Cornell University plans humanities publishing conference

Contact: Kizer Walker
Phone: (607) 254-1375

Cornell University plans humanities publishing conference

ITHACA, N.Y. (October 16, 2008) – Cornell University will host a forum on academic publishing in the humanities on Nov. 7 and 8, 2008. All events will be held at the A.D. White House on Cornell’s campus in Ithaca, N.Y., and are free and open to the public.

In an era of economic challenges for universities, this forum addresses the prospects of humanities publishing and asks how the space for critical intellectual exchange can be preserved and expanded. Cornell University Library and Cornell's Society for the Humanities jointly organized the conference, with support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Office of the Provost and College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell.

The weekend’s events bring together literary scholars, scholarly publishers, academic librarians and foundation representatives. Presentations include:

  • Lindsay Waters, Harvard University Press: “Cognition in the Wild: Networks, Criticism, and Crisis”
  • N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University: “Transforming the Humanities: Implications for Publishing”
  • Joseph Meisel, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: “University Presses Observed, 1929-1979”
  • Donald J. Waters, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: “Reconceptualizing Archives and Scholarly Editions”
  • Milad Doueihi, University of Glasgow: “Digital Objecthood and Scholarly Publishing”
  • John Guillory, New York University: “How Scholars Read”

Members of the Cornell academic community will moderate and respond to the panel speakers. Cornell scholars Peter U. Hohendahl and Naoki Sakai, along with Peter J. Potter, editor in chief at Cornell University Press, will participate in a roundtable discussion.

“The Library has been involved in scholarly communications initiatives, mostly in the sciences and mathematics, for several years,” said Kizer Walker, a collection development librarian at Olin Library. “We’re beginning to think about these questions for the humanities – the issues are different, but the same forces that have driven up prices of publications in the sciences are also putting considerable pressure on publishing venues for humanists. And the effects of the shift to electronic publishing on humanities scholarship are not yet understood.”

Timothy Murray, director of Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, gave credit to the group’s former director, Brett de Bary, and said the society is “pleased to partner with the Library in hosting this important forum."

See for a complete schedule and list of speakers.

About Cornell University Library
One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research and learning at Cornell University. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and a full spectrum of services, from rare books and manuscripts to a growing network of digital resources. Initiatives such as large-scale digitization projects, a vital life sciences library (VIVO), innovative scholarly publishing support and the installation of a high-end mobile computer laboratory designed for collaborative use make the Library an integral part of the Cornell community. To learn more about Cornell University Library, visit <>