TWC No. 1 transformed

This is cross-posted to LJ here.

Transformative Works and Cultures No. 1 released by fan as .pdf

Let me cut to the chase: the entire issue of TWC No. 1 is available here as a .pdf (5107 KB, 126 pages). Comment with a thank-you note when you take it. (EDIT TO ADD: File also available here on Megaupload.)

Here’s the full story! No sooner did the editorial team release Transformative Works and Cultures No. 1 when…it got transformed.

Elfwreck has kindly turned the entire issue into one big .pdf. Her reason for doing it: she’s on dial-up. She felt the keen need for a version she could download all at once and read offline in hard copy. Because she has some mad layout skills, she .pdf’d that baby up and made it available to all.

The .pdf is a two-column rendering of the entire issue. Elfwreck thoughtfully ran it by me and my coeditor, Kristina, even though she didn’t have to, because reproducing the work in its entirety falls within the Creative Commons copyright license we use. After a little tweaking and a little back-and-forthing, elfwreck came up with the final version that she’s now making freely available. She’s also considering making single articles available as .pdfs, but she hasn’t completed this task yet.

So TWC been transformed from online to print, which I think is great. So often it goes the other way! The editorial team had talked about releasing a .pdf version at the same time as the .html version, but we didn’t for a bunch of reasons, the most important of which is, we really think that because we want multimedia, we have to be online. If we put up official .pdfs, then we lose the ability to, for example, embed an Imeem vid, and, on top of that, everybody will treat the .pdf as the more correct version, simply because it’s print, whether we want them to or not.

But this kind of transformation and fan sharing is what we were thinking of when we began theorizing the journal—when we began thinking about what we’d like to see, and why. Basically we wanted to incorporate aspects of fan practice into the academic publishing model, particularly aspects related to transformation, the theme of the journal. For example, we wanted fans to be able to freely take the articles and do something with them, because they do that with media and other texts. Thus we copyrighted under Creative Commons, which permits remixing and reposting. And we wanted people to be able to leave comments on the essays themselves, because it parallels fan activity in blog spaces like LiveJournal, so we chose Open Journal Systems software, which has a commenting feature. This transforms a monolithic piece of writing into a conversation.

Big thanks to elfwreck for not only taking the time to do this, but for permitting me to link to her post to widen her audience for the .pdf. We welcome any other transformations of TWC! Have at it!

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