Wilfrid Laurier University Press invites author Bruce Elder to riff on the unique role University Presses play at the juncture of knowledge, technology, and humanity. He argues that our dedication to monograph publishing is at the core of our contribution to “an era of sweeping, convulsive change.”
What is required for the humanistic study of technology, for an approach to understanding technology that is aware of it being a branch of ethics? Thinking about any topic well requires, more than ever, a careful, wide-ranging, and painstaking deliberation that (almost paradoxically) issues an original synthesis, reflecting the protean character of our historical situation. Such originality does not thrive when hurry-up thinking is demanded, or when writers are encouraged to characterize the issues in overly broad strokes.
The form of exposition best suited to this undertaking is the scholarly monograph: for at its best, it offers a form of complete unity that mirrors the broad field effects of the sweeping technological transformations now taking place. Such monographs are expensive to produce, and they are hardly bait for trade publishers. But we would do without them at our peril, for our moral substance is at stake. The fate of the scholarly monograph is ultimately in the hands of university presses and university libraries, which have struggled to keep it alive under frightful circumstances.
Read the complete post and leave a comment with your thoughts on Elder’s article at the Wilfrid Laurier University Press blog.
Part of the University Press Week Blog Tour (complete schedule here).