Special Issue: The Past, Present, and Future of Self-publishing
Editors: Jason Luther, Frank Farmer, Steve Parks
Whether they are abolitionist, suffragist, or underground presses; little magazines or chapbooks; countercultural posters or catalogues; zines or comix — the history of self-publishing has long been both a constitutive (counter)public activity and the primary means for documenting political struggle. Likewise, archives of self-published corpora are found in a variety of community spaces, from formal institutions (like our universities) to everyday garages and attics, providing researchers with the broader contexts that help us understand the aspirations and challenges facing public authors, as well as the tools they used to share them.
While the development of digitally-networked technology has emboldened efforts to preserve and spread these texts, they have also complicated the definition of publishing for contemporary authors who produce and circulate them in the 21st century. Moreover, do-it-yourself rhetoric has individualized politics in ways that can seem empowering, but often limit the ability for writers looking to build sustained movements.
This special issue of the Community Literacy Journal focuses on the ways self-publishing functions in the present as well as the past, especially how certain cases affect the future of community literacy. We are especially interested in how case studies or microhistories of self-publishing help us theorize the limits of the term, calling into question the role of the “self” in (counter) publics, as well as the characteristics of production, consumption, exchange, and distribution that make a text a “publication.”
Invited articles will address: