Scholars' Lab Blog //Kathleen Fitzpatrick: Planned Obsolescence
Blog //Kathleen Fitzpatrick: Planned Obsolescence

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy

Dr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication for the Modern Language Association, joined us in the Scholars’ Lab on March 15, 2012 for a talk as part of our spring speaker series.

Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor in Media Studies and Chair of the Department of Media Studies at U.Va., served as the initial respondent for this talk.

Abstract: “What if the academic monograph is a dying form? If scholarly communication is to have a future, it’s clear that it lies online, and yet the most significant obstacles to such a transformation are social and institutional. How must the academy and the scholars that comprise it change their ways of thinking in order for digital scholarly publishing to become a viable alternative? This talk will explore some of those changes and their implications for our lives as scholars and our work within universities.”

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s Bio: Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association, and Professor of Media Studies (on leave), Pomona College. She is author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, published in 2011 by NYU Press and previously made available for open peer review online on MediaCommons, and of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television, published in 2006 by Vanderbilt University Press. She is co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, and has published articles and notes in journals including the Journal of Electronic Publishing, PMLA, Contemporary Literature, and Cinema Journal.

Dr. Vaidhyanathan’s Bio: Siva Vaidhyanathan is a cultural historian and media scholar, and is currently the Robertson Professor in Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in various periodicals including the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and, and he maintains a blog, He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and to MSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. Vaidhyanathan is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book. In 2011 he was appointed chair of UVA’s Department of Media Studies. His book The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry was published by University of California Press in 2011.

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Cite this post: Ronda Grizzle. “Kathleen Fitzpatrick: Planned Obsolescence”. Published March 22, 2012. Accessed on .