Janneke Adema (she/her) is a cultural and media theorist working in the fields of (book) publishing and digital culture. She is an Associate Professor in Digital Media at The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (Coventry University) and a member of the Post Office Research Group. In her research she explores the future of scholarly communications and experimental forms of knowledge production, where her work incorporates processual and performative publishing, radical open access, post-publishing, scholarly poethics, media studies, book history, cultural studies, and critical theory. She explore these issues in depth in her various publications, but also by supporting a variety of scholar-led, not-for-profit publishing projects, including the Radical Open Access Collective, Open Humanities Press, ScholarLed, and Post Office Press (POP), and the Research England and Arcadia funded Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, on which she is Co-PI.
At the CPC she runs the Post-Publishing programme. Originally set up together with Kaja Marczewska, this is an initiative committed to exploring iterative and processual forms of publishing and their role in reconceptualising publishing as an integral part of the research and writing process. From 2019 to 2021, the programme is hosting a series of symposia exploring contemporary approaches to experimental publishing.
Her background is in Media Studies (PhD, Coventry University), History (MA), Philosophy (MA) (both University of Groningen), and Book and Digital Media Studies (MA, Leiden University). She has previously conducted research for Jisc, The Knowledge Exchange, and DOAB, and has worked on the OAPEN project, subsequently the OAPEN foundation, from 2008 until 2013 (including research for OAPEN-NL). Her research for OAPEN focused on user needs and publishing models concerning Open Access books in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
She co-authored Públicos Fantasma – La Naturaleza Política Del Libro – La Red (Mexico: Taller de Ediciones Económicas, 2016) together with Andrew Murphie, Gary Hall, and Alessandro Ludovico and has co-edited a living book on Symbiosis together with Pete Woodbridge (Open Humanities Press, 2011) and a liquid book together with Gary Hall on the data-driven world of social networking: Really, We’re Helping To Build This . . . Business: The Academia.edu Files (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016). She has published in among others Culture Unbound; New Formations; Convolution; The International Journal of Cultural Studies; New Media & Society; New Review of Academic Librarianship; Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy; The Journal of Media Practice; Insights; Liber Quarterly; LOGOS. The Journal of the World Book Community; and Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture.
Her monograph Living Books, Experiments in the Posthumanities (MIT Press, 2021), critically explores: how knowledge is created (produced, distributed, and consumed); how we as scholars are involved in knowledge creation; and how we can create alternatives to the present system. In doing so it focuses on the function of the academic author, the political-economy of scholarly book publishing, and the stability and fixity of the scholarly book object. Adema’s analysis consists of an exploration of publishing experiments that engage with collaborative, anonymous and remixed authorship, open access publishing and open peer review, and liquid, living and remixed scholarship. She argues that even those who are lobbying for a shift to a more open, digital book, almost invariably end up replicating many of the features associated with print (for reasons of stability, authority, quality etc.). A large part of the originality of her project lies with the way it constitutes both a theoretical and practical intervention in the debate on the future of the book. Through a methodology of ‘critical praxis’, Adema performed and continues to perform her book in an alternative, digital, and open way, like she does here on Open Reflections. Her research can be followed online as it develops, and features a variety of different, remixed, multimodal and multi-platform versions. In other words, it constitutes a performative and interventionist approach, where through experimentation she actively critiques and rethinks ‘natural’ communication practices, to explore to what extent an open online book is possible that does not simply replicate the printed codex book.