Reanimate emerged from conversations between co-directors Roopika Risam and Carol Stabile about making archival materials that Carol used while writing her latest monograph available for her readers. This prolific body of work by women working in media and engaged in activism from the 1930s to the 1950s sheds light on untold stories of the influences of race, gender, class, and other axes of identity and oppression on women in media. However, much of this writing has never been published and the market forces on academic publishing are structural obstacles to their recovery.
Access to this material, which has not been digitized, holds significant possibilities for challenging entrenched genealogies of cultural studies and media studies. This writing further speaks to the unique challenges of working in and changing the power dynamics within media industries. At a time when the #MeToo movement, started by Tarana Burke, is calling attention to sexual harassment and sexual violence in many sectors, perhaps most notably in media, writing from women activists at earlier moments in media history reveals a longer, complex history of women trying to change their industries.
Thus, Reanimate was born, with the goal of leveraging the co-directors’ experiences in open access publishing, digital editions, and cultural and media studies to recover this writing and reanimate the histories of cultural and media studies with unheard voices.
Partners in the collective from Goldsmiths University Press, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, Fembot Collective, Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage at the University of Houston and Arte Público Press, Salem State University, and University of Oregon Libraries contribute additional expertise in e-book production and distribution, Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) web solutions, multilingual textual recovery, hosting and server side administration, digital scholarship, and open access publication.
While textual recovery was the impetus for this work, Reanimate is guided by a commitment to exploring effective ways of integrating intersectional feminist values into the production, distribution, and consumption of open access digital editions. As such, it seeks to answer the following questions:
- What might an intersectional feminist workflow for scholarly communication look like?
- What does it mean to design an open access labor model based on intersectional feminist values?
- What would a financial model based on these principles look like?
- How can the workflow, labor deployment, and financial model be self-sustaining while maintaining a commitment to open access publication?
- What does an intersectional feminist user experience with open access editions look like?
Committed to the significance of collective action, Reanimate is open to new partners who wish to be part of this work, whether by proposing a volume or joining us as we explore the future of intersectional feminist open access publication.