open Access Network Possible?

Speakers:                Janneke Adema (Coventry University)
                                   Gary Hall (Coventry University/Open Humanities Press)
                                   Sigi Jottkandt (UNSW/Open Humanities Press) - Skype
                                   David Ottina (Open Humanities Press) – Skype

Respondent:          Jonathan Gray (Open Knowledge Foundation)

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