Radical Open Access II – The Ethics of Care

Two days of critical discussion about creating a more diverse and equitable future for open access. Organised by Coventry University’s postdigital arts and humanities research studio, The Post Office, a project of the Centre for Postdigital Cultures

The Post Office
Coventry University
June 26-27 2018 


Denisse Albornoz Maddalena Fragnito Tahani Nadim
Janneke Adema Valeria Graziano Christopher Newfield
Laurie Allen Eileen Joy Sebastian Nordhoff
Angel Octavio Alvarez Solís Chris Kelty Lena Nyahodza
Bodó Balázs Christopher Long Alejandro Posada
Kirsten Bell Kaja Marczewska Reggie Raju
George Chen Frances McDonald Václav Štětka
Jill Claassen Gabriela Mendez-Cota Whitney Trettien
Joe Deville Samuel Moore


Culture Machine Memory of the World/Public Library Open Humanities Press
punctum books meson press POP
Mattering Press

Radical Open Access II is about developing an ethics of care. Care with regard to:

  • our means of creating, publishing and communicating research;
  • our working conditions;
  • our relations with others.

Radical Open Access II aims to move the debate over open access on from two issues in particular:

THE QUESTION OF ACCESS. At first sight it may seem rather odd for a conference on open access to want to move on from this question. But as Sci-Hub, aaaarg, libgen et al. show, the debate over access has largely been won by shadow-libraries, who are providing quick and easy access to vast amounts of published research. Too much of the debate over ‘legitimate’ forms of open access now seems to be about how to use the provision of access to research as a means of exercising forms of governmental and commercial control (via audits, metrics, discourses of transparency and so on).

THE OA MOVEMENT’S RELUCTANCE TO ENGAGE RIGOROUSLY WITH THE KIND OF CONCERNS THAT ARE BEING DISCUSSED ELSEWHERE IN SOCIETY. This includes climate change, the environment, and the damage that humans are doing to the planet (i.e. the Anthropocene). But it also takes in debates over different forms:

  • of organising labour (e.g. platform cooperativism);
  • of working – such as those associated with ideas of post-work, the sharing and gig economies, and Universal Basic Income;
  • of being together – see the rise of interest in the Commons, and in experiments with horizontalist, leaderless ways of self-organizing such as those associated with the Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and the Dakota Standing Rock Sioux protests.

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