22nd March, 2017

Independent Publishing Conference 2017: Call for Papers

Legacies of Publishing

Deadline: Thursday 29 June 2017

Extended: 14 July 2017

All accepted presenters will be invited to submit papers for possible publication by Monash University Publishing in a book of essays resulting from the conference.

Click here to download a PDF of this Call for Papers.

Every book leaves a legacy; every publisher inherits one. Publishing is a space governed by pre-existing conventions and expectations. Some of these are codified by copyright laws and business contracts; others, like the placement of bibliographical information, are merely conventions of habit. As a consequence, twenty-first century books remain largely recognisable as close siblings of the objects produced by Gutenberg.

While the book remains remarkably unchanged, the processes of writing, editing, typesetting, printing, distributing and buying books continue to change—sometimes slowly and sometimes dramatically. Magazines have gone from having to compete with the upstarts of the desktop-publishing revolution to competing with bloggers and social-media clickbait. New technologies reshape certain publishing sectors and skip over others, remaking genres like romance publishing while leaving literary fiction largely untouched.

Digital platforms like WordPress and Twitter provide accessible platforms for activists to publish and disseminate their work. But traditional publishing, both mainstream and academic, also continues to offer platforms that enable authors and publishers to agitate for social change. Both the VIDA and the Stella Counts demonstrate the very real need for feminist interventions in publishing—and we are only now beginning to recognise the need for intersectional interventions that address the historical and ongoing marginalisation of other social and cultural groups within the structures of the publishing industry. As global and domestic developments have proven, progress isn’t guaranteed, but publishing offers at least some potential tools of resistance.

We seek papers that engage with publishing’s past and its future: that identify and explore aspects of technological, political and social change.

Although our preference is for papers that focus on independent publishing, presentations on all aspects of publishing are welcome. We are also interested in papers from related disciplines, such as literary studies, creative writing, and media and communication studies. Graduate students and early career researchers are encouraged to submit.

Possible topics might include:

  • Legacy conventions in contemporary publishing
  • Disruption and change
  • Challenging gender norms
  • The tyranny of Word in an XML age
  • Legacy systems
  • Legacies of marginalisation
  • Publishing nostalgia
  • Publishing the future
  • Early adopters and late adapters
  • First-mover advantage and disadvantage
  • Baby boomers and books
  • Millennial readers
  • Children’s books in the twenty-first century
  • Digital storytelling
  • The lessons of the games industry
  • The book online

The 2017 Independent Publishing Conference will run from Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 November at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne. Academic panels will be held on Thursday 16 November.

We invite proposals by Thursday 29 June 2017. Proposals should contain an abstract of 200 to 300 words. Please include your paper title, institutional affiliation, bio-note, contact details, and any social media handles in the abstract.

Submissions and enquiries should be sent to Dr Millicent Weber (millicent.weber@unimelb.edu.au).

Click here to download a PDF of this Call for Papers.

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