There is no singular point in time that marks the beginning of this book, nor is there an “I” who saw the project through from beginning to end, nor is writing a process that any individual “I” or even group of “I’s” can claim credit for. In an important sense, it is not so much that I have written this book, as that it has written me. Or rather, “we” have “intra-actively” written each other (“intra-actively” rather than the usual “interactively” since writing is not a unidirectional practice of creation that flows from author to page, but rather the practice of writing is an iterative and mutually constitutive working out, and reworking, of “book” and “author”). Which is not to deny my own agency (as it were) but to call into question the nature of agency and its presumed localization within individuals (whether human or nonhuman). (Barad 2007: ix–x)
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 I foremost want to thank Gary Hall and Sarah Kember, who have been ardent collaborators on this project. In their critical and detailed engagement with the various versions of this thesis they were not only the best supervisors one could hope for, but also the envy of many of my doctoral colleagues. The present work wouldn’t be here, nor in this form and shape, without their unfailing advice and support.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Similarly I am indebted to Coventry University, not only for providing me with the necessary funds to conduct this project, but also for offering much needed and ongoing managerial, administrative and IT support. I furthermore would like to thank my past and present colleagues at the Media department—which include the members of the Open Media Group and my co-workers at the Centre for Disruptive Media—as well as academics in other departments, for their support and encouragement, including Elly Clarke, Adrienne Evans, Matthew Hawkins, Stefan Herbrechter, Shaun Hides, Matt Johnston, Sadie Kerr, JongMi Kim, Karen Newman, Jonathan Shaw, Mafalda Stasi, Ross Varney, Pete Woodbridge and Jonathan Worth.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Critical engagement and inspiration came from fellow doctoral candidates, including my dance colleagues Paula Kramer, Gina Giotaki and Gill Williams, whose practical experiences and theoretical insights provided me with a different perspective on my work. Cheng Han, Ye Jin, and Xiaodan Liu supplied a welcoming environment on my arrival in Coventry, and brought moral support while they persevered on their own projects alongside me. During my time at Coventry new PhD students arrived, including Francien Broekhuizen, Danae Mikelli, and Poppy Wilde, and their excitement and enthusiasm to start their thesis work encouraged me to persist during my own final stages.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Support also came from a handful of dear friends who decided to embark on a doctoral project around the same time as I did, albeit in different fields and in different countries. Nonetheless my exchanges with them have been invaluable—as has been, by proxy, the support of their university libraries in acquiring admission to texts I had no ready access to. Therefore my gratitude goes out to Dirk Bakker, Marije Hristova-Dijkstra, and Jeroen Nieuwland.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 My enthusiasm for wanting to analyse and reform the field of academic publishing mainly came about through my involvement in the pioneering Open Access Publishing in European Networks project. My OAPEN colleagues, most importantly Eelco Ferwerda, Jean-Claude Guédon, Paul Rutten and Ronald Snijder, have been great mentors and ardent open access advocates. Through my work with OAPEN, I have also discovered a large variety of open access presses experimenting with books (from Open Book Publishers to Mattering Press), and it has been a pleasure and inspiration to get to know the people involved in these exciting endeavours.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 I have also had the privilege to engage with the research of the speakers that took part in the Open Media Research Seminars (2010-2013) and the Disrupting the Humanities Seminar Series (ongoing), which I have organised at Coventry University over the last few years. Further texts and theories integral to the thinking behind this thesis were discussed with the motley crew of participants to the Coventry Critical Theory Reading Group and the department’s CUMedia Reading Group. I was also very honoured to interview some prominent scholars for the Culture Machine Live podcast series, on topics related to my thesis research. And finally there have been valuable engagements with people who interacted with my work on Openreflections and Twitter, and during conferences and summer schools, or as part of other academic engagements, including Mark Amerika, Caroline Bassett, Clare Birchall, Johanna Drucker, Frances Groen, Hanna Kuusela, Alan Liu, Alessandro Ludovico, Paulien van Mourik Broekman, Eduardo Navas, Jussi Parikka, Gil Rodman, Daniel Rourke, Kris Rutten, Ted Striphas, Nate Tkacz, Joanna Zylinska, and the Hybrid Publishing Lab crew, including Mercedez Bunz, Michael Dieter, Andreas Kirchner and Simon Worthington.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 My final words of thanks go out to Daniel Pryde-Jarman, who beat me to the finish line, but who also, with his continuous support and believe in my capabilities as well as his example of hard work, dedication and perfectionism, has been the main reason I continued to persevere.