Multilingual Publishing Panel

Posted by Martin Paul Eve on 2015-07-13

Lost in Translation

One of the OLH's committee members Nirmala Menon (Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India), who sits on our Internationalisation Committee, will be leading a panel on "Digital Publishing and Comparative Literature" at the forthcoming International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) annual conference to be held in Vienna, July 2016.

The panel will discuss the crisis in multilingual publishing in humanities and social sciences journals and monographs. See below for the panel description:

That there is a crisis in multilingual academic publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences has been well acknowledged and we are now seeing various models of OA publishing in journals and more recently, monographs. The Open Library of Humanities (OLH), Open Access India and others are doing notable and ground breaking work in the area. As a postcolonial scholar, I see one major gap in this conversation and it is the limited number of languages in the conversation. Is it not time to move towards a more expansive and inclusive open access publishing?

Traditional scholarship in postcolonial studies have tended to be disppropotionately monolingual in that most of the analyses are centered on works written in English (some of that is changing but very slowly). Postcolonial DH should consciously facilitate projects in multiple postcolonial languages so as to preempt any canonical/linguistic hierarchy of languages. DH has the potential to be able to do just that with the aid of technology that facilitates publishing and translating ventures. The technology is still nascent and often unsophisticated but that is precisely the role of Humanities in Digital Humanities. In other words, it is not about simply re-engineering computing excellence but a conscious attempt at re-imagining postcolonial publishing paradigms.

This panel will consider some of the possible directions of academic publishing in the humanities:

  1. the publishing industry with respect to open access publishing in the Humanities
  2. multilingual scholarly publishing and its use for postcolonial scholarship
  3. marginalized discourses in Digital Humanities, so there is a conscious attempt to not reproduce the center/peripheral webs of traditional humanities
  4. DH projects and proposals that address any of the above issues

For further information see the ICLA conference website:

Image by Alex Watson under a CC BY-NC license.


Back to News List