The environment is a big issue in contemporary publishing. Recently, OPUS (the Oxford Publishing Society) hosted an event at Oxford Brookes University to discuss the issues. Marie Hanson, an MA in Publishing student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, reports from the event:
'Edward Milford, Chairman of Earthscan, opened his speech ‘Greening our Publishing' with the provocative question "Is it possible?" He raised key issues such as the sustainability of the ‘green' process, and identified it as an industry-wide problem, which cannot be solved by individual companies working in isolation. With that in mind he outlined his own company's Environmental Policy, stating that in order for it to be a success it must have a substantial effect on the production process; if the policy allows you to continue ‘business as usual', it's not likely to produce the most impressive results.
The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book fair in the world. This year, part-time MA in Publishing student Jonathan Davis from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies was invited to work on the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) stand during the Fair.
'They came, they saw, they bartered and then they left. Outlasting the Frankfurt Book Fair before it outlasts you presents a unique opportunity to view the actions and behaviours of a rare breed of animal which come into full display every year at this time: the Frankfurt Book Fair buying public. If David Attenborough were to shoot a documentary on these creatures great and small this is where he would begin.
'I had the repeat pleasure of assisting my London Book Fair friends, the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), with their activities in Germany this year and got a taste of what it's like to be on the other side of the exhibitors' stand. Attending the fair for the first time last year with the Oxford Brookes MA in Publishing programme and seeing the business between publishers happen in the flesh - I felt a repeat experience was needed as the sheer size of the event was slightly overwhelming. The IPG provided me with an accessible way this year to get my hands dirty for the last two days of the fair when the general public are allowed access to over 7,000 publishers and the tens of thousands of books available. All to be bought, bargained for and carried home by any means necessary.
Project B: Sebilj Project: Well Being
This article written by Helen Bonar, Arts & Humanities Manager for Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, references the recent initiative led by artists Françoise Dupré (Birmingham City University) and Dr Myfanwy Johns (Oxford Brookes) in collaboration with architect Sabina Fazlic. Project B is a Birmingham-based trans-national collaborative public art community project referencing the functionality of ornament and its transformative quality on architectural space.
More than a simple public art project with exquisite artistic outcomes, the article focuses on the ways in which individual and collective ‘well being’ has been affected as a result of engagement and participation. The therapeutic and social benefits of art and creativity are key elements of discussion within the text, celebrating and communicating the value of surprising and unplanned outcomes often inherent within arts projects of this nature.
Dr Alysa Levene (History) has been appointed as a Fellow to the ASKe Centre, Oxford Brookes University's Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
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Dr Anne-Marie Kilday, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning in the School of Arts and Humanities has recently been awarded a two-year Academic Fellowship from the Reinvention Centre worth £10,000.
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Students from the MA in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies have helped in the publication of Richard Charkin's blog in book form. Chark Blog was written while Richard Charkin was CEO of Macmillan, and ended in September 2007 when he left to lead Bloomsbury. But digital has turned to print (on demand), and the book was launched in September 2008. A team of students (Mary Berry, Nayumi Furuta, Rhianna Jones, Holly Vitow, Amy Wigelsworth and Shell Xu) indexed the book, and Caitlyn Miller, who led the indexing team, also worked with Macmillan to prepare the book for publication.
This Saturday (20th September), the Guardian starts a week-long series of pamphlets on Creative Writing. Patience Agbabi, newly appointed Creative Writing Fellow for the new MA at Oxford Brookes, has written the Poetry issue in this series, which will be featured in Sunday's Observer. Patience, who recently attended the launch of the new MA in Creative Writing, is author of Bloodshot Monochrome (2008) and Transformatrix (2000).
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In August 2008 The Times of India published an article on the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and its degree programmes. The profile included interviews with students and alumni from India from both the BA and MA publishing degrees. Ankit Vij, studying BA Publishing, said: 'Apart from the fact that Oxford is a lovely place to live in, OICPS would be my first and only recommendation to students looking for publishing programmes because of the course structure and the teaching standards.' Deepthi Talwar, a graduate of the MA in Publishing, commented: 'The publishing industry in India has grown at an incredible pace in the last couple of years. ... at OICPS, I was given exposure to an industry that had already seen that growth many years back. So, one can learn a lot from their marketing, commissioning and production strategies.'
You can read the full Times of India article here.
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Craig Richardson's essay 'Pale Rider' on Wong Hoy Cheong's practice includes a detailed study of Hoy Cheong's residency at Pitt Rivers Museum as the 2004 Oxford Brookes Pitt Rivers Museum Fellowship.
The essay is included in "Shifts : Wong Hoy Cheong 2002 - 2007", published on the occasion of the exhibition Bound For Glory: Wong Hoy
Cheong organised by NUS Museum (National University of Singapore) with catalogue co-publisher GALERI PETRONAS (Malaysia).
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Dr Simon Kovesi will be discusing the poem 'The Lament of Swordy Well' with presenter and prize-winning poet Paul Farley in a programme airing on Sunday 7th September at 4.30pm on BBC Radio 4.
Swordy Well is a heath in rural Northamptonshire that was given the power of speech in John Clare's landmark eco-poem, The Lament Of Swordy Well. Poet Paul Farley finds out what's become of Swordy Well, uncovering an extraordinary history in the process, and meets a cavalcade of characters who have passed through this microcosm of rural England.
"My name will quickly be the whole that's left of Swordy Well," wrote John Clare in the 1830s, before he was committed to the asylum, in one of his most moving and proto-ecological poems. Through Clare, the genius loci of place gained a voice but, over the years, Swordy Well has almost lost it, and its name, too.
The site – now Swaddywell – is presently one of scientific interest and has been preserved for its wildlife and habitat. However, following Clare's time, and his catalogue of the area's neglect and abuse following enclosure, it has been used as a racetrack for stock cars, a site for illegal raves and parties and a fly-tipping eyesore.
Paul, who has edited John Clare's poems, goes back to the original location and takes the poem back to its source, meeting writers, conservationists and ravers, who remember partying in Swordy Well, and wondering how would it speak now nearly two centuries after enclosure.
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