30 October 2015 -

On September 10th 2015, the Design History Society hosted a Publishing Workshop in conjunction with the 2015 Annual DHS Conference, “How We Live, and How we Might Live”: Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

The day began with a welcome from Jeremy Aynsley, DHS Chair, and introduction from Maya Oppenheimer, Teaching & Learning Officer, and Sabrina Rahman, Membership & Outreach Officer, who organized the event to foster discussion around current changes and challenges of the field and to explore the future of publishing in academic and digital landscapes.

Presentations began with Cheryl Buckley, Chair of Journal of Design History, elaborated upon a brief summary of the peer-review process, and the imperatives in producing and disseminating academic research in the contexts of journal publishing. At the end of her presentation, she shared her insights on challenges of academic publishing now and how it may change further in the future.

While the conversation was extending to the perspective of attendees themselves, Paul Stirton shared his expertise working with writers, editors and editorial board members as Editor-in-Chief of “West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture” on behalf of the Bard Graduate Center. His insight on the publishing process began with commentary on current international publishing industry and presentation provided a practical insight into how this complex industry functions.

Elizabeth Guffey, Founding Editor of “Design and Culture” the peer-review journal of the Design Studies Forum, visualised all the stages of submission process and her advice was clear: “Keep in mind that peer review process may be time consuming, so it may some time for an article to be published following the initiation of the peer-review process.” From journal articles to exhibition reviews her presentation covered all aspects of the open source journal management system and publishing software as well as editorial policies.

Following the conversation regarding the processes of publishing in academic and digital landscapes Raiford Guins, Founding Principal Editor of the “Journal of Visual Culture”, discussed issues on digital scholarship, writing across various forums including copyright legislation practices in academic publishing from his unique perspective.

Rebecca Barden, Senior Commissioning Editor, Design at Bloomsbury Publishing, rounded up the day’s presentations. Considering its differences from journal publishing, she addressed copyright policies and expectations of a design book editor– her approach and peer review processes – in addition to advising on preparing academic research projects for publication. She discussed the critical relationships with internal and external partners involved in publishing a book.

After presentations from diverse range of line-up speakers, the event ended in a workshop led by Sabrina and Maya entitled ‘Utopian Publishing’. It was designed as a group activity and each group of five attendees -with utopian impulse- had chance to explore topics emerging from the earlier discussions. The day was informative as well as engaging and a diverse range of invited speakers brought valuable expertise and experience to the conversation around publishing for design historians.


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