Pop! aims to be a ‘small-batch, handcrafted’ journal that puts its community first, that wants to be read, and that makes care a priority: care for its content, care for its audience, and care for the kind of world it wants to serve.
Pop! is rooted in the humanities, but spans a variety of disciplines and is purposefully structured to be open to varieties of intellectual engagement. Pop! includes editorials, conference proceedings, articles, book and event reviews, interviews, and research features. It showcases peer reviewed scholarly articles, but also an array of shorter updates on projects and people interesting to our community, as curated by Pop’s interdisciplinary editorial board (listed below).
Pop is published by the School for Publishing @ Simon Fraser University
Pop! is blind peer-reviewed by members of our scholarly community, who evaluate each article for its originality, coherence, scholarship, and for its readability, not just for specialist audiences within the university, but for broader interested audiences.
Write us at email@example.com!
Pop! relies on the generous contributions of the Faculty of Communication, Art & Technology and the Scholcomm Lab at Simon Fraser University; the Implementing New Knowledge Environments at the University of Victoria; and the Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing at SFU.
See also our more complete colophon and list of credits.
In the twenty-first century, the scholarly journal ecosystem has been scaled up to inhuman levels. The corporate machinery of the Elseviers and Springers of the world, not to mention the global ambitions of the Open Access (OA) movement, have served to transform the journal from the quotidian mechanism of scholarly communication -- that is, how scholars communicate with their peers -- into a massive, planet-wide engine with huge economies of scale, increasingly run by and for algorithms. When we write journal articles in 2020, we are literally writing for machines.
Arguably, in the sciences, this is reasonable and appropriate; the global scientific project is a rapid, cumulative tradition based on the circulation of research results, and as such a colossal automated engine perhaps serves science well enough -- or at least it might, in a fairer and more open version of itself. But this drive to scale is a poor fit for humanities scholarship. What does it say about the humanities if we are indeed writing for machines instead of for each other?
The pursuit of scale does not -- indeed can not -- prioritize care or attention to the details of human experience. And in the absence of these human values, scholarly communication becomes no different from any other robot commodity traded in 21st-century late capitalism.
We would rather reach a community of people who care about both their scholarship and their community. Such a framing may be increasingly rare today, but we think it is not just worthwhile but of critical importance in a world-system facing the high costs of centuries of growth for growth's sake. We believe that a journal can still be the place where scholarship actually matters -- where a human being takes the time to care about what's been written and whether it makes a difference. All the "enterprised-up" infrastructure in the world does not equal this.
A journal ideally is the embodiment of a discourse community and the trace of that community over time. In a world of ubiquitous and instantaneous network communication, the point of publishing is the establishment of a trusted, durable, and cite-able record of what has been thought and said and debated. These core definitions have served us well for many centuries, and yet they seem almost beside the point in a massive system trading in algorithms and metrics. What if we went back to first principles?
We thus offer Pop! Public. Open. Participatory -- a craft-scale post-digital journal of the public humanities.
Pop! is thus an intervention on behalf of care-based scholarship in an era of massive scale. Pop! aspires to be a practical demonstration the virtues of small-scale operation and of a lightweight and convivial publishing model. Pop! asks the question: How can we create a scholarly publication that people really care about? Not just a venue for a coterie of insiders, but rather a working prototype for open social scholarship that can find its way to broader and more diverse audiences?
If a journal is the lasting embodiment of a community, Pop! aims to put its community first. It wants to be read more than it wants to be indexed -- so it makes reading and readership a top priority, through care for its content, care for its audience, and care for the kind of world it wants to serve.
– Jan 2020