Towards an Ethics of Circulation: A Manifesto in Tweets

On 19 June 2015 a group of anthropologists and ethnographers met at RMIT Europe in Barcelona to discuss The Academic Book of the Future project. The aim of the workshop was to situate the future of the book in the context of broader anthropological engagements with how knowledge circulates, the form knowledge takes, and the ethical questions that these engagements raise. What follows is a series of principles designed to engage with the Project, composed by the anthropologists and ethnographers that took part in the workshop: it is their manifesto (with a twist).

The principles are written for Twitter-friendly dissemination (under 140-characters) in order to maximise their circulation and impact within the world of publishing and academia. Our manifesto highlights our dissatisfaction with the contemporary climate in the UK (and other national contexts) for Open Access, and acknowledges the limitations and closed nature of many of our conversations about the circulation of academic texts, which all too often do not really take into account our obligations to readers. In an era of ‘Impact’, we seek to re-centre our focus upon engaging in conversations with the people we work with, the public and other academics, challenging assumptions about why they may not be understood as one and the same.

  1. UK defined Gold+Green #OA support the status quo of commercial publishing. Both are inadequate responses to our ethical responsibilities.

  1. Readers matter most! Who are our readers? Who should be our readers?

  1. Do not fetishise the digital. We need a mixed media ecology in order to disseminate our work smartly.

  1. Practice Slow Publishing. The academic book’s greatest threat is denial of the time it takes to produce truly insightful and enduring work.

  1. Dismantle the academy’s fetish for individual authorship in favour of a recognition of the value of collaboration across all levels.

  1. Metrics cannot measure our full value. We also need to acknowledge value through ethical and human principles.

  1. A publication is not simply a closed and bounded object or commodity. It lives on and proceeds into an uncertain world.

 

signed Haidy Geismar (@haidygeismar), Heather Horst (@hahhh), Daniel Miller (@DannyAnth), Sarah Pink (@pinkydigital), Mary Murrell (@M_Murrell), Elisenda Ardevol (@Mediacciones), and Christiane Brosius.

 

This manifesto is intended to be thought-provoking, and to prompt further conversation. Do you agree or disagree with any parts of it, or have any questions? Get in touch!

 

The full programme, along with abstracts and speaker bios from the workshop are available here.

 

 

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