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SGSI 2016: Digital Publishing at a Crossroads: The Case of Stanford's Arcade

Explore the opportunities and challenges of open­‐access digital publishing through the case of Arcade, a "digital salon" for literature and the humanities that welcomes thousands of visitors weekly. Arcade is regarded as a model of intellectual exchange designed by and for scholars of literature; at the same time, it can be adapted to other fields, and most of the technical, legal, and practical issues it confronts demand a multi-disciplinary approach. Students will collaborate in small, interdisciplinary teams to think constructively about and propose solutions to these problems faced by Arcade and other websites—in digital publishing and in general.

Monday, Sept. 12 – Friday, Sept. 16, 10 AM - 4 PM

Instructor

  • Roland Greene, PhD, director, Arcade; professor of English and Comparative Literature

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in any discipline. Space is limited to 20.

Objectives

By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Understand the opportunities and challenges of digital publishing in an open-­access, multi‐modal platform
  • Be familiar with the terminology and principles of web design and online content strategy
  • Have worked intensively on one major aspect of Arcade to identify a problem or question and to propose solutions  
  • Be well prepared to work on such sites in his or her areas of interest.

Summary

This course will explore the opportunities and challenges of open-access digital publishing through the case of Arcade, a "digital salon" for literature and the humanities that welcomes thousands of visitors weekly. Arcade is regarded as a model of intellectual exchange designed by and for scholars of literature; at the same time, most of the technical, legal, and practical issues it confronts are not exclusive to literature or the humanities but demand a multi-disciplinary approach. Its peers and interlocutors demonstrate different models of conversation and aggregation for both scholars and general readers: HASTAC, Public Books, H2O, Reddit, Storify, and many more.

As Arcade develops dramatically with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it confronts choices about its identity and reach that are common to online scholarly publishing platforms. Peer review and its alternatives; blogging as an intellectual enterprise; and legal issues posed by the open-access model will figure prominently in Arcade’s expansion. Other problems faced by the site, including establishing identity and credibility; developing a user experience; and building and maintaining an audience, are relevant to online ventures in general.  Arcade's partners in its expansion include several institutions—university presses such as Chicago and Princeton, and Humanities Centers such as Chicago, Duke, and Washington—that expect to apply the lessons learned here across their wide‐ranging programs.

The course will be framed around the context of open-access, the history of digital scholarship, and website building. Experts in the digital humanities and open-access as well as figures in the industry of digital publishing and design will be invited to speak to the class as guest lecturers. Students will collaborate in small, interdisciplinary teams to think constructively about and propose solutions to these problems faced by Arcade and other websites—in digital publishing and in general.  The exact questions posed to the class will reflect to some degree the backgrounds and interests of the students.

Each meeting will involve, first, a morning session providing an overview of one major aspect of digital publishing, often addressed by a guest speaker in dialogue with the instructors; then, after lunch, an afternoon breakout session in which students convene in small groups to reflect on a problem or challenge related to the day's topic. The small groups will include the same students across the week. On the morning of the final day, each group will present a summary of its observations to the entire class, and the afternoon session will be devoted to general discussion of the issues judged by the class to remain the most difficult and exciting.

Guest Speakers

  • Dan Edelstein, editor, Republics of Letters; Professor of French and Italian
  • David Palumbo-Liu, editor, Occasion; Professor of Comparative Literature
  • Michael Keller, publisher, High Wire Press, Publisher of Stanford University Press

SUNet ID required to log in. The priority application deadline is Sunday, May 8.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students
Intensity: 
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: