A few days after Aaron Swartz’s suicide — in part triggered by the prospect of a 35-year prison sentence for making a big stash of scholarly journal articles available to the public for free (!) — it is appropriate to think about what is wrong with the state of academic publishing today.
Here’s a for instance: I got an email today about a new issue of the journal Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture. It’s a special issue on “Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology.” It looks great: 16 articles, totaling 170 pages, of theoretical writing, analysis, and conversations between artists, scholars, and activists from around the world. I’d love to read it and to recommend it to my students, who are studying the intersections between art, ecology, politics, and activism.