[Air-L] Open Humanities Press publishes twenty-one open access Living Books About Life

Gary Hall gary.hall at connectfree.co.uk
Fri Oct 28 02:22:41 PDT 2011


The pioneering open access humanities publishing initiative, Open 
Humanities Press (OHP) (http://openhumanitiespress.org), is pleased to 
announce the release of 21 open access books in its series Living Books 
About Life (http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org).

Funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and edited by 
Gary Hall, Joanna Zylinska and Clare Birchall, Living Books About Life 
is a series of curated, open access books about life -- with life 
understood both philosophically and biologically -- which provide a 
bridge between the humanities and the sciences. Produced by a 
globally-distributed network of writers and editors, the books in the 
series repackage existing open access science research by clustering it 
around selected topics whose unifying theme is life: e.g., air, 
agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, 
neurology and pharmacology.

Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge, said: ‘This 
book series would not be possible without open access. On the author 
side, it takes splendid advantage of the freedom to reuse and repurpose 
open-access research articles. On the other side, it passes on that 
freedom to readers. In between, the editors made intelligent selections 
and wrote original introductions, enhancing each article by placing it 
in the new context of an ambitious, integrated understanding of life, 
drawing equally from the sciences and humanities’.

By creating twenty one ‘living books about life’ in just seven months, 
the series represents an exciting new model for publishing, in a 
sustainable, low-cost, low-tech manner, many more such books in the 
future. These books can be freely shared with other academic and 
non-academic institutions and individuals.

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New 
York University, commented: ‘This remarkable series transforms the 
humble Reader into a living form, while breaking down the conceptual 
barrier between the humanities and the sciences in a time when scholars 
and activists of all kinds have taken the understanding of life to be 
central. Brilliant in its simplicity and concept, this series is a leap 
towards an exciting new future’.

One of the most important aspects of the Living Books About Life series 
is the impact it has had on the attitudes of the researchers taking 
part, changing their views on open access and raising awareness of 
issues around publishers’ licensing and copyright agreements. Many have 
become open access advocates themselves, keen to disseminate this model 
among their own scholarly and student communities. As Professor Erica 
Fudge of the University of Strathclyde and co-editor of the living book 
on Veterinary Science, put it, ‘I am now evangelical about making work 
publicly available, and am really encouraging colleagues to put things 
out there’.

These ‘books about life’ are themselves ‘living’, in the sense they are 
open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, 
remixing and commenting by readers. As well as repackaging open access 
science research -- together with interactive maps and audio-visual 
material -- into a series of books, Living Books About Life is thus 
involved in rethinking ‘the book’ itself as a living, collaborative 
endeavour in the age of open science, open education, open data, and 
e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad.

Tara McPherson, editor of VECTORS, Journal of Culture and Technology in 
a Dynamic Vernacular, said: ‘It is no hyperbole to say that this series 
will help us reimagine everything we think we know about academic 
publishing. It points to a future that is interdisciplinary, open 
access, and expansive.’

Funded by JISC, Living Books About Life is a collaboration between Open 
Humanities Press and three academic institutions, Coventry University, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Kent.


* Astrobiology and the Search for Life on Mars, edited by Sarah Kember 
(Goldsmiths, University of London)
* Bioethics™: Life, Politics, Economics, edited by Joanna Zylinska 
(Goldsmiths, University of London)
* Biosemiotics: Nature, Culture, Science, Semiosis, edited by Wendy 
Wheeler (London Metropolitan University)
* Cognition and Decision in Non-Human Biological Organisms, edited by 
Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University)
* Cosmetic Surgery: Medicine, Culture, Beauty, edited by Bernadette 
Wegenstein (Johns Hopkins University)
* Creative Evolution: Natural Selection and the Urge to Remix, edited by 
Mark Amerika (University of Colorado at Boulder)
* Digitize Me, Visualize Me, Search Me: Open Science and its 
Discontents, edited by Gary Hall (Coventry University)
* Energy Connections: Living Forces in Creative Inter/Intra-Action, 
edited by Manuela Rossini (td-net for Transdisciplinary Research, 
* Human Genomics: From Hypothetical Genes to Biodigital 
Materialisations, edited by Kate O’Riordan (Sussex University)
* Medianatures: The Materiality of Information Technology and Electronic 
Waste, edited by Jussi Parikka (Winchester School of Art, University of 
* Nerves of Perception: Motor and Sensory Experience in Neuroscience, 
edited by Anna Munster (University of New South Wales)
* Neurofutures, edited by Timothy Lenoir (Duke University)
* Partial Life, edited by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr (SymbioticA, 
University of Western Australia)
* Pharmacology, edited by Dave Boothroyd (University of Kent)
* Symbiosis, edited by Janneke Adema and Pete Woodbridge (Coventry 
* Another Technoscience is Possible: Agricultural Lessons for the 
Posthumanities, edited by Gabriela Mendez Cota (Goldsmiths, University 
of London)
* The In/visible, edited by Clare Birchall (University of Kent)
* The Life of Air: Dwelling, Communicating, Manipulating, edited by 
Monika Bakke (University of Poznan)
* The Mediations of Consciousness, edited by Alberto López Cuenca 
(Universidad de las Américas, Puebla)
* Ubiquitous Surveillance, edited by David Parry (University of Texas at 
* Veterinary Science: Animals, Humans and Health, edited by Erica Fudge 
(Strathclyde University) and Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University)

Contact the Living Books about Life series editors:
Gary Hall, Joanna Zylinska and Clare Birchall
E: gary.hall at coventry.ac.uk
E: j.zylinska at gold.ac.uk
E: c.s.birchall at kent.ac.uk
W: http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org

Open Humanities Press is a non-profit, international Open Access 
publishing collective specializing in critical and cultural theory. OHP 
was formed by academics to overcome the current crisis in scholarly 
publishing that threatens intellectual freedom and academic rigor 
worldwide. OHP journals are academically certified by OHP’s independent 
board of international scholars. All OHP publications are peer-reviewed, 
published under open access licenses, and freely and immediately 
available online at http://openhumanitiespress.org.

Gary Hall
Research Professor of Media and Performing Arts
School of Art and Design, Coventry University
Co-editor of Culture Machine
Co-founder of the Open Humanities Press
Website http://www.garyhall.info

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