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.
DRIVER (Digital Repository Infastructure Vision for European Research)