Historians aim to change the future

A web project may help to shake up the academy and academic publishing. Paul Jump reports

Two history professors are hoping to shake up the academy and academic publishing with a project that in a single week has generated more than enough “crowd-sourced” content for a new book on academia.

Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, directors of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Virginia, launched a website, “Hacking the Academy”, on 21 May. They gave users seven days to submit articles, blogs, videos and comments on topics relating to the academy.

Professor Cohen said he and Professor Scheinfeldt planned to compile the best submissions in a book, to be published by the University of Michigan Press, for the benefit of members of the academy who are less comfortable with digital media.

But he admitted that the one-week submission deadline was intended to be provocative and express academics’ frustration with the “calcified” structures of the academy in the digital age, such as the “years and years” it could take presses to publish edited volumes.

Read full story in Times Higher Education.

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