The Journal of Visual Culture in conjunction with ANVC, Vectors, and others has launched a new portfolio on the “Future of Scholarly Publishing.” Collecting more formal versions of talks presented at Now! Visual Culture in May 2012, the set of articles traces the ethical imperatives around the changing ecology of academic publishing. As Mark Little and Marquard Smith note in their intro to the portfolio:
“On 11th January 2013, Aaron Swartz was found dead in his New York apartment, having apparently taken his own life. He was 26. A web programmer, co-founder of Reddit, and advocate of free-data, Swartz had been arrested in July 2011, and was being sued for downloading and attempting to release 4.8 million academic articles from the digital library JSTOR. He was arrested in July 2011, charged with data theft-related crimes, and was due to stand trail in April 2013. If convicted he faced over 30 years in prison. On January 9th 2013, JSTOR announced that the archives of more than 1,200 journals were now available for, as Library Journal puts it, ‘limited free reading by the public’. Such free reading amounts to three articles every two weeks. We have a long way to go.”
Authors in the portfolio include Katherine Behar, Gary Hall, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, and Tara McPherson. You can find the portfolio here.
We are pleased to announce that a new Scalar book has gone live. Produced through our affiliation with the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, Flows of Reading: Engaging with Texts develops an expansive concept of transmedial reading and writing while simultaneously adopting a transmedial form. Conceived as a kind of living workbook and including more than 200 videos, images and other media, the project encourages reflection on how reading matters in everyday life by crafting a series of exercises and activities for teens and their teachers. As co-author Henry Jenkins notes:
“We have created a rich environment designed to encourage close critical engagement not only with Moby-Dick but a range of other texts, including the children’s picture book, Flotsam; Harry Potter; Hunger Games; and Lord of the Rings. We want to demonstrate that the book’s approach can be applied to many different kinds of texts and may revitalize how we teach a diversity of forms of human expression. . . .We share videos produced by the Project New Media Literacies . . . [and] many other clips, including a great series of videos on fan bidding produced by the Organization for Transformative Works and others produced by the Harry Potter Alliance.”
Flows of Reading is authored by Erin Reilly, Ritesh Mehta and Henry Jenkins. We congratulate them on a very exciting project!
Our ongoing partnership with the College Art Association has led to a new publication. In celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the first issue of The Art Bulletin, Thelma K. Thomas, associate professor at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and chair of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board, created “Publishing The Art Bulletin: Past, Present, and Future.” Using Scalar’s capacity for custom CSS, this centennial celebration features an interactive timeline exploring the journal’s evolution. It also allows the reader to navigate content through an innovative use of Scalar’s tagging feature, visualizing key themes across the journal’s history. Thelma worked closely with Alexei Taylor in designing the piece; it’s meant to grow and expand over time.
Scalar workshops have been well integrated into the winter line-up of scholarly society meetings. In January, longtime Scalar collaborator Jentery Sayers led a hands-on Scalar workshop at the DH Commons pre-conference event at the MLA in Boston. In February, Micha Cardenas led the 2nd annual workshop at the College Art Association Conference in New York and also led a Scalar workshop at THATCamp. Participants in each workshop were able to create their own Scalar workspace and to begin experimenting with the platform during the event and beyond.
In early January, Tara McPherson, Alexei Taylor, Joan Saab, Nicholas Mirzoeff, and Micha Cardenas traveled to São Paulo, Brazil for the 8th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute. The event (in the words of the Hemi) is meant to “examine the broad intersections between urban space, performance and political/artistic action in the Americas. From the critical poetics of body art to the occupation of public space by social movements, the event invites participants to explore the borders, identities and practices through which subjectivities, hegemonies and counter-hegemonies are constructed in the spaces of the city and beyond. We are particularly interested in the ways in which bodies both interpellate and are interpellated, mobilize and are mobilized, by and around the diverse and complex “passions” that are so defining of our globalized and mediatized present—fear, hatred, disenchantment, hope and faith, among others. We seek to investigate, collectively, the strategies through which bodies (individual, social and political) make themselves present and intervene aesthetic conventions, social formations and political structures in their search to create new meanings and new modes of sociality.” Alexei offered a week-long Scalar workshop, while Tara delivered a keynote, “Feminist in a Software Lab,” and participated in a teach-in on the digital humanities.
The ANVC/Scalar team conducted a number of workshops this fall. Craig Dietrich has run continuing events at Scripps and USC, as well as leading a workshop at THATCamp SoCal and many others. Micha Cardenas visited the Simpson Center at the University of Washington and the Getty Research Library, Alexei Taylor led several NY-based workshops, and Erik Loyer visited Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute and PhDLab. Tara McPherson gave several talks about ANVC and Scalar, including presentations at Smith, NYU, Rutgers, the Umea, Sweden HumLab, Oslo University, and UCLA.