PUB 802: Technology & Evolving Forms of Publishing

PUB 802 asks the fundamental question: Will the publishing industry as we know it survive the digital revolution?

There are two kinds of answer to this question. The affirmative one leads to further questions about how publishers will adapt to a digital world; how will book and magazine publishing reorient, evolve, and/or hold ground in the face of a dominantly digital environment. The negative answer leads to further questions about what publishing might mean in the decades to come, who will be doing it, and what will be the critical dynamics involved.

PUB 802 is more about ideas than about technologies. Digital technologies come and go quickly, far too quickly to devote a graduate seminar to mastering them. We try to think intead of technology as a stream or river running past. We are less interested in the individual waves and eddies than the larger geological structures that shape the river’s flow in a more durable sense.

PUB 802 is a graduate seminar, but I like to think of the class as community of inquiry in which we collaboratively build a set of ideas and interpretations. That is, we collectively develop a shared culture of technology practice. You should expect to be challenged, and to express your position on topics and issues as they arise. Most importantly, you should expect to get opinions where you didn’t have them before, and to develop the ones you did have.

That said, there is no good thinking without making. PUB 802 is about reading and writing and discussing, and it is also about craft. There is no writing in PUB 802 without publishing online. PUB 802 happens in person, but it also happens in a number of online spaces: on TKBR (via both WordPress and wiki), in Twitter and whatever other social formats we come to inhabit. We will write, and publish, and also actively shape our writing and reading contexts…