Disappearing Publisher Archives in the Digital Age: An Overdue Conversation with Matthew Kirschenbaum

Martin-Hardin, Amanda

Publishing houses make the study of literature possible in more ways than one. Not only do publishing houses make literary texts available as finished goods for our cultural consumption, the archival holdings of these publishing houses also contain evidence of literature in its myriad unfinished, intermittent, exploratory forms before and after publication. Publisher archives house extensive paratextual paraphernalia that shed crucial light on the works that we read, the authors that wrote them, and the industry that produces them: cover art, correspondence, contracts, and various other ephemera. But, what might such archival holdings look like in a digital age when editorial epistles take the form of e-mail threads, when cover art is likely to be conceptualized on InDesign rather than on paper, and when the artist who drew it is likely a freelancer who is not formally associated with the publishing house at all? Or are publisher archives the disappearing of an increasingly digitized, corporatized, and gigified publishing industry? In this episode Lina speaks with Matthew Kirschenbaum, Professor of English and Digital Studies at the University of Maryland to tackle these questions.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Overdue Conversations
Published Here
November 29, 2022


This episode's duration is: 45:17