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Engage in Public Scholarship!: A Guidebook on Feminist and Accessible Communication

Alex D. Ketchum

Public scholarship – sharing research with audiences outside of academic settings – has become increasingly necessary to counter the rise of misinformation, to fill gaps from cuts to traditional media, and to increase the reach of important scholarship by making it available to the public. However, engaging in these efforts also comes with the risk of harassment and threats – especially for women, people of colour, queer communities, and precariously employed workers. Engage in Public Scholarship! provides constructive guidance on how to translate research into inclusive public outreach while ensuring that such efforts are accessible for a range of abilities as well as safer for those involved.

In clear and helpful language, Alex D. Ketchum discusses practices and planning for a great range of educational activities – from in-person and online events, conferences, and lectures, to publishing and working with the media, to social media activity, blogging, and podcasting. Using an intersectional feminist lens, this book serves as a concise approach to the key challenges and benefits of feminist and accessible public scholarship by surveying debates and offering solutions. Examining the needs for long-term preservation and impact, Ketchum discusses issues relating to digital sustainability, maintenance, the concept of “openness,” and how to be mindful of exclusionary barriers that impede access.

A useful and readable guidebook for scholars, students, and content creators, Engage in Public Scholarship! offers both encouragement and toolkits for reaching audiences and sharing knowledge in practical and more equitable ways.

June 2022
$34.95 CAD/USD
357 pages | 6 x 8
9781988111353 | Paper
9781988111360 | E-book

"Alex Ketchum has written an essential guide to creating feminist and accessible public scholarship that is deeply rooted in both theoretical and practical considerations about how and to whom scholars communicate our work. Beginning with the recognition that universities and funders are increasingly calling for scholars to think about the accessibility of our research, Ketchum demonstrates that being public is far from straightforward. She folds in discussions of corporate control and data bias, labour politics and emotional boundaries, community accountability and technological skill levels, with an eye to the practical question of how to do our work publicly – and do it well. Whether it’s considering childcare needs at conferences, transcription of podcasts, or funding for open-access publications, Engage in Public Scholarship! continually advocates for a nuanced vision of what public scholarship can be while offering practical strategies for realizing that vision."
Hannah McGregor, Simon Fraser University and host of Secret Feminist Agenda

"This is an important guidebook – with writing that is engaging, accessible, and enjoyable. It provides a foundation to introduce scholars (regardless of rank, experience, age, or skill) to the basic concepts of access, openness, justice, and accessibility in making one’s scholarship public. I appreciate its succinct guidance as a primer on the relationship between feminist, social justice, disability justice, scholarly communications, open access issues, and accessibility. It is refreshing to see such a cogent take on these interweaving issues and I love the feminist and intersectional approach to citations in the book. It is a refreshing perspective that exemplifies the public nature of this research and brings relief to a topic that is often dominated by white men."
Cheryl E. Ball, Wayne State University Libraries

"Engage in Public Scholarship! is a remarkably well-organized guidebook and it will be very useful to anyone who wants to think deeply about accessibility or those who are looking for an introduction to the many ways to do public scholarship. I especially appreciate how Ketchum has foregrounded social justice issues throughout the text."
Kate Drabinski, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Part 1: Challenges of Access and Accessibility  
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Benefits 22 
Chapter 3 “Access” for the Audience and the Public 35 
Chapter 4 “Access” for the Scholar 62 
Chapter 5 Open Access 82 
Chapter 6 Open Data and Open Source 119
Part 2: Toolkits  
Chapter 7 Proprietary Platforms, Corporate Influence, and Social Media 137
Chapter 8 Self-produced Digital Public Scholarship 161
Chapter 9 Self-produced Physical Forms of Public Scholarship 196
Chapter 10 Sustainability and Maintenance 217
Chapter 11 Events 243
Chapter 12 Working with Journalists and Writing Op-Eds 279
Chapter 13 Conclusion 310

Alex D. Ketchum is the faculty lecturer in the Institute of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University.

Concordia University Press
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