Wednesday, October 07, 2009

And speaking of the Chronicle...

I happily endorse this plea from an editor at the University of Virginia Press: "If you don't buy 'em, we can't afford to publish 'em."

3 comments:

Patchen said...

Okay, okay, I'll start buying some books.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Yep, you're pretty clearly exactly who this post was aimed at. Well, you and Chris Brooke. If you'd just do your respective parts, scholarly publishing would be in fine shape; quit shirking.

X. Trapnel said...

Well, yes and no. Money needs to flow in, sure. But here's an example: when browsing a bookstore im Universit√§tsplatz just now, I noticed Chris McMahon's 'Reasonable Disagreement and Political Morality,' and said to myself, "Self, that looks like a fine book to have." It's also €55, about 4 pages per €. It makes very little sense for grad students--and at least as many grad students as professors are likely to read it--to regularly buy books priced like this.

Maybe professors don't buy 'enough' books, but if that's true, I suspect the place to start is at the departmental level: reserve a chunk of salary for books, and credibly commit to valuing (for tenure, merit pay, whatever) book reviews / roundtables / online seminars that *deeply engage with others' work*.

I suppose I could go really meta, and submit a paper proposal about the institutional morality of all this ...