Latest...

The Uberfication of the University (Open access Forerunners series version available here; as of April 4 2017 an interactive Manifold series version is available here.)

Públicos Fantasma - La Naturaleza Política Del Libro - La Red (Mexico: Taller de Ediciones Económicas, 2016) - new book, co-authored with Andrew Murphie, Janneke Adema and Alessandro Ludovico. 

'Posthumanities: The Dark Side of "The Dark Side of the Digital"' (with Janneke Adema), in Janneke Adema and Gary Hall, eds, Disrupting the Humanities: Towards Posthumanities, Journal of Electronic PublishingVol. 9, No.2, Winter, 2016.

'Pirate Philosophy And Post-Capitalism: A Conversation With Gary Hall', by Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Imagination, December 8, 2016.

Open Access

Most of Gary's work is freely available to read and download either here in Media Gifts or in Coventry University's online repository CURVE here 

performative project Janneke Adema has put together, based on our ‘The Political Nature of the Book: On Artists’ Books and Radical Open Access’ article for New Formations, Number 78, Summer, 2013. 

'What Does Academia.edu's Success Mean for Open Access: The Data-Driven World of Search Engines and Social Networking', Ctrl-Z: New Media Philosophy, no.5, 2015.

Radical Open Access network

Reviews of Pirate Philosophy (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2016)   


Amanda C. R. Clark, “Gary Hall, Pirate Philosophy: For a Digital Posthumanities,” International Journal of Communication 11(2017), Book Review 558–560 

... The main objective of the work is to challenge the reader to think radically regarding the future of publishing in as much as our present choices impact that future. Hall explores not only new ways of thinking but also new ways of being “pirate” theorists and philosophers, questioning definitions of “the human, the subject, the author, copyright” (p. xiv). He puns the term pirate, evoking both pop-culture usage and historic definitions of attacking explorers.

One of the many strengths of Hall’s argument is to suggest that we scrutinize even those nonprofits striving to do good, if indeed they are working within assumptions predicated on a profit-driven, law-based publishing model. Creative Commons, for example, falls within such passive structures that essentially start from a position of wrong thinking within a capitalistic model. Hall suggests that even more radical departures such as copyleft should strive further in being copyfarleft or copygift. Chapter 1, “The Commons and Community: How We Remain Modern,” engages our definition of shared intellectual community, seeking to abandon the “I” as well leader dependencies. Chapter 2, “The Humanities: There Are No Digital Humanities,” by its very title, upturns frequent, trendy assumptions regarding understanding of the digital humanities by considering what the humanities might become without relying on computer science apart from critical thought—in short, that all humanities require a human to interpret patterns aggregated by big data….

Hall’s advice is sensible: that, when confronting impossible decisions, we meet them “as responsibly, and with as much care and thought, as possible” (p. 117) and do so with open minds, not with outright rejection of pirate activism. The crux of this book is not a narrative of illegal versus legal, but one that strikes directly at ethical behaviors and our apprehensions of those within a context where individuals are increasingly lost to themselves, guided by profit-driven controlled behaviors, slavishly following systems increasingly informed by analytics.

 

Elena Maceviciute, Review of: Hall, Gary. Pirate Philosophy: For a Digital Posthumanities (Cambridge, Mas., London, UK: The MIT Press, 2016, Information Research, 21(4), 2016, review no. R584 [Retrieved from http://informationr.net/ir/reviews/revs584.html]

'Wow! Guilty as charged but so is he, Gary Hall. I have no other choice but admitting that I would not have written this review if Gary Hall's book was not published by MIT or another reputable publisher. Most probably I would not have even considered mentioning any of his texts available all over the Internet for free and libre usage, despite the fact that I follow the Open Humanities Press, am fascinated by the Living Books About Life project, and try to do my best to support open access ideas not only by choosing the outlets to my modest publication output, but also participating in running an open access journal, this particular one, and even support the Swedish Pirate Party (which I do not regard as subversive radicals (p. 16)). To explain this paragraph I should introduce the main topic of the Pirate Philosophy....

The Pirate Philosophy opens the mind to controversies in our own behaviour as academics. Despite, its flaws, it is a good read and useful in more than one way. I do not have to go looking for explanations of my own inconsistancies as they are all displayed and accounted for in Pirate philosophy not only by describing the contradictions in others, but by Gary Hall falling prey to them himself. It also invites joining the ships of conversation and discussion floating freely on the digital seas and lakes and helping to shape serious and creative responses to the increasing commercialisation and control of knowledge sphere. Hopefully, they are boarded by more and more young and senior academics as well as other creators and distributors of various texts not only by philosophers following the trend.

 

Rob Harle, Leonardo Reviews, January 2, 2017

'This is a very important and challenging book. It is one of the best discussions I have read on the current transition from the "old world" to the new, or perhaps better stated, from human to posthuman. When I say old world I mean precisely the cultural, social and technological world that existed prior to approximately the 1950s.

Throughout Pirate Philosophy Hall creates an almost palpable feeling of having one foot in a secure, knowable, and manageable world (however illusory that may have been) and the other foot in an unknown (perhaps unknowable), flowing, uncertain future where the individual is no longer an idiosyncratic creature (warts and all) but a miniscule trace of data in a global, multi-national conglomerate. Society of mind; crowd sourcing; swarm intelligence; crowd funding; death of the open-web; and herd instinct are some terms that agitate my mind.

The main thrust of this book (itself an outmoded old world anachronism) is critical theory; academic research, and publishing; ownership of information in the sense of copyright and intellectual property; and the disintegration or abolition of the individual (as an author or creator). Hall is only too well aware of the distinction of an 'old world book' and all that goes with it, and the new world WW2, interactive multi-author, Open Source, Open Access phenomena. To his credit his scholarly approach is extremely honest and well balanced, which will give this book the recognition it deserves…'

 

Roger Malina, 'Pirate Philosophy, Experimental Publishing and Beta-Testing the Future', July 10, 2016. 

'I have just finished reading, with great pleasure and interest, Gary Hall’s “Pirate Philosophy; For a Digital Post Humanities” published in our Leonardo Book Series. (Sean Cubitt, Editor in Chief; Doug Sery, Acquisition Editor; I serve as Executive Editor) (Hence I must declare my conflict of interest in this review). 

Gary Hall surveys and engages with the major debates that pit the various schools of thought within the Humanities and Publishing today. His fundamental argument is that Humanist scholars must go beyond the debates on digital humanities and the various post-modern, post-human and post theory theories, to inventing new ways of being theorists and philosophers. He coins the phrase ‘pirate philosophers’ drawing on the ancient Greek meaning of pirate as someone who “tries, tests, teases and troubles as well as attacks”. As one of the co-founders of the Open Humanities Press, he has sought to practice what he preaches, experimenting with new forms of un-bound , ‘liquid’, books, open access multi modal publishing within philosophy, cultural studies, literary criticism and political theory....
I highly recommend Gary Hall’s book as one thoughtful, and vituperative, entry point into the issues facing scholarly practices in the Humanities and the Sciences and in Publishing today.'

 

Reviews of Open Education: A Study in Disruption (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2014)

Pete Cannell, British Journal of Education Technology, Vol.46, No.1, 2015

'... This short book is a result of a collaborative effort between staff at Mute Publishing and the Media Department at Coventry School of Art and Design (both based in Britain). One could describe it as notes towards a critique of open education. From the perspective of cultural studies, it provides rich material for reflection and further investigation. If the content of this book is likely to be relevant to you, I recommend that you buy a copy for your own use....'

 

Reviews of Digitize This Book!: The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2008)

Sam Howard-Spink, 'Hall, G. (2008). Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now',  Journal of Communication Inquiry, Volume 33, Number 4, October 2009

... Written in a lively style that mixes at times challenging theory with practical advice for scholars and digital archivists, Digitize This Book! is a product of its time with the potential to shape the future, whether read on paper or on-screen.

 

David Parry - 'The Digital Potential: Leaving Open the Future of Scholarship and the University', Electronic Book Review, 1 September, 2009

... Hall's book, composed undoubtedly on a digital machine, wants to be more than a book, or at least escape the limits of the book. Not just in physical form, in terms of material availability, copyright restrictions etc. But Hall's book about the digital also seems to gesture towards, without making the final leap into, a type of scholarship that might operate independently of, or at least not be determined by, a librocentric, codex format, of scholarship...

 

Christine L. Borgman - 'Book Review: Digitize This Book! by Gary Hall, University of Minnesota Press, 2008', Technology and Culture, 25 June, 2009

Gary Hall’s manifesto is provocative and timely, if not as timeless as Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book, to which Hall’s title presumably refers. The book is an extended argument for open access, specifically for the OA model of depositing academic research and scholarship in online archives or repositories (he uses the latter two terms synonymously). OA arose first in the sciences, out of a need for speed and breadth of dissemination that was not being met by traditional publishing channels. Humanities publishing in general, and cultural studies in particular (the central focus of Hall’s work and the repository he founded), have different concerns than the sciences. His argument that the academic gift economy is more central to the humanities than to the sciences is among the strengths of this book. He claims that “another university is possible,” in which all scholarly products are available freely (i.e., free of cost to the reader) and are permanently accessible...

 

Dan Cohen, 'Idealism and Pragmatism in the Free Culture Movement', Museum, May/June, 2009

... Gary Hall’s Digitize This Book! clearly falls more on the idealistic side of today’s open movements than the pragmatic side. Although he acknowledges the importance of practice — and he has practiced open access himself — Hall emphasizes that theory must be primary, since unlike any particular website or technology theory contains the full potential of what digitization might bring. He pursues this idealism by drawing from the critical theory — and the critical posture — of cultural studies, one of the most vociferous antagonists to traditional structures in higher education and politics...


Those unaccustomed to the lingo and associated theoretical constructions might find the book offputting, but its impressive intellectual ambition makes Digitize This Book! an important addition to a growing literature on the true significance of digital openness. Hall imagines open access not merely in terms of the goods of universal availability and the greater dissemination of knowledge, but as potentially leading to energetic opposition to the “marketization and managerialization of the university,” that is, the growing approach by administrations to treat universities as businesses rather than as places of learning and free intellectual exchange—a development that has upset many, including well beyond cultural studies departments. Similar worries, of course, cloud cultural heritage institutions such as museums and libraries....

 

Jenny Meyer, 'Innovative Reading', Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science 457, 150, 8 January, 2009

Gary Hall argues for the importance of free, worldwide and perpetual access to scientific research results in Digitize this Book!. He focuses on the benefits and problems of open access for academic and research purposes, discusses the global effects of new media and asks to what extent increasing Internet use has changed political decision-making.

 

Penny Holliday, 'New Media: Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media', MC Reviews, 23 April, 2008

The title alone of Digitize this Book! conveys something of the energy and sense of urgency infusing Gary Hall’s text on why and how open access publishing is of great benefit to the humanities, and in particular cultural studies. As Peter Singer is to philosophy, and Tim Flannery is to the environment, Gary Hall is to open access publishing. You ‘dear reader’ (88) and other fellow ‘knowledgedroppers’ (45) are challenged by Hall to consider how online practices that many of us more commonly associate with the music industry, can be successfully applied to the products produced by the humanities.

‘What would it be like’ asks Hall, ‘if it were possible to have an academic equivalent to the peer-to-peer file sharing practices associated with Napster, eMule and Torrent?’ (44). Imagine compiling your own textbook free of charge with all content relevant to your purpose. Imagine the increased readership open access could provide or being able to update a ‘living’ book as new data comes to hand. These are some of the scenarios posed in an engaging and passionate manner by the author...

 

 

Reviews of Gary Hall and Clare Birchall (eds), New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006) 

Helena Popovic, 'Review of Gary Hall and Clare Birchall, ed., New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory', Politics and Culture, 9.2 2008

In a playful introduction the editors Gary Hall and Clare Birchall give a brief overview of the development of cultural studies placed in theoretical and political contexts. A point is made that cultural studies has to develop new projects in order to remain faithful to its cause. The authors of the texts outlined in the book are - in spite of a general anti-theoretical trend - still engaged with theory for three reasons. First, theoretical work presents possibilities for opening-up in creating new forms of politics. Second, theory provides potential ways of understanding the contradictions within cultural studies which are, at large, ignored due to the urge for a firm identity. Third, theory provides the possibility of creating a self-reflexive discourse within cultural studies. These attempts to develop new theoretical frameworks within the field of cultural studies are developed by a new generation trying to learn from the past but respond to contemporary challenges debates, trends, and approaches...

 

Charles McPhedran, ‘Cultural Studies in the  Age of Disciplinary Democracy’, Cultural Studies Review, March, 2008

New Cultured Studies aims to provide an emerging generation of cultural studies academics a more prominent voice. Many of the essays in the volume begin to engage with the immense task of remaking the academic Left after 9/11 and two decades of neo-liberal governance. Happily, there's no sense of a project in crisis (that leit-motif of Marxist theorising). Rather, the contributors provide readers with an introduction to different modalities of contemporary cultural theorising. Contributors draw on philosophy, social movement theory and media studies in an analysis of the present cultural/political conjuncture...

 

Kerri Kanelos, 'New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory, edited by Gary Hall and Clare Birchall, The University of Georgia Press', Feminist Review, 13 June, 2007

New Cultural Studies is an exciting call to action from writers concerned about the future of the field of cultural studies. Since cultural studies is ever living and should be evolving along with other subjects, we must never stop developing new theories and using cultural studies as a framework about contemporary issues in politics, economics, the media, etc. This text looks beyond the distinguished Birmingham School’s theoretical work toward today’s greatest minds, such as Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben and Gilles Deleuze. Chapters are dedicated to cultural studies in the context of subjects such as Deconstruction, Post-Marxism, Ethics, German Media Theory, Anti-Capitalism, New Media and the Posthumanities.

In the place where a reader can usually find a book’s introduction, Hall and Birchall present the first chapter: "New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory (Some Comments, Clarifications, Explanations, Observations, Recommendations, Remarks, Statements, and Suggestions)." This section provides an invaluable text for anyone interested in the future of cultural studies, particularly those interested in working in academia. The authors’ summary of the ten reasons why “the time is right to move ‘beyond theory’” by itself is worth the price of the book...

 

Mikita Brottman, 'New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory
by Gary Hall and Clare Birchall'
, Pop Matters, 24 May, 2007

Just when even the stodgiest of academics was getting used to the idea of cultural studies as a traditional academic discipline, here comes a book to shake everything up again...

 

 

Interviews in the press

Rebecca Pool, ‘Open to Debate’, Research Information, April/May, 2010.

Matthew Reisz, '"Giving It Away": A Textbook Argument’, Times Higher Education, 12-18 November, 2009.

Richard Poynder, 'Open Humanities Press to publish OA Books', Open and Shut?, 16 September, 2009.

Matthew Reisz, ‘Listen and Learn’, Times Higher Education,  28 May-3 June, 2009.

Tracey Caldwell, 'OA in the Humanities Badlands', Information World Review, 4 June, 2008.

 

 

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