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“Open Infrastructure and the Future of Knowledge Production” - UT Humanities Center Distinguished Lecture

Visiting scholar Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Michigan State Univ.) will give a public talk titled “Open Infrastructure and the Future of Knowledge Production" as part of the UT Humanities Center’s “Dialogues” digital humanities mini-series within its 2023-2024 Distinguished Lecture Series. 


About the Talk:

New platforms for online scholarly communication have been designed to return control of the processes of knowledge dissemination to scholars and their institutions, breaking the corporate stranglehold on the publishing. Those platforms, however, frequently depend on infrastructures that are themselves corporate-owned and controlled. As a result, the long-term sustainability of scholarly work relies at the deepest levels on the continued interest and goodwill of infrastructure providers (such as Amazon Web Services) whose goals and values are radically different from our own. This talk will explore what our dependence on corporate communications infrastructure may mean for the future of scholarly communication, as well as ways that academic institutions might become better able to take control of their own infrastructure needs. 

The lecture is free and open to the public and is held in Hodges Library’s auditorium on the UT Knoxville campus. Public parking is available in the Volunteer Hall parking garage for our off-campus visitors. Everyone is welcome! 


About the Speaker: 

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University, where she also directs MESH, a research and development unit focused on the future of scholarly communication. She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving nearly 40,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world, and she is author of several books, including Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011). She is president of the board of directors of the Educopia Institute, and she is past president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities. 


About the Series: 

The UT Humanities Center's Distinguished Lecture Series brings acclaimed humanities scholars and renowned artists to the Knoxville campus for research-based conversations with UT faculty and graduate students and to give a public talk on a topic of the speaker's choosing. Speakers are nominated and hosted by faculty from our nine affiliated arts and humanities departments. Because only speakers with exceptional records of publication and research activity are eligible to receive a nomination as a visiting scholar, the program brings to campus some of the most cutting-edge and prolific intellectuals in the humanities today. Details on this season's program are available on our website

Monday, November 6, 2023 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

John C Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium (rm. 101)
1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville TN