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Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy Paperback – November 1, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thoughtful...Fitzpatrick is well-qualified."-Henrietta Thornton-Verma,Library Journal's "Xpress Reviews"

"At a time of great uncertainty about the future of the humanities, this informed and stimulating book buzzes with excitement for the opportunities that digital technology can offer to humanities researchers...Planned Obsolescence is a wonderfully clear and honest assessment of the present state of academic publishing and possible future directions. The digital age offers us a chance to exit the ivory tower and engage in more meaningful collaborations with peers and a more inclusive dialogue with readers. Fitzpatrick's study is a must-read, not just for all of those directly involved - academics, publishers, university administrators, librarians - but also for anybody interested in the future of the humanities."-Alessandra Tosi,Times Higher Education

"Fitzpatrick's Planned Obsolescence—its title a sardonic speculation on the future of the printed book—considers how academic publishing might best resolve this challenging dilemma. As co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommmons, Fitzpatrick—who lectures in Media Studies at Pomona College in California—is well placed to observe the development of digital culture in academia."-The Los Angeles Review of Books

"[Fitzpatrick] is one of the more persuasive advocates for understanding digital scholarship, and she acknowledges that while tenure and academic career building are still tethered to being published, institutions are starting to rethink and redefine what form that scholarly work can take."-Bret McCabe,John Hopkins Magazine

"Anyone who is serious about understanding the future of scholarly publishing--and anyone who cares about knowledge and society should share this concern--will find Fitzpatrick's book an essential, thought-provoking, and highly approachable introduction to the conversation."-A Thaumaturgical Compendium

"The narrative arc of Planned Obsolescence is tight, coherent, eloquent--propulsively staking its territory from micro to macro, personal to global."-Neil Baldwin,Creative Research Center at Montclair State University: Director's Blog

"[A] desire for pre-eminence, authority and disciplinary power — is what blogs and the digital humanities stand against. The point is made concisely by Kathleen Fitzpatrick in her new book, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy."-New York Times - Opinionator Blog

"Fitzpatrick is well qualified to discuss alternate forms of publishing and unexpected futures for the academy...Chapters titled 'Peer Review,' 'Authorship,' 'Texts,' 'Preservation,' and 'The University' methodically dismantle arguments for the status quo, with sections debating accepted beliefs and practices such as the anonymous basis of peer review; recognizable, individual authorship; for-profit university presses; and the rejection of open access as a tenable scholarly publishing model."-Library Journal

"This primer on innovations in academic publishing is a must-read for all participants: university administrators, faculty authors, librarians, publishers, technologists, and informed general readers."-P.E. Sandstrom,CHOICE

About the Author

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College and founding editor of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons. She is the author of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television and has blogged at Planned Obsolescence since 2002.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814727883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814727881
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kathleen Fitzpatrick isn't just one of America's foremost digital humanities scholars. She is a clear-eyed humanist proposing real solutions for the problems of universities and libraries struggling with shrinking budgets and increasing bureaucratic constraints in a stagnating economy. This ground-breaking, approachable, fun-to-read book skims easily between e.g. the benefits of academic collaboration using new digital tools and the mashups of Danger Mouse, proposing a huge range of rational improvements to academic research and publishing.

Anyone involved or interested in the future of the academy should read this book right now. Those who've taken their cues in recent years from such popular death-knells as The University in Ruins and The Last Professors will find Fitzpatrick's work to be a breath of fresh air, and a stirring defense of Enlightenment values (if not necessarily Englightenment institutions) for the modern world.
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Format: Paperback
I have to be honest here at the outset and admit that a few of the technical parts of Fitzpatrick's book were a bit over my head, but in a paradoxical fashion, that is one of the strengths of the book. The author is just as comfortable and authoritative in discussing the technical, nuts and bolts aspects of how to transform scholarly publishing as she is in her passionate advocating for the very human--and humane--reasons why the paradigm of scholarly publishing needs to be re-imagined. This breadth of knowledge within the book is its greatest strength. Whether she is writing to university administrators, faculty members of various stripes and at different career stages, university presses, or campus technology officers, Fitzpatrick addresses them with authority, humor, good will and well-articulated arguments in support of a fundamental and profound shift in scholarly publishing. The book is a tremendous accomplishment. The author's new position as the Director of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association is the perfect platform from which she can advocate for precisely the sorts initiatives that she is calling for.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kathleen Fitzpatrick is a true visionary
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A confused volume on what could be an important subject. I never understood what the author was trying to say.
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Format: Paperback
The writing style is very heavy and overdone, so it's a slog to read it. But there were some nuggets of good information in there.
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