Panel 1. Postcolonial Open Access and Language Criticism: Who is writing for Whom and Who wants to be read by Whom?
Ines Braune and Maike Neufend (META Journal)
Translation work between cultural contexts, social positions or social fields within research communities is not one of two separate contexts but of the fact of contact. While Open Access is said to allow for the possibility of contact more easily, various levels of power relations are made invisible while becoming increasingly complex. The vast majority of scientific Open Access publications is centered in the United States, Great Britain and Australia. In her article on Postcolonial Open Access researcher Florence Piron poignantly argues that what has changed is that by making the “work produced at the center of the world system more accessible, open access maximizes its impact on the periphery and reinforces its use as a theoretical reference or as a normative model, to the detriment of local epistemologies“ (2018, 3). In sum, even if editors and publishers do their best to avoid „neocolonial tools“ like author-proccessing- charges (APCs) the whole idea of Open Access is dependent on users that are not only habitualized in the use of digital academic ressources but that have access to electricity, computers and the web in the first place.
In this session practitioners in the field of academic publishing (editors, developers, authors, etc.) discuss strategies, functions and constraints of Open Access publishing from our respective fields. We’d like to invite researchers and practitioners interested in a critical approach to language and knowledge production in the Middle East and Europe to engage in a discourse on collaboration, translation, exchange and empowerment in regard to Open Access publishing in academia.
Most of publishing practices tend to view the form and the specific chosen medium as merely adding a certain kind of aesthetic character to the published content – or purposefully trying not to add any in pursuit of a supposed formal ‘neutrality’. This does not really take into account the material constraints and formal protocols of the chosen form of publishing as having an active role in shaping what is published and how. This is particularly ubiquitous in the progressively widespread academic e-journals; these are however, predominantly just an extension/replication of print publications online. Screen is merely substituted for paper, without the content and form of what is published being significantly modified. On the contrary, this workshop will ask how material protocols and constraints of the web can alter protocols of publishing: from the modes of visual, thematic and technical organization of content, to the style of writing and presenting content to the impact on different forms of editing, reviewing, valorising, accessing, reading/experiencing what is published.
In this session practitioners (researchers, editors, designers, developers, artists, etc.) rethink what the shift from analoge to digital may offer. We’d like to discuss what questions we might be able to ask if we conceptualize Open Access as more then accessibility by questioning our ideas of what a text, a book or an article can be. To empower researchers and students in their skills, the second part of this session will focus on a hands-on experience showing how editing, writing and designing maybe connected within a hybrid workflow and without out-sourcing.