Writing a PhD is a process of personal and academic orientation that frequently brings out fears, hopes and insecurities. While this can feel quite self-centered at times, there is increasing pressure to publish which requires us early-on to adopt already established logics and formats. For years now, the annual meetings of the esCTS network have provided a space to discuss the work of PhD students. In last year’s meeting in Barcelona we decided to take this one step further to explore new forms and formats of academic writing.
In this spirit and in keeping with the theme of the upcoming fourth esCTS meeting we offer the workshop: “Publish, like you give a damn: careful experiments in publishing.” This workshop title is based on the work of the new STS open-access publisher Mattering Press. The workshop will be co-convened by Julien McHardy and Guillem Palà. Julien is one of Mattering Press’ editors and recently finished his PhD at Lancaster University. Guillem is at present working in a PhD at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Together we are starting to get excited about this workshop and are looking forward to an inspiring session with you.
To get us going, Julien will introduce some of the thoughts and experiences around care and experimentation that have grown from his work at Mattering Press. This will open a wider discussion about what we, as young researchers, want from and hope for academic publishing. Following on from that we will discuss the submitted texts to explore hands-on what experimentation and care in academic publishing might mean. Based on this exploration we aim to collectively write a list of “Provocations for academic publishing” that could consequently be shared beyond the workshop.
Please note that the workshop will be held in English because none of the invited Mattering Press editors speaks Spanish. This might in itself be a provocation at a meeting that is designed to promote spanish speaking STS and we hope that it will help to inform our discussion about care in academic publishing. Considering that this might intimidate some potential participants we will try to overcome the language barrier and encourage everyone to apply.
Participants are asked to share 500 word writing samples from their PhD work. These writing samples will serve as starting points for our exploration of what care and experimentation in academic publishing could mean. The texts do not need to provide answers but will rather serve as starting points for our exploration. The submitted text do not have to be explicitly about care or experimentation. Instead we are looking for pieces of writing that in some way provoke questions of format, length, style, or multimedia experimentation (please feel free to submit images, sound, video etc) as well as pieces of writing that somehow require particular care in publishing such as multi-authored text, unusual cooperations or sensitive ethnographic material. The form of the workshop will partly depend on the kinds of texts we receive and all texts will therefore have to be submitted by 10 May to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferably as PDFs). The texts and two articles on academic writing will then be circulated among all workshop participants for everyone to read upfront.
We encourage you to participate in what promises to be a vibrant experience!