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Lateral Journal Update

So, last week I posted about Lateral, the Cultural Studies Association Journal, and some of the things they had done in the past with “lateral labs” which was an experimental platform.  Well, just in time for the annual conference they launched the first issue of the journal that built into it all the experimental parts from the lab.  So check it out. You can listen to people talking about the journal by clicking the play button. It’s organized into four threads, which are four of the boxes you can click on and then there is a sort of moving tag cloud and an collaborators box.  If you click on the threads you can see how each piece takes a slightly different form. For example, this piece, by my advisor Patricia Clough, is more a a straight forward text but it is dynamic in that excerpts of the texts referenced are available by clicking them and so they appear in the margins. In other pieces this is how you can see the footnotes.  Other threads are more art based and there is even a game. This piece is about movement and so the technology embedded in it moves in a way that flows with the piece (try clicking on the menu to see what I mean). There is also a peer review process so that pieces can “count” for the contributors who need them to count towards things like tenure, but there is still an aspect of curation involved, rather than a strict editing process.  Also, there will be an archive of each issue, but there will also be opportunities to build on past pieces, add comments and modify in various ways that gives it more of a dynamism while still maintaining certain academic boundaries.  I think a lot of discussion over a number of years went into this and they seem to have got a lot of issues we raised in class figured out.  One thing I raised was that there should be a more straightforward search feature for people who are not just browsing but looking for a specific piece.   I would love to hear your comments especially since I am on the board of CSA now and can bring some of these concerns to them.  Also, spread the word about the journal and the site.  It’s only been up for a few days but already has hundreds of hits internationally.

Posted in After Class Discussion, Assignment, Examples.

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