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Academic economies : scholarship, publishing, capital Pollex, Michael 2000-09-25

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ACADEMIC ECONOMIES: SCHOLARSHIP, PUBLISHING, CAPITAL by MICHAEL POLLEX B.A., Queen's University, 1992 M.A., Queen's University, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesi^ as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SEPTEMBER 2000 (c^ Michael Pollex, 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date fir*. ^ / 3JQ60 DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This thesis explores the growing relationship between the realms of academic knowledge production, scholarly publishing and the capitalist marketplace. Beginning with an early formulation of the goals of the modern university as understood by Immanuel Kant, I examine the extent to which these ideals, which I refer to as academic liberalism, are inadequate to account for academic practices today. Despite several theoretical attempts to justify the autonomy of academic practice, I demonstrate how a contemporary account of academic practice must reconsider its socio-economic situation. I follow a sociology of knowledge methodology to examine the extent to which our current political economic situation leads to economic crises in academia. Among the more significant of these crises, I argue, is the vcrisis of consumption' for academic libraries. In this crisis lies one of the connections of scholarship to the logic and practices of contemporary capitalism. With the loss of academic knowledge's primary consumer, a chain reaction is set off throughout the system of scholarly production where scholarly publishers must scramble for new markets in order to maintain their already modest print runs. Through interviews and institutional ethnographic data, I demonstrate the extent to which the consumer is considered as a factor in the publication of scholarly knowledge. An engagement of scholarship with consumer culture also brings about many significant changes for the academic author. Using the cultural Marxist theories of Jean Baudrillard and Pierre Bourdieu, I examine how publishing in consumer culture leads to a variety of forms of commodification for the academic author. Ultimately, I demonstrate that economic forces penetrate the very practices that are traditionally thought to exist outside of economic determination. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iiList of Figures v Acknowledgements vi Introduction 1 Part One: Ideologies of Production Chapter 1: Academic Liberalism 24 1.1 The Conflict of Faculties 5 1.2 Freedom of Inquiry in the Modern University 29 1.3 Modernity, 'Autonomy' and Differentiation 32 1.4 The Liberal Mandate for Scholarly Publishing 40 1.5 The Publishing of a Scholarly Manuscript 44 Chapter 2: The Theory of the Knowledge Society 50 2.1 Social Structure, Polity, Culture 3 2.2 Objectivity and the Universality of Knowledge 55 2.3 The 'Black Box' of Knowledge 61 2.4 Knowledge Production and Capitalism 67 Chapter 3: Capitalism and Academic Knowledge 81 3.1 The Political Economy of Academic Knowledge Production. . 83 3.2 Libraries and the Consumption of Academic Knowledge ... 86 3.3 Scholarly Journals and Distribution 88 3.4 Venture Capital and Distribution 90 3.5 Knowledge, Labour and Value 9Part Two: Practices of Consumption Chapter 4: The Market, the Monograph and Scholarly Publishing . . . 106 4.1 Researching Academic Economies 107 4.2 The Scholarly Monograph and the Serials Crisis .... 112 4.3 Academia Meets the Marketplace: University Press Publishing 117 4.4 Scholarship that Sells: Commercial Scholarly Publishers 132 4.5 Commodification and Critical Studies: Publishing at Routledge 136 4.6 The Monograph, the Superstore and the 'Mass' Market . . 143 iv Chapter 5: Consumer Culture and the Academic Commodity 150 5.1 Capitalism as an Economy of Signs 151 5.2 The Commodity in Consumer Culture 9 5.3 The Book as Commodity 163 5.4 Scholarly Publishing in Consumer Culture 164 5.5 Seeking the Scholarly Consumer: Academic Advertising in Magazines 166 5.6 Seeking the 'Intellectual' Consumer: 'Mass' Advertising 17 8 Chapter 6: The Academic Commodity and the Sign of Cultural Capital 191 6.1 Cultural Capital: Knowledge as Capital 193 6.2 Cataloguing Capital 198 6.3 Book Design, the Academic Commodity and Cultural Capital 211 6.4 Art and Academic Capital 224 6.5 Critical Content and the Commodity Form 231 Chapter Seven: The Cultural Economy of Pierre Bourdieu: Scholarship as Capital 241 7.1 The Conditions for Academic Recognition 242 7.2 Capital in Content 243 7.3 Language and Academic Capital 251 7.4 Publishing and Academic Distinction 258 7.5 The Academic Commodity of Michel Foucault 262 7.6 The Academic Commodity of Pierre Bourdieu 7 7.7 The Author, the Market and the Commodity-Text 270 7.8 Scholarship as Capital: The Convertibility of Academic Capital 278 Conclusion 284 Bibliography 291 Appendix 9 List of Figures Figure 2.1. Ideology in the Theory of the Knowledge Society ... 69 Figure 3.1. Monograph and Serial Costs in ARL Libraries 1986-1997 . 97 Figure 4.1. Academic Economies of Scholarly Knowledge Production . Ill Figure 5.1. University of Chicago Press Ad 173 Figure 5.2. Stoddart Publishing Ad 174 Figure 5.3. McGill-Queen's University Press Ad 179 Figure 5.4. Cornell University Press Ad 185 Figure 5.5. Berrett Koehler Publishers Ad 186 Figure 5.6 M.I.T. Press Ad 188 Figure 6.1. McGill-Queen's University Press Catalogue 200 Figure 6.2. University of British Columbia Press Catalogue .... 201 Figure 6.3. University of Texas Press Catalogue 202 Figure 6.4. University of Chicago Press Catalogue 203 Figure 6.5. Cloth-Bound Library Edition Scholarly Monograph . . . 213 Figure 6.6. X7-Up' Jacket for the conquest of cool 216 Figure 6.7. Max Ernst's Two Sisters cover 227 Figure 6.8. Joseph Stella's Battle of Lights cover 230 Figure 6.9. Andy Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoes cover 233 vi Acknowledgements I want to express my profound gratitude to Professors Richard Ericson, Dawn Currie, and Thomas Kemple for their guidance, support, patience and friendship. Their intellectual contribution to this project is insurmountable and it certainly would not have been possible in its present form without their generous contributions. I could not have completed this project without the intellectual and moral support of my friends and colleagues, who each in their own way contributed to the spirit of this project. I especially thank Kevin Haggerty, Aaron Doyle, Karen Eisler, Carlos Neves, Jill Spicer, Randy-Lee Cutler, Monica Landolt, the Levenstein family and everyone else who graciously endured my sometimes harsh critical sensibilities despite their own position on such matters. This thesis would not have been possible without the love and support of my family. I want to thank my sister Sonya Peters and her family for their encouragement through all times good or bad; my mother Inge Pollex for her kindness, patience and clarity; and most of all my father, the late Paul Pollex, whose honesty, hard work and dedication made me a better person. This thesis is dedicated to him. Finally I want to thank my wife Elizabeth Hardy. Not only was the life of a graduate student thrust upon her but also the entire intellectual project that accompanies it. She managed to be loving, supportive, encouraging and nourishing for me while at the same time providing all of these qualities for our new son Nicolas. I owe her my most heartfelt gratitude. 1 Introduction As it is the power of exchanging that gives occasion to the division of labour, so the extent of this division must always be limited by the extent of that power, or, in other words, by the extent of the market. (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations) No theory today escapes the marketplace. Each one is offered as a possibility among competing opinions; all are put up for choice. (Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics) Every year publishers from around the world gather at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Much like trade shows from other industries, the book fair's primary purpose is to provide a venue for manufacturers to display their latest wares to potential consumers with the hope of finding new markets for their products. For these few days in October, the city of Frankfurt becomes host to this giant marketplace where publishers who attend are looking to extend their business internationally with the publishing rights of their books on the bargaining table. Here book's ranging from the latest computer software manuals (e.g. Windows for Idiots) to the newest offerings in cultural theory (e.g. a new translation of Theodor Adorno's Aesthetic Theory) are bought and sold by over 8000 publishers with a fervor that is unrivalled by any other book fair in the world. From an outsider's perspective, Frankfurt appears as a giant phantasmagoria of the commodity spectacle: a bustling trading house like the World Exposition or an automotive show. New products are colourfully displayed to consumers from booths that rival stalls in shopping malls, important international deals are made for the circulation of those goods, and often the commodities that are displayed succeed or fail financially based upon their commercial acceptance at the fair. From this 2 perspective, the fact that it is books that are the commodity on display is in the larger scheme of things somewhat irrelevant. As one immediately understands from the overall organization and presentation of the fair -from its unavoidable presence in publishing magazines in North America to giant billboards at the Frankfurt airport and throughout the city during the fair - it could be any large-scale product for sale from the range of seductive offerings in consumer culture. In this respect, the fair is the epitome of the kind of commercial activity that ties all contemporary business endeavors to each other, regardless of its product. It is on its most basic level a marketplace where commodities are exchanged by producers with consumers and distributed with the ultimate hope of financial gain. The Frankfurt Book Fair is, first and foremost, a place of business. As a commercial book fair whose mandate is to provide a medium for exchange and as an international marketplace for the transition of global book capital, it is not surprising to find in attendance all of the world's largest commercial book publishers from all representative languages and countries. Their attendance is mandatory as it is indeed among the demands for the movement of today's global capital. On this level, there are no apologies about the nature of the business of book selling: the value of a book comes down to its economics, its exchange value and subsequently its commercial potential for the accumulation of capital. The fact that many commercial publishers are now part of larger trans-national corporations (e.g. Fox Television owner Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of mega-publisher HarperCollins and the now defunct scholarly publisher Basic Books) demonstrates the inherent connection of books as commodities for global capital. The book publishing industry has, since its inception with the Gutenberg Press, never existed purely for the sake 3 of communicating knowledge: from its beginning book publishing has always been a commercial venture, albeit not always a lucrative one. As a consequence of this connection of books to commerce, today it is also not surprising to see elements of consumer culture at the fair. As today's capitalism necessitates the manipulation of signs as a fundamental aspect of communication and the symbolic management of exchange, marketing and advertising reign supreme at such an event. Often product differentiation is based upon the symbolic currency of the producer as well as the distinction of the product. In this respect, each booth sells the publisher as well as the books and their authors and seeks to establish the potency of their product line - the books that comprise their publishing lists - in relation to other publishers. Such competition breeds a semiotic sophistication in the form of bold marketing techniques where a publisher's success at the fair is related to its ability to manipulate signs in order to stand out from the crowd and symbolically position itself in the publishing hierarchy. Of course, all of the identifiers of the consumer culture 'outside' can indeed be found on the 'inside' as ways of communicating brand names and products. Here it is not a stretch of the imagination to see a parallel between the world of books and the larger world of commodities where publishers are sufficiently, although not necessarily, semiotic capitalists seeking return on their magnanimous investment. Consequently, publishers utilize all of the advertising and marketing resources available to them from consumer culture in order to ensure the consumption of their product. Although such commercial strategies do not appear inconsistent with the greater impulse of the fair, what does appear somewhat enigmatic among all of the glitter and swirling of the commodity signs at the Frankfurt Book Fair is the presence of scholarly publishers. While the appearance 4 of Penguin touting their latest collection of abridged classics or Doubleday selling the latest John Grisham novel is of little surprise, the presence of scholarly publishers invokes curiosity in those who are aware of the age-old mandate of scholarly publishers: 'to publish knowledge for knowledge's sake'. Most do not commonly associate scholarly activity, even in its publishing form, with commercial activity. Indeed many see these activities as occupying opposite ends of the vocational spectrum. However, at Frankfurt we witness a synchronicity where commercial and scholarly publishers alike exist side-by-side, each vying for a share of the international book trading market. What makes scholarly publishers such unlikely patrons at this event is not their resistance to commerce, for all publishers regardless of the commercial viability of their book lists must sell their books in order to stay financially afloat. Rather, the academic authority of their titles, the type of knowledge that is communicated, the cultural authority such knowledge invokes and the ideals of academic freedom underpinning academic writing make scholarly publishers a surprising participant at a commercial book fair. Unlike commercial publishers who often offer lucrative contracts for authors of varying backgrounds who can write books that sell, scholarly publishers are not in the business of publishing strictly for commercial gain. Scholarly publishers, especially those presses that are university affiliated, are in the rather awkward and somewhat contradictory position of being in the business of publishing to further the liberal-democratic goal of the 'free' dissemination of knowledge. Unlike commercial publishers who must publish for profit and whose authors do likewise, by virtue of their scholarly mandate scholarly publishers are seldom able to offer their authors a significant financial reward. Among other factors, this situation is the result of basic fiscal 5 considerations: the knowledge that scholarly publishers disseminate through the publishing of specialized monographs seldom provokes enough book sales to even recover the costs of publishing. The fact that the scholarly knowledge contained within the books is specialized necessarily means that there are only a few consumers to whom this knowledge is of interest. The reality of low sales does not typically pose a problem for scholarly authors, for unlike commercial authors, they are not looking to make financial gains but rather, true to the historical tradition of liberal academia, academics are looking to make a contribution to knowledge regardless of its marketability, limited audience and potential for mass consumption. In this distinction lies the traditional difference between commercial and scholarly publishing: commercial publishing is primarily about publishing 'books for economic gain, scholarly publishing is primarily about publishing books for the advancement of knowledge. Historically, both are supported by authors/producers and readers/consumers who maintain similar values. Academic authors continue to produce the knowledge that is disseminated by scholarly publishers because, unlike commercial authors, they are financially supported by an institution whose raison d'etre has traditionally been the autonomous production of 'knowledge for knowledge's sake' and the advancement of knowledge more generally. In contrast to commercial authors whose books must sell in order for them to eat academic authors are normally fed, so to speak, by the university. Ideally, then, academic authors need not worry about the economics of publishing when producing, exchanging and distributing their knowledge in published form. Essentially academics are financially cared for internally as a consequence of their institutional affiliation (so that they need not write out of the external interests of financial gain). With this ideal, 6 an aspect of the larger principle of 'academic freedom' , the modern university environment allows authors to produce knowledge that is considered more 'pure', less biased and closer to its object insofar as it is only concerned with the activity of the production of knowledge and not the commercial value, consumption or fiscal feasibility of knowledge. Academic knowledge, in this respect, is endowed with a particular cultural authority that is indeed different from other cultural sources of knowledge. Its authority is based in its attempt to distance itself from the biases of commercial self-interest and knowledge for the sake of economic gain. Academic authority attempts to be 'free' of economic as well as political, religious and other biasing forces of partisan interest. In light of this impetus of the modern university and these ideals partially based upon the larger principle of academic freedom, the presence of scholarly publishers at Frankfurt is a little more puzzling, for what is being sold, traded and exchanged among the many book-commodities are the products of scholarly research. The distance from commerce on which academic authority is partially based is not at all clear or obvious when one is confronted with thousands of scholarly monographs presented in much the same form as the latest commercial book on personal finance. Not only are monographs exchanged in the same way as many commercial publications, but the way in which these books are presented to consumers at the fair also differs little from their overtly commercial counterparts. We witness this overt commercialization of scholarly books in many forms. We see this in the way in which many scholarly publisher's imprints are projected like brand names from giant monolithic trading kiosks (e.g. the trading booths of Oxford and Cambridge University Presses). We see this with the display of such scholarly books as Anthony Giddens' Capitalism and Modern Social Theory that ironically boasts on its cover: 'over 100,000 copies sold'. We see this with text book 'value-packs' that attempt to appeal to the bargain conscious scholarly consumer. However, the significant difference here is that the producers of scholarly books - academics and scholarly publishers - still view their work in contrast to commercial endeavors and garner a particularly powerful cultural authority for doing so. Many of those involved in the production of academic knowledge do not see this issue as posing any significant problems for academics or academic publishers. To some, academic research appears to remain relatively untouched by such commercial forces. However, as I explore in more detail in the pages to come, the similarity of form when comparing commercial and academic texts exposes a significant contradiction with respect to the academic production of those commodities and the system of exchange in which they are circulated. On the one hand, citing the ideal of academic freedom, many academics claim that they are autonomous and immune from 'external' interference. On the other hand, at Frankfurt and elsewhere in the publishing world, in academia and in consumer culture at large, it is clear that academic knowledge indeed circulates as a commodity that is subject to a' definitive system of economic exchange. Seeing Martin Heidegger's Being and Time 'read' by a pock-faced teen in a Clearasil acne cream commercial on Much Music or seeing Nietzsche innocuously 'read' by a receptionist in a scene from the Hollywood film The Birdcage only reveals the surface of such pervasive commodification oJ critical academically produced knowledge. The question is thus whether academic knowledge can circulate as a commodity, that is, as subject to the economic demands of consumer culture, without influencing the production or transforming the purpose of that knowledge. Or to rephrase 8 the question slightly: Can academia resist its commodification when academic knowledge circulates as a product in consumer culture, or, has the resilience of capital put an end to such autonomous fields of production? The Frankfurt Book Fair is an interesting and fruitful site to open an exploration of the circulation of scholarly books and academic knowledge in consumer culture because it is not exceptional but rather typical of the commodification of academic knowledge in consumer culture. As we see at Frankfurt, scholarly products such as Adorno's radical critique of advanced capitalism are ironically, much in the spirit of Adam Smith, equally exchanged in the marketplace as commodities by publishers, large scale commercial or smaller scale scholarly publishers, primarily for commercial reasons. However, if one buys a scholarly book published by a scholarly press at a local bookstore or (as is becoming more common today) a book chain superstore such as the Canadian bookstore giant Chapters, chances are that the scholarly book's appearance closely resembles its commercial counterparts. That is, its cover, title, the author's credentials, the credentials of the authors of the blurbs (testimonial praises from credible sources used to sell books as well as films, music, art etc.), and the fact that it has blurbs at all, are all geared to sell the book to prospective readers/ consumers. Even when the book is promoted as scholarly research and a product of 'academic freedom' this fact does not change. In this and many other ways we witness the circulation of academic knowledge as a commodity not unlike any other product in the global marketplace. The issue that I explore here is not generally whether or not knowledge is a commodity, for I believe with many others that today this can hardly be disputed (Bell 1973; Baudrillard 1981; Lyotard 1984; Stehr 1994), but rather, my concern is specifically to 9 what extent academic knowledge becomes a commodity in contemporary consumer culture. As I have discovered in the course of my interviews for this project, even the suggestion that academic knowledge is a commodity is deemed by many liberal academics to be preposterous. Skeptics point to the average salary of an academic or the financial gains earned from a publication in journal or book form as evidence that the majority of academics do not produce knowledge for commercial gain. For many, this view is further supported by the range of research topics explored by academics that have absolutely no commercial value or large consumer appeal. Further, many contend that the degrees of academic specialization certainly limit the number of actual consumers of such knowledge. Given the limited market range for academic knowledge and the meager financial compensation, many liberal academics uphold the idea that academic production is immune or sheltered from the types of market forces that influence other forms of production. Other forms of knowledge production simply do not operate under the conditions of ascribed freedom to produce like those that supposedly exist in the tenured security of an academic setting. Many would argue, then, that because of the academic freedom embodied in the tenure system, the production of academic knowledge as a commodity is unlikely or impossible especially since academia is by definition separate from commercial interests. In what follows I attempt to clarify the confusion in this assertion by examining the extent to which commercialization and commodification are related but distinct processes. Whereas commercialization refers to activities undertaken strictly for the purposes of financial gain through profit, commodification (in the way it is used by theorists of consumer culture and throughout this dissertation) refers more broadly to the 10 structuring of value embedded in systems of exchange. This, of course, is a departure from the traditional notion of the commodity as strictly an object of commerce that is simply bought and sold. Rather, commodification, (particularly as it is used here in relation to the production of knowledge) refers to the capitalist economic system and the general logic of unequal accumulation and exchange in which knowledge, and other commodities, circulate. The logic of capital, as we see below, has many forms - from a strictly political economic level on which commerce is a primary factor such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, to a cultural economic level where symbols are organized according to an economic logic that is based on accumulation and a symbolic hierarchy. To speak of academic knowledge as a commodity then is not to say that academics are in the business of knowledge production and publishing simply to accumulate financial wealth. This idea, as every underpaid academic will surely protest, is patently absurd. However, an economic logic exists which is common to all production regardless of its ideological positioning in relation to such forces. While there is a level of commerce that cannot be denied, the commodity form in academia takes on a much deeper symbolic meaning as the accumulation of cultural capital and symbolic power. As I attempt to demonstrate, this is not easily identifiable strictly in terms of commerce but indeed possesses a similar logic. In this respect the assertion that knowledge is a commodity is not as radical as it may at first appear. Many contemporary social theorists have pointed to academic production and knowledge production more generally as being implicated within a larger economic system of capitalist exchange. Most famously perhaps for social theorists, Jean-Francois Lyotard in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge claims 11 that increasingly knowledge in contemporary society flows according to an economic logic: The relationship of suppliers and users of knowledge to the knowledge they supply and use is now tending and will increasingly tend, to assume the form already taken by the relationship of commodity producers and consumers to the commodities they produce and consume - that is, the form of value. Knowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorized in a new production: in both cases the goal is exchange. Knowledge ceases to be an end in itself (Lyotard 1984 : 4) . Others such as Nico Stehr in Knowledge Societies see the inevitable consequence of the commodification of knowledge as an inherent aspect of the shift of production from manual labour to intellectual labour where a significant part of society lives off the selling of knowledge: It would appear to be almost self-evident that, in a society in which knowledge becomes the dominant productive force, that knowledge, or certain types of knowledge at least, turns into a commodity and can be appropriated, recognized and treated as property. Of course knowledge has always had its price and has never been available in an unlimited supply, that is, knowledge has been not unlike other commodities, scarce, and in order to utilize it, one had to sometimes buy it (Stehr 1994:109) . Although these statements relate to the production of contemporary knowledge more generally, other social theorists such as Alvin Gouldner in The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class and Pierre Bourdieu in Homo Academicus point to the institution of academia as the site of economic practices that convert knowledge into various forms of capital. In their respective analyses, both argue that acquired knowledge through the educational system operates as capital that reproduces those conditions that led to its acquisition and that secure the possessor a position in the social hierarchy that rivals the capitalist of industrial society. Knowledge as a form of cultural capital creates a new class of elites whose status is based on the production of knowledge as a commodity, its accumulation, and ultimately its possession by relatively few consumers. 12 In addition to these discussions on the social development of the commodification of knowledge are those excurses in which academic production is examined in the context of a more general literary economy. In these analyses, academic production is seen in terms of writing and publishing and the extent to which such practices are viable and validated is seen as related to the academic marketplace, global capitalism and the economy of writing. As Ben Agger tells us in 'Aporias of Academic Production': 'the dominant view of American academia is characterized by the metaphor of an open market of competing ideas, paralleling the liberal metaphor of a market economy' (Agger 1991:89). A literary economy for Agger is comprised of the creation of ideas in an academic setting that cater to market forces as structured and sanctioned by State interests. Publishing in this respect plays an integral role in the production of knowledge which is limited by the extent to which publishing places limitations on the development of particular forms of knowledge. The economy of academic writing then is not so much an effect of its commercialization, as some might protest, but more importantly of the academic producer's response and concession to particular market forces. I mention these discussions by social theorists of the commodification of knowledge in order to demonstrate the burgeoning literature that concerns itself with the situation of knowledge production in contemporary capitalism. However, regardless of this literature, the idea of the commodification of knowledge still might seem radical, distasteful or altogether incorrect to those who uphold a liberal vision of academic knowledge production and the autonomy to freely pursue knowledge. This problem clearly divides those who recognize the phenomenon from those who do not; this, in turn, brings me to a further problem. 13 On the other side of the coin lies the liberal ideology that is traditionally associated with academic knowledge production that adheres to a belief in the autonomy of academic practice. According to this view, academics are institutionally accorded freedom to pursue knowledge that is free from external interests. Although I develop the history of this belief below, for now it is enough to say that, in theory, this autonomy allows for a 'disinterested' pursuit of research. Whether the knowledge concerns a fish, an atom, a society or a behaviour, the autonomy of academic practice is deemed essential for unpacking the 'objective' world. As a result, academic knowledge as developed through pure research is accorded a privileged epistemological status. Its authority is based upon the unfettered pursuit of its object as established through the autonomy of the institution. Given this position, which is both epistemological and sociological, one can see why liberals might think the premise of the commodification of academic knowledge is patently absurd. Knowledge, in this view, necessarily reflects its object and not its context. However, the problem is that the liberal view actually obscures the issue of the commodification of knowledge. As I develop further in chapter two, such obfuscation exists because of liberalism's connection to Enlightenment epistemology. By this account the methodological primacy of 'the object' that is the basis for the liberal production of knowledge is ahistorical whereas the commodification that I am referring to can only be understood as a relatively recent historical occurrence. The autonomy of academic practice historically existed to allow knowledge to reveal the internal features of the object of research without external interference, such as political, economic or religious censorship. The traditional focus of the pursuit of knowledge is strictly internalist and as such does not see social or historical factors as influencing the pursuit of 14 knowledge, either ideally or in practice. The focus is primarily upon the content of academic knowledge, not its form. In this way, epistemologically speaking, an empirical examination of the commodification of academic knowledge appears nonsensical, a tautology, for the very basis of empirical research is the autonomy such a line of inquiry necessarily negates. By contrast the investigation that follows challenges the assumption of an autonomous foundation that establishes the one-dimensional authority of empirically researched academic knowledge by reflexively situating knowledge production in a contemporary socio-historic context. Non-critical studies of knowledge production have largely neglected or rejected this approach for it undermines the strictly objectivist and autonomous foundation of academic authority, including of course its own. In this respect, academic liberals are often quite dismissive of any claims regarding the external influences of market forces on the production of academic knowledge. There is an ideological resistance to such ideas about academic knowledge production. As we see in a recent book titled Marketing Modernisms: Self Promotion, Canonization and Rereading that attempts to reexamine the canon of English literature in light of such market forces, the editors note that they experienced some difficulty acquiring articles that explore their thesis (Dettmar and Watt 1996). In this collection the authors choose to examine how the founders' of the literary canon such as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and James Joyce among others, were in fact writing in response to market forces with an eye for commercial sales. As one senior scholar who declined the invitation to write an essay for the anthology responded: 'Thank-you for your invitation; but I don't feel moved to contribute. The phrasing of the prospectus betrays a concept that belittles. Joyce, Wolfe, Ford, et al. 15 were after all not junior academics with a way to make' (Dettmar and Watt 1996:1). While this response clearly indicates a certain disdain for both the subject matter and the form in which it is presented, it also reveals the reluctance of some liberal academics to confront, if not deny altogether, the external features of knowledge production, simply as if they do not exist. However, the tone of the response is tellingly contradictory. It both frowns upon the reexamination of the canon in terms of market forces, yet also implicitly acknowledges the situation of junior academics 'with a way to make' and thus as catering to market forces. Even if the authors of the collection are misguided and canonical literary figures are not as they claim 'market-driven' , does not the acknowledgement of the need for junior faculty to be so inclined indicate a need to examine this further rather than simply to dismiss their activity as 'with a way to make'? In a similar vein, the message at an American Sociological Association workshop I attended for graduate students on publishing one's dissertation was also reflective of such ideology. On the one hand, both a tenured sociologist and an editor from a highly respected university press argued that students must pursue their passions for knowledge and ignore the pressures to produce for the academic marketplace. As the sociologist, whose Ph.D. dissertation on Freaks on Television Talk Shows later published as a book, put it: 'it is a battle between integrity and instrumentalism. Don't let instrumental considerations influence your research'. Or as the editor who published the book put it: 'I look for passion and love in a manuscript. I never let instrumental considerations inform the process. Manuscripts where this is apparent get off my desk real fast'. All of the speakers on the panel strongly urged students not to let instrumental considerations influence research design, and contrary 16 to what students might think is in demand, they urged students to produce something that they themselves find interesting. They then suggested that if the topic is interesting to the student then it will eventually find its way to publication, for it is only out of this genuine, autonomous quest for knowledge that truly worthy knowledge is produced. Here the ideology of the message is clearly liberal - the genuine academic pursuit of knowledge is inherently autonomous. Although there are indeed many who ascribe to this view, the question that this necessarily raises in today's academic context, however, is whether this liberal view of academic practice accurately describes the contemporary practice of academic knowledge production. As I demonstrate below, adherence to this ideology often leads to contradictions between liberal academic theory and actual contemporary academic practices. Briefly, this contradiction can be summarized from an interview I conducted for this research. This academic maintained that, on the one hand, he only writes for himself (the standard liberal view of academic autonomy). But in the course of the interview he also recounted how he wanted a 'sexy' title for his latest book in order to gain a wider appeal for the student market. This example superficially demonstrates what I explore at a deeper level: that the market as comprised by consumers of academic knowledge plays a fundamental yet unacknowledged role in today's production of academic knowledge. It is this contradiction with the liberal view of academic production that requires explanation. The liberal account of knowledge production is clear about where it stands on the issue of market forces and commodification as they relate to academia, and this in itself largely prevents further examination of the issue. For many liberals the commodification of academic knowledge simply does not and should not exist. On the other hand, however, much of the 17 critical theoretical work that points to the inherent contradictions between the commodification of knowledge and the economics of academic knowledge production often leaves the issue relatively unnoticed, especially in the North American setting. Aside from various anecdotes contained in critical exegeses, theoretical analyses of the commodification of knowledge are often conducted on such a level of abstraction as to appear context-free. That is, although such commentaries indeed refer to contemporary aspects in knowledge production they do not elaborate the particularities that ground the phenomenon in contemporary social practices. Thus, although the theoretical literature critically confronts commodification more generally, it is not necessarily grounded in a rigorous analysis of the commodification of knowledge as an ongoing social practice in academia or as a part of the consumer culture that generates such practices. In other words, much of the literature in contemporary social theory critically acknowledges and develops the methodological legitimacy of the external features of knowledge production (cf. Gouldner 1979; Agger 1991; O'Neill 1992); however, little is further developed by way of a contemporary grounded sociological analysis that examines how the market characteristics of the circulation of commodities in consumer culture in practice influence the production of knowledge in an academic setting. Thus as the matter stands in the critical theoretical tradition, academic knowledge has yet to be reflexively examined as a commodity that circulates in the context of consumer culture. In this analysis I seek to develop the theoretical critiques of commodification, from Marx's early formulation of the commodity form to the more contemporary versions found in Jean Baudrillard and Pierre Bourdieu, by way of a grounded analysis that examines the extent to which academic knowledge functions as a commodity for consumer capitalism. 18 Although my aim is primarily to develop a theoretical framework for the analysis for academic knowledge in consumer culture, I utilize empirical examples as illustrations of particular theoretical insights to the issues revolving primarily around the distribution and consumption of academic knowledge. In this respect I hope not only to advance a critical contemporary framework for sociological analyses of knowledge but also to advance our understanding of the role of scholarly publishers and the marketplace in the larger system of academic knowledge production. This analysis follows most closely with other critical sociological studies that attempt to demonstrate the complex mosaic involved in the institutional production of knowledge (cf. Gouldner 1979, Latour 1987, Bourdieu 1988) . Furthermore, following in the footsteps of theorists of culture and capitalism (Baudrillard 1981; Horkheimer and Adorno 1988; Lash 1990; Jameson 1991; Bourdieu 1991), I attempt to build upon the notion of the blurring of boundaries between these previously distinct social spheres and the omnipotence of the commodity form. With reference to this relatively recent social development, I examine the symbiosis of the academic and the economic spheres into what I refer to as the academic economy. This term is meant to provoke those liberal academics who are ideologically blind to the increasing role of the market in the creation of 'liberal' academic knowledge. As I intend to demonstrate, it is impossible to conceive of any form of production that occurs in isolation from greater economic and social forces. Thinking of academic knowledge production in this way is not an exception but rather proves the rule of the encroachment of the economic into every social sphere and the commodification of everyday life (cf. Gottdiener 1994). What we see is that the notion of a separation between academic and economic value is no 19 longer an adequate formulation of academic privilege. Rather, the only way to understand the contemporary situation of academe is to fully incorporate an analysis of some of the 'external' features of knowledge production such as the marketplace, consumption, commodification and the logic and forms of late capitalism. In exploring these issues we come to see that at the heart of academic economies is scholarly publishing and the exchange and distribution of scholarly knowledge. The provocation intended by the notion of an 'academic economy' only makes sense in relation to the academic ideal of 'knowledge for knowledge's sake'. This ideal and its context are explored in the first three chapters in Part One: Ideologies of Production. In chapter one I explore the origins of the notion of 'pure' academe and the separation and relative autonomy of academic practice. In looking at how academic production is originally formulated and how its mandate remains a fundamental principle of academic endeavours today, we come to see how the notion of academic knowledge as a commodity might offend those liberals who ideologically adhere to such'a position. Moreover, in exploring the differentiation of the modern university we come to see how fundamental scholarly publishing is to secure the mandate of 'knowledge for knowledge's sake'. This chapter acts as an ideological measuring stick to gauge how far the practices of contemporary academe have strayed from their ideological origins. In chapter two I explore how the liberal conception of knowledge production is not a romantic ideal from the past but is rather upheld by a prominent contemporary sociological theory of knowledge: the theory of the knowledge society. In this chapter I examine how theoretically and methodologically one-sided such liberal theories of knowledge production are and how they ultimately lead to an entirely inadequate formulation of 20 knowledge production. In the tradition of a Marxist sociology of knowledge, I demonstrate how economic factors cannot materially nor historically be factored out of any explanation of production, regardless of the many ideological attempts to do so. In chapter three I demonstrate by way of current empirical data the role of economic forces and the extraction of surplus value from academic labour with an examination of the role of scholarly journals for commercial scholarly publishers. Here we see how academic labour used for the creation of scholarly journals plays a fundamental role in the generation of surplus value for venture capital. Here academics directly contribute to their situation in the relations of capital. This relationship reveals the role of scholarly publishing in the commodification of academic knowledge for it is through the pricing of journals that a chain reaction occurs throughout the academic system that eventually poses significant economic concerns for academic authors. Capitalism confronts academic production as yet another form of labour, thereby asserting its dominance as the primary creator of value in capitalist society.. Following an analysis of commercial scholarly publishers and their reliance upon academic labour for the generation of surplus I examine in chapter four what many are now calling 'the serials crisis' in scholarly communication. Through an examination of this crisis I demonstrate how the marketplace plays a greater role for scholarly publishers and their decision to publish academic books. Largely drawing upon interview data, I explore the increasing significance of the consumer for scholarly publishers in the publishing of academic work. This chapter opens Part Two of the thesis: Practices of Consumption that attempts to balance the ideology of knowledge production with theoretically informed empirical 21 illustrations of academic practices of consumption - from scholarly publishers to publishing academics, their students and other potential readers - in order to more clearly illustrate the theoretical arguments presented throughout the thesis. Chapter Five examines the growing influence of consumer culture upon the practices of scholarly publishers and how academic books circulate according to the logic of the commodity-sign. Here I look at how advertising plays a large role in the communication of academic product to a consuming market of readers. As I demonstrate, particular strategies are utilized by scholarly publishers in order to make their books visible in a highly competitive academic marketplace. In this we see how the practices of scholarly publishers are growing more similar to their commercial counterparts. Following this logic in Chapter Six I examine how the scholarly monograph, and scholarly books more generally, can be viewed as among the primary sites of the commodification of academic knowledge. Using Pierre Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital I demonstrate how academic values are utilized by scholarly publishers for the sale of scholarly books and how such a practice reveals a symbiosis of values between the economic and the academic spheres. Using several examples from 'popular' academic books I examine more closely the connection between the cultural capital of the author, the market for such a work and the cultural capital of its readership. Ultimately I set out to demonstrate that no matter how liberal or critical the content of an academic work, the function of cultural capital ultimately asserts the commodity form over its critical content. Finally in Chapter Seven I reflexively explore how all of the factors detailed thus far come to bear on the academic author. Here using 22 sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's career as an example, I explore how through scholarly publishing, academic practices of capital are geared towards the academic marketplace. In this examination we see scholarly publishing as a form of capital that ultimately has economic convertibility as its final destination. Here the practices of capital are shown not only in the financial motives of publishers but also, in the shorter term, in the symbolic profit of the academic author. Using Bourdieu and his situation in the French intellectual marketplace as an example I also show how an academic economy based upon the strategic accumulation of cultural capital through scholarly publishing is relevant for academics today in North America. Through this examination we come to see how the ideology of academic liberalism cannot adequately account for these changes in scholarly practice. I try to demonstrate that any account of scholarly knowledge must not only account for the adequacy of academic content but must also attempt to address the relevance of its form for the generation and acceptance of such knowledge. Since scholarly publishing is integral to the circulation and exchange of such knowledge, then the conditions of the publication of knowledge must also be incorporated into a sociological examination of knowledge. The notion of an academic economy, beyond its polemical value, expresses an attempt to address the highly significant mediating function of economic value for the circulation of academic knowledge, if only to provide a concrete analysis for the critical inspection of how these economic forces colonize the realm of liberal scholarship. PART ONE IDEOLOGIES OF PRODUCTION 24 1 Academic Liberalism Freedom through reason is the basic principle behind many forms of liberalism. However, as Stanley Fish observes in his essay 'Liberalism Doesn't Exist', the foundation of liberal thought is seldom questioned: 'Indeed the status of liberalism depends on not inquiring into the status of reason, depends, that is, on the assumption that reason's status is obvious' (Fish 1994:135). Academic liberalism and the contemporary practices of scholarship are not exempt from this charge. Today the special status of academic authority relies on the assumption that the truthful discovery and free dissemination of knowledge are indeed obvious or 'natural'. Taking up Fish's challenge, in this chapter I inquire into the social and historical forces that led to the institutionalization of academic liberalism. In the analysis that follows I inspect the ideas informing the institutional and epistemological development of the notion of academic freedom that attempts to firmly establish the ideals of liberalism in the institutional practices of academe. Rather than being a 'natural' feature of knowledge inquiry, the notion of the 'autonomy of scholarly inquiry' that grounds academic freedom is the historical consequence of modernization and the differentiation of the university as a liberal institution of knowledge production in a social democracy. By developing these relations we see how the constructed autonomy of the university, with its emphasis on 'pure' research as a value intrinsic to the institution, directly reflects larger ideological tendencies inherent in modernity. I demonstrate through this examination how the modern university attempts to establish the ideals of liberalism in academic practice in 25 three distinct but related ways: first, through the isolation of academe as an 'autonomous' sphere of knowledge production; second, through the production of academia's own mode and methods of evaluation as a differentiated 'value sphere'; and third, through the creation of distinct cultural practices, such as scholarly publishing, separate from other social spheres such as religion, politics and economics. Once I establish the connection between liberal ideals and scholarly practice in this chapter I then examine in the following chapter how accounts of scholarly knowledge production, such as the theory of the knowledge society, focus only upon those scholarly practices that affirm liberal ideals, thereby constituting what I refer to as academic ideology. 1.1 The Conflict of the Faculties The central tenet of liberalism, whether in its philosophical, economic, political or academic sense, asserts the freedom naturally endowed upon individuals to pursue their interests according to their own desires and without restriction from external forces. 'Liberalism denotes an officially agnostic or neutral grid that allows self-governing individuals to co-ordinate their reciprocal relations in ways that maximize the attainment of their own individual purposes' -(Beiner 1997:4). If a central theme can be drawn from Enlightenment thought it is that the individual who obtains knowledge through reason is truly free. According to philosopher Immanuel Kant: 'reason is by its nature free' (Kant 1970:29) . We commonly witness this association in the universal humanist equation that emerges out of Enlightenment thinking: Reason = Truth = Freedom. This position is still ideologically maintained by many academic liberals (cf. Bloom 1987). However, in Kant's philosophy the freedom to know is not an a priori right but rather one that must be socially sanctioned. For Kant there is 26 an implicit and contradictory awareness that the freedom to know, especially the freedom to inquire necessarily occurs within the parameters of a socio-political context. To acquire knowledge freely, that is without religious or political tutelage or control, there must exist an institution that is given special privilege and status by the authority of the state, such that no external interests nor constraints can be placed upon the pursuit of knowledge, reason, truth and (ultimately) freedom. For Kant, true freedom of inquiry, ironically, must be secured through legislation by the State. In his prophetic statement on the freedom of rational inquiry, On the Conflict of the Faculties (1798/1970), Kant outlines a program, an agenda for the pursuit of 'true' knowledge, which to a large extent still expresses the founding principles for today's modern university system in most of Europe and North America. In this treatise Kant presents a blueprint that not only establishes the conditions for the structural foundation of modern university curricula but also details a treatise on the necessity of free inquiry and its relationship to reason as the basis for true knowledge. Hence, Kant's ^Conflict' establishes the necessity for the autonomy of scholarly practice, the need for knowledge produced by scholars to be free from interests other than the pursuit of 'knowledge for knowledge's sake', and free and rational inquiry into truth as one of the basic conditions for that truth (cf. Russell 1993). In this conception lies the foundation for the legitimation of today's production of academic knowledge and the basis for its continuing privileged cultural authority. The foundation of what we know today as academic freedom for scholars has its roots in a conflict that involved its opposite, namely, censorship. In 1798, Immanuel Kant critically responded to the censorship of his work 'Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason' by Friedrich 27 Wilhelm II with a call for the establishment of a protocol for the pursuit of higher knowledge. According to Kant, such censorship obviously impedes the 'free' search for truth as the basis for rational inquiry. In the interests of reason, knowledge, and truth, combating such restrictions requires the granting of privilege to an institution where such pursuits can be freely exercised free from external constraint. In The Conflict of the Faculties Kant provides a blueprint for such an institution not only by mapping the separation of this institution from others but also by establishing the hierarchy and divisions within the institution itself. To begin, Kant maps a division in the university between the higher faculties - Law, Medicine and Religion - and the lower faculty of philosophy. In this he establishes the grounds for graduate curricula and the granting of a doctorate of philosophy: 'the university admits students seeking entrance from the lower schools and, having conducted examinations, by its own authority [is able to] to grant degrees or confer the universally recognized status of "doctor" on free teachers - in other words, to create doctors' (Kant 1970:23). The distinction between higher and lower for Kant is not a sublimated form of self-deprecation but rather a political response of deference to the authority of the State: 'For a faculty is considered higher only if its teachings interest the government itself, while the faculty whose function is only to look after the interests of science is called lower because it may use its own judgement about what it teaches' (Kant 1970:27). The lower faculty of philosophy occupies a certain freedom of inquiry that the higher faculties do not possess, for the higher faculties are ultimately constrained by the authority of the State and the certainty required by its canonical texts, such as the code of civil law, the Bible and medical/scientific texts. According to Kant the lower faculty of philosophy must have the freedom to question the grounds 28 for calling such texts and their knowledge 'true' and, therefore, must exist independently of the State in order to do so: It is absolutely essential that the learned community at the university also contain a faculty that is independent of the government's command with regard to its teachings; one that, having no commands to give is free to evaluate everything, and concerns itself with the interests of the sciences, that is, with truth: one in which reason is authorized to speak out publicly. For without a faculty of this kind, the truth would not come to light; but reason is by its nature free and admits of no command to hold something as true. The reason why this faculty, despite its great prerogative (freedom) is called the lower faculty lies in human nature; for a man who can give commands, even though he is someone else's humble servant, is considered more distinguished than a free man who has no one under his command (Kant 1970:29). Here lies the connection of reason and freedom to the idea of institutionalized autonomy that is the foundation of liberal scholarship today - 'one that, having no commands to give is free to evaluate everything'. Of particular importance to Kant is the autonomy of philosophy (which is itself divided into the departments of history, geography, philology, humanities, natural sciences, pure mathematics, pure metaphysics and pure philosophy) from external constraints. As a consequence of this freedom, 'the philosophy faculty can, therefore, lay claim to any teaching in order to test its truth' (Kant 1970:45). Its effectiveness to 'test truth' is largely based on an internalist appraisal of its categories, or, upon philosophy's ability to produce its own judgements and evaluate those judgements based upon its own criteria. Granted this freedom, philosophy stands as the ultimate judge of reason. Because of its separation from the other faculties and the state, philosophy, in Kant's formulation, is the most free and liberal of scholarly pursuits. Through the institution of such freedom by the State and its implementation of these ideas, freedom can be attained for the pursuit of higher knowledge, its truth, and the dissemination of this truth to the masses. The enlightening and progressive character of 'higher' knowledge 29 is founded upon this 'natural', free search for the truth and its eventual dissemination to 'the masses'. Today's liberal mandate for scholarly communication and education of the general public is seen in Kant as an early insight into the elective affinity between scholarship and publishing: Enlightenment of the masses is the public instruction of the people in its duties and rights vis-a-vis the state to which they belong. Since only natural rights and rights arising out of the common human understanding are concerned here, then the natural heralds and expositors of these among the people are not officially appointed by the state but are free professors of law, that is philosophers who, precisely because this freedom is allowed to them, are objectionable to the state, which always desires to rule alone . . . Thus the prohibition of publicity impedes the progress of people toward improvement, even in that which applies to the least of its claims, namely its simple, natural right (Kant 1970:161). The categorical divisions that Kant makes philosophically in this treatise provide not only the founding ideals for what we know today as academic freedom but also provide a practical blueprint for the institutionalization of the differentiated and 'autonomous' modern university. As such the idea of producing truthful knowledge, legitimated through the autonomy of scholarly pursuit, is based on the impetus for being fully instituted in the practice of academic scholarship and the guaranteed freedom to conduct research to advance knowledge. In the name of truth, reason and freedom these ideals are determined by scholars and administrators as worthy of implementation in the modern university system. 1.2 Freedom of Inquiry in the Modern University During his life Kant did not implement his treatise in the practices of the German university. However, a contemporary of Kant's, the philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt, brought about its successful application to the University of Berlin in 1810 (Readings 1996:62; Rand 1992:viii). From the appeal of Kant's institutional categories for rational inquiry in Berlin, 30 it was not much later that his plan for the autonomy of the faculties was implemented in universities both in Germany and abroad, seeing its first incarnation in the United States several decades later with Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities (Rand 1992:viii). The importation of the German blueprint for higher education plays a critical role in the transformation of the American higher education system and therefore these ideals continue to have a substantial impact on the practices of scholarly knowledge production in North America. In a short period following its implementation in Germany, over 9000 Americans studying at German universities in the nineteenth century brought back with them the methods and ideals of the German university system (Stone 1996:65; Muto 1993:3). Most enthusiastically, they imported the Kantian concept of free research through academic freedom that provided the American system with a much-needed proviso to ensure the quality and standards of higher education and its research programs. No longer were mere pedagogues and disciplinarians the pursuers of higher knowledge but now the research university attracted individuals of diverse intellectual abilities (Stone 1996:66). This diversity reflected a new found freedom of academic inquiry that allowed for the vpure' pursuit of knowledge for knowledge sake without the interference of partisan politics or practical application. As Stone points out in the following passage, this free pursuit of knowledge based upon the German model became the definitive and distinctive aspect of the academic profession. The modern conception of the university as a research institution was in large part a German contribution. The object of the German university was the determined, methodical and independent search for truth, without regard to practical application. The German professor enjoyed the freedom of teaching and freedom of inquiry. The German system held that this freedom was the distinctive prerogative of the academic profession and that it was the essential condition of a university (Stone 1996:66). Further, Stone adds, the assumption that academic freedom defines the modern university is the single greatest contribution of the German 31 university to the American system. Prior to this, the American University was plagued with religious zealotry and political censorship not unlike what Kant experienced in Germany (Stone 1996:66). The freedom of rational inquiry, achieved through the German ideal of the autonomy and differentiation of the institution, now provides the foundation for today's epistemological authority of scholarly knowledge. Through the autonomy of scholarly values comes the freedom to pursue 'knowledge for knowledge's sake'. As we see in this statement from William Rainey Harper, the first president of the University of Chicago, academic freedom through institutionally guaranteed autonomy must constitute the central mandate of a university: When for any reason . . . the administration of a university or the instruction in any of its departments is changed by an influence from without, or any effort is made to dislodge a professor because the political sentiment or religious sentiment of the majority has undergone a change, at that moment the institution has ceased to become a university (quoted in Stone 1996:66). So strong is this belief in the freedom to pursue higher knowledge without constraint that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued the following public statement: Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free expression (quoted in Hamilton 1995:3). The ideal of academic freedom also applies equally today to the modern research university and the contemporary production of scholarly knowledge. As we see in a recent mission statement from the University of British Columbia, these ideals are deeply entrenched in the modern research university. Among the objectives stated is the following: The university will maintain its position as one of North America's major research universities, and carry out research that is at the forefront of human knowledge and which can be freely and openly disseminated in a wide range of fields ... It will strive to maintain an environment which respects the academic freedom of students and faculty (U.B.C. 1999). 32 Through the ideal of academic freedom as the defining characteristic of the academic profession, scholarly knowledge enjoys a particular legitimation that other sources of knowledge production do not possess. However, as we find below, the 'autonomy' of the modern university is not only the result of the ideals of Enlightenment philosophy and its attempts for a practical application but such 'autonomy' is also the result of the larger social and historical processes of social modernization and an increasing division of labour in industrial society. In this respect, scholarship, rather than being strictly internally defined by its own system of values as Kant suggests, already begins to dialectically reflect its situation in modern industrial society. 1.3 Modernity, 'Autonomy' and Differentiation As sociological theories of modernity tell us, among the many observable features of the historical process of modernization is the increasing differentiation of social structures. The institution of the autonomy of scholarly practice can be understood to be a result of this increasing tendency of modern societies toward social differentiation. According to its pundits, differentiation is the process in modernity whereby each cultural sphere attains the fullest possible autonomy, and becomes self-legislating, developing its own conventions and modes of valuation (Lash 1990:9) . In modernity, academic autonomy achieves a distinct status relative to other social spheres. If we examine here the work of sociologists Emile Durkheim in his study The Division of Labour in Society (1893) and Talcott Parsons in The American University (1973) we see how varying social spheres such as the religious, political, intellectual and economic institutions are differentiated from one another within the greater whole of modern society. We can then see how the academic sphere 33 acquires a relative autonomy as a specific institution that is differentiated from other modern social institutions through its particular value structure for the advancement of knowledge and the freedom of rational inquiry. Through an understanding of the idea of social differentiation we come to see how the notion of autonomy that legitimates scholarly inquiry does not take place outside of the parameters of larger socio-historical processes. In Durkheim's The Division of Labour we see the emerging differences that arise in the transition from traditional to modern societies. In this study he demonstrates that one of the central features of modern industrial society that best illustrates the increasing tendency toward large-scale differentiation is that 'religion embraces a smaller and smaller portion of social life' (Durkheim 1973:5) . Here Durkheim is pointing to the fact that the supposedly homogenous structure of traditional societies, where all members ascribe to a single, shared common belief system, or a conscience collective, typically through the religious doctrine of the church, transmogrifies into a heterogenous collection of social institutions each serving a specific social function within the developing division of labour. Religion, in this sense, as a common binding force plays a smaller role in people's lives as it increasingly competes with the values of the various other developing social institutions, such as the economy, politics, aesthetics and the intellectual sphere (cf. Weber 1958). Social life in modern societies, rather than being dominated by a single institution, is subject to the values from a multiplicity of social institutions. Of course, this is what Durkheim famously refers to as the shift away from the mechanical solidarity of traditional societies, where social cohesion is defined by an almost automatic conformity to one set of common norms, to that of organic solidarity in modern societies, where cohesion is defined by 'the 34 co-operation between individuals or groups of individuals which derive from their occupational interdependence within a differentiated division of labour' (Giddens 1973:8) . In comparing the two forms of solidarity Durkheim states: The structure of societies where organic solidarity is preponderant is quite different [from those where mechanical solidarity is preponderant]. These are formed not by the repetition of similar, homogenous segments, but by a system of different organs each of which has a special role, and which are themselves formed of differentiated parts. Not only are social elements not of the same nature, but they are not distributed in the same way (Durkheim 1973:143). For Durkheim, social differentiation is the inevitable consequence of an increasing division of labour through industrialization. Through this increasing division, people who are afforded a plethora of occupational choices take on the new objectives of their employment. Each position determines the specifics of the value-structure where norms are ultimately established through the occupational structure. Academe simply achieves differentiation as a specific value-sphere. Different values can potentially exist in harmony, according to Durkheim, because of their different objectives: In the same city, different occupations can co-exist without being obliged mutually to destroy one another, for they pursue different objectives. The soldier seeks military glory, the priest moral authority, the statesman power, the businessman riches, and the scholar scientific renown. Each of them can attain his end without preventing the others from attaining theirs (Durkheim 1973:154). In the industrialized division of labour occupational spheres create various demands for the employed, each of which is thought to possess values that are mutually exclusive from the next. For example, the businessman wants riches (the liberal-economic value of self-gain), the scholar scientific renown (the liberal-academic value of the advancement of knowledge). Differentiation, for Durkheim, implies a distinction and separation of these values throughout various institutions in the occupational world. The institutionalization of scholarship extends this 35 process into the sphere of rational inquiry. However, rather than being purely autonomous, in Durkheim's account scholarly values are understood in relation to the values of other occupational spheres where scholarly values are apparently absent. Academic pursuit then finds its relative autonomy in the differentiated value sphere of the modern university where the values for the pursuit of knowledge are upheld as values specific to this occupational sphere. Academe's institutionalization, however, is undeniably an external aspect of the larger process of differentiation within which different institutions find their relative autonomy. Durkheim observes further that the university and the knowledge produced therein not only develop their own modes of valuation but also reflect other tendencies of modernization, such as increasing specialization. The specialization inherent to the division of labour is then not strictly an aspect of the economic sphere but can also be witnessed within other social spheres, further demonstrating the relative autonomy of the academic sphere: But the division of labour is not peculiar to the economic world; we can observe its growing influence in the most varied fields of society. The political, administrative, and judicial functions are growing more and more specialized. It is the same with the aesthetic and scientific functions. It is long since philosophy reigned as the science unique; it has been broken into a multitude of special disciplines each of which has its own object, method, and thought (Durkheim 1955:40). Rather than being totally immune or separate from external forces, academia is revealed to exhibit some of the larger features of social modernization, such as the increasing tendency towards specialization. As a modern social institution academia is somewhat awkwardly influenced by the larger laws of modernization. On the one hand the academic sphere promotes the advancement of knowledge as strictly an internal 'autonomous' pursuit specific to the academic institution yet, on the other hand this sphere is undeniably influenced by the greater social and historical features of modernity, such as differentiation and specialization. In 36 this awkward relation arises a tension that is not yet obvious to Durkheim between the internal demands of the advancement of knowledge and the external demands of various other value spheres, such as those of the economic sphere. This ambiguity of the role of external forces for scholarly knowledge production is significant in understanding the complications arising from the collision of the academic and the economic spheres that I explore in subsequent chapters. However, such complications are not acknowledged by social theorists such as Talcott Parsons who clearly maintains, for the sake of academic integrity, the separation of the values of the academic sphere from other social spheres. While the institution of academe is clearly a product of modernity, the knowledge it produces appears as if it is relatively immune from such 'external' forces. The lack of reflection upon this problem in Parsons' The American University quickly moves the academic ideal of freedom of inquiry into the realm of academic ideology. Eighty years following Durkheim's description of social modernization, Talcott Parsons' further described the increasing differentiation of the academic sphere. However, in Parsons' account we see more specifically how ideologically secure the notion of academic freedom is, not only as an explanation of academia's specific value structure but now also as a legitimation of the epistemic privilege of academic knowledge production. Here the academic sphere procures a special protected status, not at all unlike that which Kant desired for philosophy from the Prussian State. As Parsons tells us: Learning can most effectively take place in protected situations. Membership status, which defines the boundaries of the academic system and reinforces its differentiation from other systems, specifies the range of this protectedness. Academic freedom defines conditions of opportunity within these boundaries that bear on the performance of these primary functions (Parsons 1973:149). 37 In Parsons' account we have a specific development of the unique structure of contemporary (American) academe that is not found in Durkheim's analysis but is, however, a deliberate extension of the same principles. The unique value structure of academe, for example, is based in part upon the 'factual' foundation of knowledge: 'the focus of the sanction system lies in the realm of prestige and influence; the effort is to be persuasive, but on levels of generality which preclude persuasion solely through letting the facts of the situation speak for themselves' (Parsons 1973:124). The institutional integrity of academic values then renders its unique position in society and allows the producers of knowledge privileged access to 'pure' research and inquiry into 'knowledge for its own sake' (Parsons 1973:92-93). Parsons adds: 'In the structure of the ideal type of the American university it (pure research and knowledge for knowledge's sake) has been "differentiated out", above all, in faculties of arts and sciences and for them with respect to their combined functions of professional level research and the training of graduate students for primarily academic functions' (Parsons 1973:93). What further gives academia a special status as a privileged realm of knowledge production is, for Parsons, is its fiduciary responsibility (Parsons 1973:140). Unlike market competition, bureaucratic enforcement or democratic accountability that define other social spheres, academia is defined by the trust conferred on it by society at-large that it performs its said function of knowledge production and maintain its commitment to the value of cognitive rationality. Academic values must be respected by the society in which they function in order to maintain academic privilege. In return for this privilege academe must share its knowledge: The central definition of the roles of its members is that they are exercising a fiduciary responsibility on behalf of other sectors of society. Fiduciary responsibility must be grounded in commitment to values - in this case the value of cognitive rationality. The presumptive commitment of members of the academic profession, especially in its higher 38 echelons, legitimizes the privileged status which academic tenure and academic freedom confer. Since tenure and academic freedom in different ways build in exemptions from pressures which operate in other organizational settings, there must be a presumption that the modal incumbent can be trusted to perform his expected functions without the detailed controls, for instance, through market competition, bureaucratic enforcement, or democratic accountability to a defined constituency, which operate in other sectors (Parsons 1973:123). Unlike other organizational models such as those of the market, bureaucracy or democracy, the model of fiduciary responsibility in the university best defines for Parsons the social function of academia insofar as the other models have value structures that are not present in academic practice: The absence of fiduciary responsibility for the performance of a differentiated set of societal functions makes all three of the above structural types inappropriate to the academic case. Markets and bureaucracies do not have fiduciary responsibilities and democratic government is not functionally specific enough for the academic system (Parsons 1973:129). The differentiation of the value-spheres thus provides academia with a degree of autonomy that indeed separates its social functions from that of other institutions. Academe is then accorded a privileged status with respect to knowledge production as it is entrusted with the social responsibility of 'integrity, development and the implementation of knowledge and other components of the cognitive complex' (Parsons 1973:130). Such practices as tenure and publication further support the uniqueness of the academic institution and its liberal mandate. At the faculty level, the symbol of status in a fiduciary associational collectivity is academic tenure. Tenure is relatively old in the history of European universities and has become widely established in America, though it is now under attack. Calling it a symbol of status in an academic community stresses the distinction of tenure from the status of ordinary contractual employment. Tenure is the badge of full membership in the local academic collectivity. A tenured faculty member is thereby trusted on a level than are other members. Tenure implies that it is not necessary that his performances or other qualifications be repeatedly reviewed. Tenure does not imply freedom from any normative control. A tenured member is expected to fulfill high standards of fiduciary responsibility and is trusted to do so. In this context it is an institutional form of professional autonomy (Parsons 1973:131). 39 The conditions for tenure, Parsons acknowledges, are not based upon academic freedom in its most literal sense but rather upon standards that are internally established by the academic community. These standards involve, to a large degree, the communication and dissemination of knowledge through the presentation of research in the form of published manuscripts. As we shall see, through the publication process, academic standards surpass scholars and enter the realm of the publishing world of editors. Through publishing the world of scholarship expands into other domains: Two mechanisms of evaluation were meetings at which members from a variety of institutions met with each other for presentation of papers and discussion of topics and new research results and new professional journals in which communication could take place. As soon as the output of manuscripts began to exceed the space available in the journals, and this happened very quickly for financial and other reasons, acceptance for publication became honorific; the editors of journals acquired an evaluative role, both helping to establish reputations - or diminish them - and setting evaluative standards (Parsons 1973:112). The evaluation of academic standards, as we see in Parsons' account of the academic sphere, is partially based upon the internal evaluations by those who publish academic manuscripts. Publishing, in this respect, becomes the basis for academic evaluation that supposedly reaffirms the autonomy of this value sphere. The validation of academic knowledge is based upon an internalist appraisal of the values that constitute legitimate knowledge: 1) autonomy - the practice of pure research 2) integrity - 'knowledge for knowledge's sake' 3) objectivity - letting the facts speak for themselves 4) responsibility - to communicate the findings of research The entrenchment of these values in the publication process as the site of the distribution of scholarly knowledge is an attempt to ensure the 40 integrity of the institution as it reproduces its standards in all knowledge production and the social privilege of academe's fiduciary responsibility to the free production of knowledge. The belief in the autonomy of the academic institution is then maintained through these institutionally specific values. Parsons produced this 'description' of the American University in the 1970s at a time in which these ideals were already relatively entrenched in the system of academic knowledge production. Although his theory of the American university is indeed an ideal type, he sought to provide a model that explained the activities of academe as consistent with the societal differentiation of all social spheres. In this regard, Parsons' model of the American university provides us with an understanding of the belief in academic autonomy that is entrenched in the formation of the university system. It also acts as a description of how liberal ideals now act ideologically to legitimate the epistemological privilege of scholarship. In Parsons' model academia's values appear to be internally defined and totally separate from other institutions. In moving from a prescription to a description, academic liberalism moves from the realm of ideals to the realm of ideology. This belief in academia's unique value structure is further evidenced and supported by the mandate for scholarly publishing. 1.4 The Liberal Mandate for Scholarly Publishing The publication of the results of scholarly research is an integral part of the process by which learning is advanced. A scholar has not only the desire but the responsibility to submit the results of his inquiries to the judgement of his peers and to as wide an audience as possible. The American Council of Learned Societies The equation of reason with freedom in the Enlightenment formulation is presumed to have universal significance that is to be possible only if 41 reason and freedom are available to all. As evident in the knowledge produced by 'free' and 'autonomous' scholars, this requires that reason be communicated and made available to the reading public. In order for this to occur, the knowledge produced out of such freedom must also then be 'freely' disseminated. According to this principle, the basis for the unique character of scholarly knowledge, as Parsons points out, lies in the connection between universities and scholarly publishing. While academic freedom, understood as the central mission of a modern university, was imported from the German model, the idea behind publishing scholarly research findings, understood as a central function of a university, was imported from the English models of Oxford and Cambridge universities to North America. The 'Oxbridge' blueprint of a university press was first implemented in the United States at Cornell University in 1869 (Kerr 1958:38). From this long tradition of scholarly publishing came a conception of the duty of the university not only to produce knowledge through scholarship but also to communicate that knowledge through publication. The truth of the results of scholarly research is in this way given the mandate of communication to the masses. In reference to the 'Cambridge formula' M.H. Black makes the following observation with respect to the university as publisher: . . . this title [university press] implies a special status - namely that the university itself has decided that it is a natural part of its function as a centre of 'education, religion, learning and research' to make available to the rest of the learned world those books which its own members entrust to its press . . . (Black 1984:3). All university presses in North America used Oxford and Cambridge Universities as their models for the relationship of the university and its scholars to the publication of specialized scholarship for the public at-large. We see this commitment in an early mission statement from Harvard University Press: 42 Inaugurated primarily for the publication of books of a high scholarly character, the Harvard University Press aims to aid in the advancement of knowledge by making possible the wide distribution of the work of the foremost scholars of the world. It will also help in promptly disseminating the results of original research and investigation by printing a number of serial publications. It does not plan, however, to compete with a commercial publisher, since its chief function will be the issuing of books that would not be commercially profitable (Harvard University Catalogue 1913). The freedom to pursue knowledge apart from the pressures of commercial profitability is only one aspect of the liberal notion of scholarship. As we see in Parsons' notion of fiduciary responsibility, another necessary aspect is the need to disseminate that knowledge to the public as part of the differentiated social function of liberal scholarship. William Rainey Harper, president of the University of Chicago, asserted from the outset that he expected his professors to be scholars as well as teachers (Shugg 1966:xi). Further, he judged it essential that the University included a press to publish the products of their research. Wanting to extend the influence of the University far beyond its campus and classrooms, he insisted upon developing a press to give scholarship the added power of the printed page, not as an accident, an attachment, but as an organic part of the institution (Shugg 1966:xi). This notion was also supported and advanced by Daniel Gilman, the first president of Johns Hopkins University. . In a report endorsing the function of a university press, Gilman contended: 'it is one of the noblest duties of a university to advance knowledge and to diffuse it not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures but far and wide' (quoted in Kerr 1958: 38) . As is obvious in these early accounts, scholarly publishing is seen as essential to the success of a research university, both in terms of the production of quality scholarship and in terms of communicating that knowledge well beyond the walls of the institution. This notion is quite consistent with the ideals of knowledge in a liberal democracy where the 43 state financially supports the pursuit of knowledge through institutions that are set aside from political affairs. Such institutions should produce objective knowledge in order for the masses to reflexively, effectively and democratically inform their social, political and economic lives free from the biases of religion or partisan politics. In this way scholarly publishing, as well as publishing more generally, is seen to be essential to the healthy functioning of a democratic society, as Alexis de Toqueville proudly declared: 'The press is the chiefest democratic instrument of freedom' (quoted in Kerr 1958:42). As the liberal mandate of academe cannot separate the production of scholarly knowledge from its distribution, the mission of scholarly publishing in North America was clearly articulated as the medium for the dissemination of the truthful knowledge produced by university scholars. Marsh Jeanneret, the former director of the University of Toronto Press, confirms this mission: . . . the emancipation of public institutions from political control has been most successful in the case of our universities, and that through the creation of what is ordinarily described as academic freedom Western democracy may have its greatest administrative achievement. . . The unique feature of a university press publishing organization is that it provides scope for the free exercise of scholarly objectivity (Jeanneret 1961:4). In this way, the institutional structure of scholarly publishing is essential to the truthful and accurate dissemination of the knowledge produced by its scholars. Scholarly publishing differs, in this sense, from other forms of publishing in three substantial ways. First, as we see above in the cases of Chicago and Harvard, a scholarly press is often affiliated with a host university. In this way a scholarly press enjoys the autonomy of the academic mission of the university and the freedom to publish the research of members of that institution as well as scholarship from other institutions. Second, in order to ensure the scholarly standards of the books it publishes, a scholarly press submits all 44 received manuscripts first to academic reviewers who are typically peers in the scholar's field and second to an academic review board that is comprised of faculty members from the host university. Third, and in many ways most important to the traditional role of scholarly publishing in a university setting, is the not-for-profit mandate: the separation of scholarship from commercial concerns. As these components comprise the uniqueness of university publishing programs, they deserve some attention here for it is through this agenda that the commitment to the liberal practice of scholarly knowledge is in part upheld. Such practices attempt to maintain the ideals of freedom of academic inquiry, differentiation and the internal focus of academic knowledge production. 1.5 The Publishing of a Scholarly Manuscript Of utmost importance to a scholarly publishing program at a university press is, of course, the scholarly merit of the books they publish. The internal evaluation of scholarly merit is accomplished through several mechanisms that ensure that a commitment to academic standards of truth and verification is upheld. In unpacking this process we find that the ideals of academic liberalism are adhered to as an attempt to maintain the strictly internal evaluation of scholarly knowledge and uphold the values of the academic sphere. In this regard academic liberalism appears to have attained a reality outside of its ideology in the institutionalized practices of scholarly publishing. The first mechanism that attempts to ensure that academic standards are upheld in the scholarly publishing process is the 'gatekeeper' function of the acquisitions editor at a scholarly press. The editor acts as the first representative of the standards of the press and often turns away manuscripts that (s)he deems as 'unscholarly'. In seeking the publication of a scholarly manuscript every author must begin the process 45 by establishing contact with an acquisitions editor. However, the editor is not solely reliant on the passive acceptance of manuscripts and may actively seek publishable scholarly material elsewhere. Typically the editor, through experience gained in the scholarly field, acquires a broad knowledge of what manuscripts are publishable through an initial evaluation of a field and the merits of a particular manuscript for its overall contribution to scholarship. The acquisitions editor plays a primary and significant role for the maintenance of liberal academic ideals as (s)he is among the first in a chain of decision-makers to decide upon the scholarly merit of a manuscript for publication. In essence, (s)he decides whether or not a manuscript is indeed worthy of communication in scholarly book form. The second mechanism that attempts to maintain the scholarly standards of a manuscript and perhaps the most important mechanism for the 'internal' evaluation of scholarly merit is the peer review process. Every manuscript that is submitted to a university press must undergo a peer review process where the manuscripts are evaluated for their specific contribution to scholarship. The ultimate decision to publish a manuscript rests here. In a peer review situation one or more scholars who are acknowledged experts in the specialized field of the manuscript are asked by the acquisitions editor to read the manuscript thoroughly and comment on 'the originality and the contribution of knowledge of the manuscript and the competence of the author's presentation: they are thus expected to provide informed advice about the service to scholarship the manuscript would perform and whether it deserves publication' (S.S.H.R.C. 1980:44). In this way, the peer review process is deemed essential to maintaining the standards of 'objective' knowledge of a university press imprint. Peer review is often discussed as the way of maintaining editorial objectivity, as Marsh Jeanneret asserts: 46 What must be preserved is a complete editorial objectivity concerning the quality of the manuscripts accepted for publication. This objectivity can best be ensured by bringing to the editorial committee the most authoritative and most detached readers' reports that can be procured. It follows that these reports will normally be from other institutions than the author's own, that the reader's anonymity will be scrupulously protected by the university press and by the editorial committee, and -most important, perhaps - that care will have been taken to procure a quality of reports which will permit the editorial committee to make a sound decision. A press's greatest responsibilities arise in connection with the procuring and administration of these readers' reports (Jeanneret 1962:8) . The standards of evaluation for the publication of a scholarly book by a university press are, according to these criteria, established not by the press and its potential biases for publication but rather by the scholarly community and its universal commitment to the dissemination of truthful knowledge. This goal is achieved through a peer review process that can properly evaluate the manuscript according to its specific contribution to knowledge. The decisions anonymously made in the review process are assumed to be 'objectively' based on the scholarly merit of the work and not according to the subjective biases of the readers or other factors extraneous to the work itself. Anonymity is obviously important here as it frees the reader from any potential political battles that might ensue as a result of his or her comments on a particular manuscript. In theory, anonymity allows for greater editorial obj ectivity. As we see in the University of Toronto Press' Author's Handbook, steps are taken by both the press and its reviewers to ensure the scholarly character of a manuscript. Among the criteria, manuscript reviewers are asked to consider specific questions when assessing manuscripts such as: What is the thesis of the work? Is the scholarship sound and up-to-date? Does the manuscript make a significant contribution to its field? How does this work compare with other major books published on the subject? These questions orient the reviewers to focus 47 specifically on the scholarly quality of the manuscript and therefore emphasize an internalist reading of the text and its object. In a peer review situation the readers are expected to examine the scholarly merit of the work and ensure the maintenance of scholarly standards for university publishers. This process formalizes the authenticity of published scholarship so that non-specialist readers of the work published by a university press are guaranteed of its merit. Robert Merton supports this point with respect to the history of science publishing and the Royal Society's establishment of the peer review process. His comments here speak equally to the contemporary needs of non-science scholarship and the structure of the university press: In their capacity as producers of science, individual scientists were concerned with having their work recognized through publication in forms valued by other members in the emerging scientific community who were significant to them. In their capacity as consumers of science, they were concerned with having the work produced by others competently assessed so that they could count on its authenticity (Merton 1973:469). The need for an authorized, authentic text reveals itself on many levels of university press publishing. In this regard the manuscripts are not only evaluated for their scholarly content and the form of knowledge presented by peer reviewers, but these reviews are also then further reviewed by the editorial board of the university press. The editorial board of a university press consists primarily if not solely of distinguished faculty members of the parent university. After a manuscript has been peer reviewed, and if those peer reviews are indeed favorable for publication, then the manuscript with the reviews attached is brought to the editorial board by the editor responsible for acquiring that manuscript. It is here that the final decision is made with respect to scholarly publication. Of utmost concern to the editorial board is whether the manuscript is a contribution to scholarship, that is, whether or not it advances knowledge in its field (S.S.H.R.C. 1980:44). This is 48 assessed through the peer review process, the editor's broad knowledge of the author's work, its situation in the scholarly community, and the wisdom and experience of the members of the board. The significance for liberal scholarship of the structure of scholarly publishing lies in its professional commitment to the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of 'knowledge for knowledge's sake'. Based upon the ideals of academic freedom and scholarly autonomy, a university publishers' first goal is to publish knowledge that is verified as legitimate with respect to scholarly standards of truth and verification, thereby reproducing the mandate of the university and guaranteeing the truthful knowledge it produces and disseminates. At first appearance this is the most significant difference of a scholarly publishing program from commercial publishers: commercial publishers are primarily concerned with the economics of publishing and their fiscal accountability to the 'bottom-line'. Broadly speaking, commercial publishers are concerned with the size of the readership of a potential book that, in turn, amounts to the sales potential and consumption of a book. By contrast a specialized work such as an academic monograph is of limited readership, consumption and profitability. Scholarly publishing in this way attempts to further the liberal project of the unfettered quest for truthful knowledge, first, by attempting to eliminate external biases such as economic interest that could potentially censor knowledge by exclusion, second, by establishing standards for the advancement of knowledge, and third, by attempting to communicate the established truth beyond the walls of the university to the public-at-large. The institutionalization of scholarly publishing in the academic sphere demonstrates the attempt by universities and scholars alike to keep the values of knowledge inquiry internal to the scholarly process. 49 So far the practice of scholarly publishing stands as a model demonstration of the institution of academic liberalism in the production and distribution of scholarly knowledge. The accounts explored above lead one to believe that academia has successfully separated itself from 'external' forces through its differentiation as an 'autonomous' value-sphere, thereby making the notion of the collision of academe with the economic realm ludicrous. However as we come to see, an explanation of scholarly knowledge production that only relies upon the 'internal' values as an accurate description of scholarly practice fails to account for the socio-historic dynamic that continually informs scholarly practice. Liberalism as a contemporary account of scholarly practice in this way acts as an ideological blind to the changing character of scholarly knowledge production. These ideological tendencies are most obvious in the theory of the knowledge society, for what we see in this theory are the taken-for-granted features of liberalism, such as objectivity and autonomy, that exclude any 'external' analysis of scholarly knowledge. What we come to see through a critique of liberalism in the theory of the knowledge society is that many 'external' features indeed influence the production of knowledge in the modern university. That is, the values for scholarly knowledge are not only internally defined by liberal academics but they are also dependent upon their socio-historic context. Once I theoretically establish the need to examine the specific situation of scholarly knowledge production today, I will then return to scholarly publishing as the empirical site for an investigation of the external (historical, social, political and economic) influences upon scholarly knowledge production. 50 2 The Theory of the Knowledge Society Academic liberalism finds its most complete and unadulterated endorsement in sociological theory in the theory of the knowledge society. As I have demonstrated thus far, sociological theory in the tradition of Durkheim and Parsons often produces legitimating accounts for the differentiated, 'autonomous' and privileged status of scholarly knowledge in modern societies. As a contemporary extension of this theoretical lineage, the theory of the knowledge society, developed by Daniel Bell in The Coming of Post Industrial Society (1976) and advanced by Nico Stehr in Knowledge Societies (1994), furthers the liberal epistemological claims of the academic sphere. In these accounts, 'the knowledge society' is the result of the success of the institution of academic liberalism (the autonomy of the sphere of knowledge production) and is evident in the social and technological progress of Western societies. The knowledge society is in this sense a society that is based upon the growth of 'knowledge' as a vital social resource. Since the wellspring of this knowledge is the 'pure' research generated primarily by science in the academic sphere, there is an inherent connection between the claims of the knowledge society theorists and the advocates of academic liberalism that I describe above. However, as we see below, several difficulties arise in the theory of the knowledge society precisely because of this intrinsic connection with liberalism. Much like academic liberalism's treatment of academic knowledge production as autonomous and objective, the understanding of knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is based upon similar assumptions of how knowledge is produced. The difficulty lies in how knowledge is not 51 opened to either social or historical inspection. Rather, a crude version of the liberal theory of knowledge production (academic knowledge as differentiated and autonomous) is taken as the unquestioned and primary definition of knowledge. In this regard, an understanding of knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is not linked to its present historical circumstances, as the theory claims, but rather is abstracted from them in order to ensure the continued epistemological privilege of academic authority. As I demonstrate, in this account the understanding of knowledge remains virtually undeveloped from its Enlightenment formulation. In the remaining chapters I follow a Marxian sociology of knowledge methodology in order to inspect the impact of recent social and economic changes in the form of consumer culture upon the production of scholarly knowledge. The premise that I borrow from Marx that stands as a methodological insight for this investigation is his position in The German Ideology and throughout his work concerning the production of knowledge: The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men. . . The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of politics, law, morality, religion, metaphysics, etc. of a people. Men are the producers of their conceptions ... as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces (Marx and Engels 1970:47). While Marx maintains that knowledge is 'conditioned' by production, he also insists that such productive forces cannot be understood outside of their historical specificity. Production, he continues, is also an inherently historical act: But life involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing and many other things. The first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself. And indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history (Marx and Engels 1970:48). 52 These pages from The German Ideology establish the basic assumptions for the Marxian tradition in the Sociology of Knowledge. These are: a) knowledge is the result of production, b) production is an historical act, c) as a consequence of a) and b), knowledge is also historical. By virtue of this understanding, the structure of knowledge in both its content and form is relative to its social, economic and historical situation. Following these criteria for the sociology of knowledge my aim in this chapter is to develop a theoretical critique of academic liberalism through an examination of the theory of the knowledge society. I do this in two ways. First, I conduct an examination of the ideological understanding of knowledge that informs the theory of the knowledge society. In this analysis I demonstrate the necessity for producing a new account of knowledge production, one that is consistent with scholarly practices today. Second, I conduct an examination of the relation of knowledge to economic production in the theory of the knowledge society. In this inspection we see how the treatment of knowledge is inherently ideological as it portrays the world 'upside-down' thus clearly emphasizing the determinacy of knowledge over production. I argue that because of the inherent dialectical relations of production as articulated by Marx, scholarly knowledge cannot be viewed as autonomous or self-legislating in relation to other social spheres. Following a Marxian position, I argue that the production of scholarly knowledge is inherently an economic activity that must be viewed as such in order to properly understand its current situation in advanced capitalism. To understand scholarly knowledge production one must situate academic labour in the context of capitalism rather than falsely abstract the economic sphere out of a theory of scholarly knowledge production. Here I continue a critical investigation of the theoretical tenets of liberalism in order to 53 establish the conceptual parameters for analysing academic economies of scholarly knowledge production. 2.1 Social Structure, Polity, Culture Before examining the treatment of knowledge in the Theory of the Knowledge Society, I first want to situate Daniel Bell's work in the modern tradition of sociological theory to clearly establish his connection to the version of academic liberalism described above. In Bell's theory we again see how the academic sphere is separated from other social spheres through differentiation and privileged as the realm of freedom of inquiry. Similar to Durkheim before him and his sociological contemporary Talcott Parsons, Daniel Bell adheres to the basic principles of societal modernization as the product of the modern differentiation of social spheres and the subsequent development of their respective autonomies. For Bell, societal differentiation can be understood as the conceptual separation of three spheres: social structure, polity, and culture. Analytically society can be divided into three parts: the social structure, the polity and the culture. The social structure comprises the economy, technology and the occupational system. The polity regulates the distribution of power and adjudicates the conflicting claims and demands of individuals and groups. The culture is the realm of expressive symbolism and meanings (Bell 1976:12). Bell is firmly placed in the tradition of modern sociological theory by analytically dividing society into these differentiated categories; like his predecessors, he establishes the self-legislating ability of each value-sphere to be governed by a specific axial principle. Although the categories appear somewhat different from their predecessors, the idea is much the same: each value sphere is regulated by specific principles that are internally generated by that sphere. What is important here is that Bell theorizes the separation of 'the economic' from 'the cultural', thereby establishing the 'purity', separation and integrity of the values 54 inherent to each realm. In a similar vein, scholarly knowledge in the form of theoretical scientific knowledge also acquires autonomy through the separation of the university and its scientific community from other social spheres. Bell claims: 'this very autonomy is the very heart of the ethos - and organization - of science' (Bell 1973:379). Consequently scientific knowledge is theoretically stowed away from the polluting 'external' influences of the polity or the economy in order to sustain its epistemological integrity. In this theoretical separation of social spheres and their respective values, the theory of the knowledge society reproduces the fundamental assumptions held by many modern sociological theorists and academic liberals alike. It is useful to divide society in this way because each aspect is ruled by a different axial principle. In modern Western society the axial principle of the social structure is economizing - a way of allocating resources according to principles of least cost, substitutability, optimization, maximization, and the like. The axial principle of the modern polity is participation, sometimes mobilized or controlled sometimes demanded from below. The axial principle of culture is the desire for the fulfilment and enhancement of the self. In the past these three areas were linked by a common value system. But in our times there has been an increasing disjunction of the three (Bell 1973:12-13) . Bell's theory exhibits the paradoxical formulation that within such differentiation the value of the autonomy of knowledge prevails. This analytic separation allows Bell, and later Nico Stehr, to examine the unilateral effects of scientific knowledge on changes in the economy and social structure more generally. 'Knowledge' as an analytic category is abstracted from its social and historical context in order for the theorists of the knowledge society to 'objectively' measure the extent to which modern society has changed in relation to such knowledge. However, this distinction conflates objective knowledge as an ideal with science as a practice based upon the shared autonomy of the academic sphere and its internal, self-legislating value structure. Since both 'science' and 'objectivity' are assumed to be immanent in the academic sphere, his 55 account of knowledge is strictly internal. Such self-referentiality eliminates the potential for critical reflection upon the position of academic knowledge production as it assumes that that knowledge is already accounted for by the values inherent to the academic sphere. In other words, knowledge as an object of sociological inquiry remains hidden from proper analysis. This ideological closing of meaning in the theory of the knowledge society begins with the relation of objective knowledge to scientific inquiry. 2.2 Objectivity and the Universality of Knowledge In 1966, Robert Lane produced a definition of the 'knowledgeable society' that today stands as a general referent for theorists of the knowledge society (Bell 1973:176; Stehr 1994:5). It reads: As a first approximation to a definition, the knowledgeable society is one in which, more than in other societies, its members: a) inquire into the basis of their beliefs about man, nature and society; b) are guided, (perhaps unconsciously) by objective standards of veridical truth, and, at upper levels of education, follow scientific rules of evidence and inference in inquiry; c) devote considerable resources to this inquiry and thus have a large store of knowledge; d) collect, organise and interpret their knowledge in a constant effort to extract meaning from it for the purposes at hand; e) employ this knowledge to illuminate (and perhaps modify) their values and goals as well as to advance them. Just as the democratic society has a foundation in governmental and interpersonal relations, and the affluent society in economics, so the knowledgeable society has its roots in epistemology and the logic of inquiry (Lane 1966:650) . Among other features of the 'knowledgeable society', the establishment of 'objective standards of veridical truth' and 'scientific rules of evidence in inquiry' are among the primary axial principles for theorists of the knowledge society. This definition is used by both Daniel Bell and Nico Stehr to emphasise the significance of objective, scientific knowledge for the growth and development of contemporary Western societies (cf. Stehr 1994:119). Consistent with academic liberalism, here scientific knowledge is accorded a special 56 epistemological status that provides the rest of society with a foundation for truthful knowledge for the orientation of social action. The differentiated autonomy of the academic sphere out of which scientific knowledge is produced allows for its objectivity. The possibility for objective knowledge then acts as a unifying foundation for knowledgeable social action that, according to theorists of the knowledge society, informs and remakes our basic social institutions. Science and technology are remaking our basic social institutions, for example in such areas of work, education, physical reproduction, culture, the economy, and the political system. The hope that scientific knowledge will open up many, if not all, of the secrets of nature and the heavens and that such insights will prove to be instrumental in building a better world, based on nature's design but for the benefit of mankind, is a dream long associated with the legitimation of scientific activity (Stehr 1994:viii). Knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is based upon the assumption that scientific knowledge only corresponds with the objects it seeks to explain - not also with the society out of which those concepts are produced. In this way scientific knowledge as described by theorists of the knowledge society possesses an autonomy and hence an authority that is not accorded to other forms of knowledge. Here the truth behind knowledge lies in its potential for objectivity. Such objectivity is only possible from an autonomous sphere of inquiry - the research university -of which the institution of the sciences is a fundamental and constitutive component (Stehr 1994:80). The account of scientific knowledge as that which is best methodologically structured for 'objectivity' is historically based upon the success of the scientific method in conceptually appropriating the laws of nature. While the discovery and fabrication of the scientific method is in itself undoubtedly historical, the laws themselves that are revealed through its application are supposedly not subject to either social or historical forces. They are, in this epistemological account, 57 independent of such 'relative' forces: the laws of nature are universal. Human knowledge through its 'natural' and 'universal' capacity for Reason can subsequently appropriate such laws. The universality of Reason is, as Irving Zeitlin points out, among the central founding principles of the Enlightenment: More than the thinkers of any preceding age, the men of the Enlightenment held firmly to the conviction that the mind could comprehend the universe and subordinate it to human needs. Reason became the god of these philosophers who were enormously inspired by the scientific achievements of the preceding centuries. Those achievements led them to a new conception of the universe based on the universal applicability of natural laws; utilizing the concepts and techniques of the physical sciences, they set about the task of creating a new world based on reason and truth. Truth became the central goal of intellectuals of this age, but not truth founded on revelation, tradition or authority; rather it was reason and observation that were to be the twin pillars of truth (Zeitlin 1968:1). This universal understanding of the relation of our knowledge to the world it claims to understand through reason is designated as objectivity by advocates of the power of scientific knowledge. This conception of objectivity provides the ideological foundation for a notion of legitimate knowledge that claims to represent the external world. Objectivity, as we see in chapter one, is often synonymous with scholarly production as objective knowledge is seen to be necessarily autonomous and independent of its larger context. Parallel to the idea of autonomy is the idea that objectivity also claims a direct relation to the world based on 'causal relationships that hold with respect to man and nature independently of their procedures for constructing contexts in which these relationships are found to have local dominance' (O'Neill 1982:153). In this way, both concepts are analytically freed from their larger context. As Richard Bernstein suggests, the belief in objectivity adheres to the conviction 'that there is or must be some permanent, ahistorical matrix or framework to which we can ultimately appeal in determining the nature of knowledge, truth . . . '. He argues that objectivity has been 58 used to designate a metaphysical reality - 'the claim that there is a world of objective reality that exists independently of us and that has a determinate nature or essence that we can know . . . What is out there (objective) is presumed to be independent of us (subjective) and knowledge is achieved when a subject correctly mirrors or represents objective reality' (Bernstein 1983:8) . Understood in this way, correct knowledge is believed to reflect or 'mirror' its object as it is not polluted by the impurities of surrounding influences such as personal relations, politics or economics. In this formulation there is again an intrinsic link between the procedures of 'objective' knowledge (science) and the autonomy of the sphere of knowledge production (academe). Through this conviction to objectivity, in the theory of the knowledge society the distinction between the 'natural' and 'social' worlds is minimised, for it is believed that such objectivity is equally attainable in both realms. This conviction provides a common ground for scholarly endeavours to universalize the evaluative standards for legitimate academic knowledge. The capacity of the scholarly sphere for self-legislation then establishes a definition for scholarship as the pursuit of the truth of the objective world. Its standards are believed to be based upon the universal commitment to the unveiling of the objective world. Many scholarly pursuits in the theory of the knowledge society, regardless of their disciplinary affiliation, cannot escape such criteria. Therefore the primacy of the objective world effectively eliminates the methodological differences between the 'hard' natural and the 'soft' social sciences. In this sense much academic inquiry is unified through its shared methodology: . . . the material appropriation of nature means that nature in toto is gradually transformed into a human product by superimposing on nature new, socially constructed designs. This structure is objectified knowledge, namely, an explication and realisation of what we know are the laws of 59 natural processes extended by engineering design and construction. The same applies to social processes and social institutions (Stehr 1994:105). It is maintained by theorists of the knowledge society that social facts do not differ from natural facts or social knowledge from natural knowledge in their applicability insofar as both forms of knowledge relate to an object 'out there' that can be experientially appropriated for purposes of social application. Social progress in this sense, articulated in the theory of the knowledge society as social action informed by scientifically-produced knowledge, is but a mere extension of the factual appropriation of the laws of the external world (science) and the subsequent application of this knowledge to the mastering of nature and society (technology). 'Knowledge as a capacity for action enables one to set something into motion . . . science and technology constantly add to the existing stock of knowledge and therefore to the ability of individual actors to affect their circumstances of action' (Stehr 1994:97-98) . The idea that scientific knowledge and the harnessing of nature leads us from social action to social progress through technology is indeed not new to the knowledge society. In fact, it is in this principle that the theory of the knowledge society reveals its foundation not as a contemporary theory of knowledge but rather as a direct inheritance of the Enlightenment tradition of technological liberalism. In this largely unacknowledged connection we find that the theory of the knowledge society denies its own historicity as an Enlightenment theory of knowledge. To make this historical connection clear, we can turn to the positivist philosophy of Auguste Comte for his discussion of the similarity of the natural and the social worlds and, hence, the possibility for a science of society. According to Comte, the laws that show their relevance in physics and chemistry are also found in the realm 60 of the social, thus creating not only the possibility for an objective 'positive' science of the entire object world but a foundation for the application of scientific knowledge to social practice and the perfection of the human condition. The following passage reads as if Comte were also a theorist of the knowledge society; the theoretical parallel between the theorists is certainly clear. When the abstract laws exhibiting various modes of activity have been brought systematically before us, our practical knowledge of each special system of existence ceases to be purely empirical, though the greater number of concrete laws may still be unknown. We find the best example of this truth in the most difficult and important subject of all, sociology. Knowledge of the principle static and dynamic laws of social existence is evidently sufficient from the purpose of systematizing the various aspects of private or public life, and thereby of rendering our condition far more perfect (Comte 1975:331). As an epistemological undertaking, the foundation for knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is ahistorical, ideological, and reified, especially when it is moved into a contemporary theory without substantial reflection. In these accounts the difficulties of objectivism arise as a substantial problem not only in the theory of the knowledge society but for 'theory' more generally, as Max Horkheimer points out: '[in the pursuit of science] the conception of theory was absolutized, as though it were grounded in inner nature of knowledge as such, or justified in some other ahistorical way, and thus became a reified ideological category' (1972:194). Knowledge viewed in light of objectivism is pure ideology: it attempts to leave no trace of its construction and therefore conceals the social conditions that make it possible. Hence the treatment of knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society conceals the very social and historical conditions that make such knowledge possible. Opening the historical ties with Enlightenment epistemologies to inspection is one way of critically situating this treatment of knowledge in a theoretical tradition. 61 2.3 The 'Black Box' of Knowledge Another difficulty that arises with the theory of the knowledge society is that knowledge is examined no deeper than its effects. Here we are confronted with the 'black box' problem of knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society. In the theory of the knowledge society science 'as the growing stock of objective knowledge' is not properly theoretically positioned to question the basis for calling science true. 'Objective' knowledge is therefore positively advanced into the realm of practical application without substantial reflection upon the possibility or changing structure of such knowledge. The conditions for calling knowledge true are in this sense deeply taken-for-granted in the theory of the knowledge society. As a theory it relies upon an already established definition of objective scientific knowledge that, although historically situated, denies its own historicity. As such, scientific inquiry remains artificially pure - a self-legislating value-sphere falsely separated from its own social and historical relativity. In this theory knowledge (science) moves into the realm of practical application (technology) without substantial reflection or questioning of the epistemological authority of such knowledge. Returning to the definition of the knowledge society as discussed by Lane, we see a matrix emerge in the theory of the knowledge society that describes science and objectivity, knowledge and social action as the four pillars for 'the knowledge society' - a vision of society not at all unlike Comte's vision for industrial society. This model is also evident in Bell's discussion on the influence of scientific knowledge on modern society. In Bell's version of the knowledge society the epistemological foundation of scientific knowledge is clearly that described by objectivist epistemology. Bell does little to further develop a 62 sociological understanding of knowledge beyond the taken-for-granted status of scientific knowledge already established in Enlightenment thought. In the following passage Bell, like Lane before him, academic liberalism more generally, and Stehr following him, assigns the institution of science a privileged epistemological status: The community of science is a unique institution in human civilization. It has no ideology, in that it has no postulated set of formal beliefs, but it has an ethos which implicitly describes rules of conduct. It is not a political movement that one joins by subscription, for membership is by election, yet one must make a commitment in order to belong. It is not a church where the element of faith rests on belief and is rooted in mystery, yet faith, passion and mystery are present but they are directed by the search for certified knowledge (Bell 1973:380). Although science's 'non-ideological' status here appears as fundamental to its privilege, it is really only an immanent condition in the greater quest for 'certified knowledge'. Certified knowledge means knowledge subject to the internal 'objective' values of the scientific sphere. In this association of certified knowledge with science Bell reduces the possibility for legitimate knowledge to the structure of institutional science. Evidence of this reduction is even clearer in the following definition of knowledge: 'I shall define knowledge as a set of organised statements of facts or ideas, presenting a reasoned judgement or an experimental result, which is transmitted to others through some communication medium in some systematic form' (Bell 1973:175). Here such phrases as 'reasoned judgement' and 'experimental result' when applied specifically to a definition of knowledge leave us with a very limited understanding of what actually constitutes knowledge other than the rules of the institutional practices of science. A 'reasoned judgement' may indeed qualify as a feature of legitimate knowledge. However, in a larger sense, the ground for this reason remains a question of standards that fall outside of the realm of the rational inquiry of science. 63 So far knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is accounted for no further than through an instrumental understanding of science, i.e. the effects or pragmatics of scientific knowledge. Bell emphasises the central importance of theoretical knowledge insofar as it 'means an increasing dependence on science as the means of innovating and organising technological change . . . whereby the codification of theoretical knowledge and materials science becomes the basis of innovations in technology' (Bell 1973:xix). However, it is clear that this knowledge is strictly theoretical scientific knowledge as it relates to technology; there is no further investigation of how such knowledge is actually produced. Bell further establishes the all-encompassing role of scientific knowledge through a demonstration of its omnipotent impact on the realms of social discourse that were traditionally contained within the realms of philosophy and politics. Mirroring the beliefs of many academic liberals, Bell contends: 'Now science has become inextricably intertwined not only with technology but with the military and social technologies and societal needs. In all this, the character of the new scientific institutions -will be crucial for the future of free inquiry and knowledge' (Bell 1973:xvii). This unacknowledged, ideological reduction of all types of legitimate knowledge to scientific knowledge is critically referred to by Juergen Habermas as scientism. In Knowledge and Human Interests (1971) Habermas explains that the project of the theory of knowledge - epistemology - has lost its philosophical origins through the philosophy of science. The result is that philosophy inevitably becomes subject to the methods and language games of science, thereby giving way to the legitimation claims of science. In other words, philosophy only becomes legitimate through 64 science and the test of the scientific method. Although, as we see in Kant, philosophy was once considered a discourse separate from pragmatic consideration, it is now included in under the instrumental umbrella of scientific investigation. The problem with scientism is, as Habermas sees it, 'science's belief in itself: that is, the conviction that we can no longer understand science as one form of possible knowledge, but rather must identify knowledge with science ... in order to strengthen science's belief in its exclusive validity, after the fact, instead of to reflect on it and to account for the structure of the sciences on the basis of this belief (Habermas 1971:4). The unquestioned practice of scientism establishes the basis for a critique of the theory of the knowledge society, as such blind acceptance of science's legitimacy does not allow for proper sociological reflection on the categories that comprise 'free' inquiry or for reflection upon the external features of knowledge production. Scientism, as witnessed in the theory of the knowledge society, ideologically reduces all knowledge to the taken-for-granted dictates of the scientific method, thereby eliminating the potential for reflection upon knowledge production more generally. After epistemologically grounding legitimate knowledge in science, Bell forwards the thrust of his argument 'that the major source of structural change in society - the change in the modes of innovation in the relation of science to technology and in public policy - is the change in the character of knowledge' (Bell 1973:44). What Bell means by this, after clearly demonstrating that his position on the universal validity of objectivity and scientific knowledge has not changed from its Enlightenment formulation, is that the contemporary changes in knowledge are not qualitative but rather quantitative. Bell demonstrates that the 65 character of knowledge itself has not changed in an epistemological sense, but more significantly for his argument, its quantitative impact on the social structure/economy has changed. This quantitative change is witnessed, for example, in the exponential growth and differentiation of scientific knowledge. Bell cites the increase of scientific journals, exponentially doubling every ten years, as an indication of the measurable 'change' that knowledge produces in the social structure (Bell 1973:181). In this and other examples cited, such as the growth of the service sector in the economy (cf. Bell 1973:ch. 02), it is obvious that the changes recorded by Bell have little to do with the historical change in the character of knowledge and more to do with technological and economic development based on the social effects of scientific knowledge. So far, knowledge in the theory of the knowledge society is not really accounted for sociologically as it is not situated in relation to 'external' social or historical forces. Interestingly, this problem is even acknowledged by knowledge society theorists. Bell admits that questions relevant for the sociology of knowledge such as 'the social setting of ideas, their interconnections, their relation to some structural foundation' are 'outside of my purview here' (Bell 1973:177). Moreover Nico Stehr critically acknowledges that knowledge in the knowledge society is left unexamined: it is a 'black box' that is simply postulated without further inspection: A look at the conceptions of knowledge employed by those who have elevated knowledge to the new axial principle of modern society indicates that these theorists pause but briefly to consider the social nature of knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge. Although many and elaborate definitions of knowledge are offered an equivalent effort toward a theoretical analysis of the decisive phenomenon 'knowledge as such' is not thought necessary (Stehr 1994:92). The difficulty for knowledge society theorists lies in developing a conception of knowledge 'as such'. As we see with Lane and Bell, theories 66 of the knowledge society begin with the assumption that scientific knowledge is the 'axial principle' of social change: 'The theory of the [knowledge] society recognizes a particular central principle, viewed as a dominant logic, which allows the observer to impose a specific conceptual order on vast societal developments of modern society' (Stehr 1994:44). However, because this position is the assumption that grounds the theory, it is left unexamined by the theory. Ironically, we are left without a sociological conception of knowledge. While Stehr agrees that theories of the knowledge society do not open the 'black box' of knowledge as an advocate for this theory he does little to alleviate its central problem. Despite the fact that Stehr obviously recognises this problem, his claim to open the black box by inspecting the social nature of knowledge is completely undermined by the fact that the theoretical apparatus of the theory of the knowledge society does not allow for such an examination. This is to say that because the accepted status of objective scientific knowledge, the theory of the knowledge society is only able unilaterally to examine how knowledge affects social structure. The theory cannot inspect the reverse of how changes in the social structure effect knowledge, for this position implies a certain critical reflexivity that the theory itself does not encourage. We are not offered, in deference to the model explicated in the philosophy of science, any sociological account of the condition of the rapid growth of scientific knowledge within the contemporary scientific enterprise in contrast to the scientific community in the past. Nor do we encounter theoretical curiosity about the reasons for the growing demand for scientific knowledge, in various societal institutions, especially the economic system . . . An adequate understanding of the role of knowledge in knowledge societies requires one to open up the black box in each instance (Stehr 1994:93). To open the black box, as Stehr suggests, requires a different theoretical apparatus than the one provided by the theory of the knowledge society. If we are to develop an adequate understanding of knowledge, we 67 must first treat knowledge itself as an object of theoretical and sociological curiosity. This demands that, rather than starting with an established, authoritative and internally defined definition of knowledge as a departure point to investigate changes in the social structure, we first examine the social and historical situation of that knowledge eventually to arrive at an understanding of knowledge 'as such'. Put this way, a dialectic between society and knowledge opens the unilateral, linear relationship of knowledge to society to a reciprocal series of historically embedded social relations. Knowledge, when understood in its context, is then no longer a black box since it is understood to emerge in the historically embedded material practices of human social organization. In this respect one way of opening the black box is to examine concretely knowledge production as a form of labour: as a practice that is embedded in a definitive series of social and economic relations. Contrary to the position of the theorists of the knowledge society, an examination of this kind requires a return to Marx's analysis of capitalism. 2.4 Knowledge Production and Capitalism In their treatment of knowledge as a black box that is ordained with absolute epistemological legitimacy, theorists of the knowledge society produce a Utopian vision of the role of knowledge in society that mirrors the illusory goals of Enlightenment liberalism. As we see in their vision, scientific knowledge is applied to society and the result is immense social restructuring. They argue that science through its practical application transforms the oppressive 'machine-driven' structure of industrial society with its dehumanizing shackles on manual labour into a liberating occupational and economic structure based upon 'knowledge-driven' mental labour. Knowledge society theorists indeed see knowledge as related to production. They account, not incorrectly, for the many 68 ways in which scientific knowledge transforms the occupational structure of society and thereby transform the mode of production itself. However, they do not see the other side of this dialectical coin: namely, how the transformations in the mode of production also influence knowledge at its most essential level. Their position reflects a world 'upside-down'; a camera obscura where knowledge determines production rather than production being dialectically related to knowledge: 'If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from the historical life process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life process' (Marx and Engels 1970:47). Marx's metaphor of the camera obscura aptly describes this ideological relation of knowledge to production in the theory of the knowledge society. Figure 2.1 illustrates this relation. On the right hand side of the diagram (recto), we see how a liberal understanding of academic knowledge production works. Liberalism, especially as it is formulated in the theory of the knowledge society, assumes knowledge to be the foundation of production with the commodity as its end product. Here knowledge is accorded logical primacy over production. In this version the freedom that is associated with knowledge is then carried through society at the levels of production and the circulation of objects. As we see below, theorists of the knowledge society look at the commodity produced by scientific knowledge and see truth, equality and freedom: the freedom of thought, the freedom of practice. In the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism, knowledge based on reason is theoretically formulated as the true social emancipator (reason=truth=freedom). As the diagram attempts to demonstrate however, this is an upside-down, partial and ideological understanding of the relationship of knowledge to production. 69 Figure 2.1 Ideology in the Theory of the Knowledge Society 70 On the left hand side of the diagram (verso), we see how a Marxist interpretation of knowledge production emphasizes the primacy of the mode of production as the material force behind knowledge, consciousness, ideas etc.. Therefore not only is knowledge a product of a specific mode of production but also, logically, the ideology that emerges to account for this relation, is also a product of that mode of production. However, unlike the ideal freedom produced in a liberal account and supposedly witnessed in the knowledge commodity, in a Marxist account the inherent inequalities of the capitalist mode of production are carried through knowledge production and are eventually represented in the commodity form. The commodity for Marxism is the site of the inherent inequalities (i.e. the unfreedom) of the capitalist mode of production. Marxists look at the same commodity as liberals and see ideology, power and unfreedom. As this thesis draws substantially from a Marxist sociology of knowledge, it is primarily for this reason that the remainder of this study focuses upon the academic commodity, with an emphasis on the commodification of journal articles and books: the academic commodity reveals the limitations of the account of academic liberalism for understanding academic knowledge production. As I intend to demonstrate, scholarly publishing as the site of the consumption, exchange and distribution of the academic commodity is one way of examining the impact of economic forces upon academic knowledge production. Such an analysis provides us with the relevant categories required for an 'externalist' examination of the contemporary situation of knowledge production and therefore completes the ideological picture drawn by liberalism by rooting academic knowledge production in economic practice. Liberalism must be turned upside-down (or right-side up) in order to produce a more accurate and complete account of knowledge production in capitalism. 71 As the diagram attempts to illustrate, the difficulty continues with the theory of the knowledge society in that the relation of knowledge to production is not reflexive, contextual or critical. As we see here and further below, in the theory of the knowledge society the role of objective scientific knowledge acts ideologically in a linear fashion to have an impact on and transform the social structure. However, the reverse or dialectical relation of the impact of the social structure, economy, or system of production upon knowledge is not a fundamental component of this analysis. What is troubling about such an account are the conclusions drawn about knowledge production and labour in 'the knowledge society'. Taking the liberal position of knowledge one step further, theorists of the knowledge society see the 'freedom' that is embedded in scientific inquiry also embedded in the economic structure of the knowledge society since such knowledge that extends to all facets of the social structure. In typical liberal fashion, knowledge is seen a priori to be the embodiment of freedom. When such knowledge informs social action on all levels then the results are largely positive. However as I demonstrate, this view can only be maintained if one does not inspect the effects of the economic mode of production upon knowledge production. Once this relation is opened, as I argue below with reference to Marx's dialectical understanding of knowledge and production in capitalism, knowledge can no longer be seen to be the embodiment of freedom as it is in its liberal definition but rather knowledge production must be understood to be ultimately constrained by the economic forces of capitalism which give knowledge structure as actual human labour. Academic knowledge production is therefore not 'autonomous and free' as it is understood in its liberal version; rather, such knowledge is limited by 72 the extent to which it is structured by the economic forces and, more importantly, by the value structure generated by capital. Theorists of the knowledge society effectively rule out any examination of the structuring effects of the capitalist economy upon the production of knowledge when they project the institutional values of scientific knowledge into the realm of economic relations. In an equation charted by the shift from industrial to 'post-industrial' society, Bell et al contend that scientific knowledge of nature's laws leads to technological advances. These advances lead to a transformation in the industrial order of society where machines gradually replace human labour as the primary force of production. To manage these machines scientific knowledge then becomes a dominant force of production. Technology rather than nature is now what must be mastered by humans, and a 'knowledge boom' is created in the form of a service economy to accommodate these growing techno-social needs (cf. Bell 1973:ch. 02). Such mastery requires specialized knowledge training (e.g. post-secondary education) on a mass level to cope with the immense transformation from manual labour of industrial society to the socially necessary mental labour of an advanced, technological 'post-industrial' society. Workers, now endowed with knowledge over muscle power, are seemingly able to cope with society in a way that is profoundly different from the situation of manual labour (proletarians) in industrial capitalism: Industrial societies - principally those around the North Atlantic littoral plus the Soviet Union and Japan - are goods producing societies. Life is a game against fabricated nature. The world has become technical and rationalized. The machine predominates, and the rhythms of life are mechanically paced: time is chronological, methodical, evenly spaced. Energy has replaced raw muscle and provides the power that is the basis of productivity - the art of making more with less- and is responsible for the mass output of goods which characterizes industrial society. Energy and machines transform the nature of work. Skills are broken down into simpler components, and the artisan of the past is replaced by two new figures - the engineer, who is responsible for the layout and flow of work and the semi-skilled worker, the human cog between machines - until the 73 technical ingenuity of the engineer creates a new machine which replaces him as well (Bell 1973:127). In Bell's post-industrial/knowledge society the crude production of industrial goods transmogrifies into the production of information and a service-based economy, thereby effectively revolutionizing the character of production altogether. In contrast to industrial society, the rapidly expanding production of the knowledge commodity (theoretical scientific knowledge) contributes to the increasing quality of life for all members of the post-industrial/knowledge society. True to the liberal impulse of the theory of the knowledge society (reason + knowledge = freedom) here knowledge is seen as the great emancipator where an 'idyllic' life of white-collar professionalism dominates the occupational and leisure landscapes and awaits the growing knowledge class: A post-industrial society is based on services. Hence it is a game between persons. What counts is not raw muscle power, or energy, but information. The central person is the professional, for he is equipped, by his education and training, to provide the kinds of skill which are increasingly demanded in the post-industrial society. If an industrial society is defined by the quantity of goods as marking a standard of living, the post-industrial society is defined by the quality of life as measured by the services and amenities - health, education, recreation and the arts - which are now deemed desirable and possible for everyone (Bell 1973:127) . The Knowledge Commodity As I indicate above, among the major transformations that mark a shift away from the oppressive features of industrial capitalism is, for Bell the shift in commodity production. He argues that because of the increasing input of knowledge into the production process there is a major shift in commodity production - from 'industrial commodities produced in discrete identifiable units, exchanged and sold, consumed and used up . . . governed by specific legal rules of contract' to 'information and knowledge - not consumed and "used up'" (Bell 1973:xiv). Bell explains that there is a profound difference between the machine-produced 74 industrial commodity and the intellectually produced knowledge product. He claims that the former relation of industrial commodity production is subject to a system of social relations dependent upon the inherently unequal and exploitative relation of labour to capital. Here an analysis of capitalism such as Marx's is acceptable (Bell 1973:55) . However, according to Bell, when the product of labour is knowledge, as it is in the post-industrial/knowledge society, labour forms a peculiar relationship to the commodity, one that apparently eliminates capitalism as a valid category of analysis for knowledge. The point that shifts the analysis away from capitalism as a valid explanatory framework for knowledge production is this: knowledge, when exchanged, remains with the producer of that commodity. According to Bell, this fact of knowledge production has a great impact on the social system as a whole for it revolutionizes the entire system of production and the ideas of ownership associated with private property. Following Bell, Nico Stehr proudly announces in the opening pages of his book Knowledge Societies: 'the age of labour and property is at an end' (Stehr 1994:viii). Unlike the commodity of industrial capitalism, the knowledge commodity, in this account, frees the worker from the proletarian chains of oppressive industrial production as the capitalist does not solely possess the product of labour. In the knowledge society the worker does not wholly 'give away' the knowledge product and therefore is not 'alienated' in the same way as the manual industrial labourer. 'Freely' produced knowledge in this respect triggers a chain reaction throughout the social structure where the freedom endowed upon academic science to produce the truth about the natural and social worlds then moves through the occupational sphere thus freeing mental labourers from the oppressive shackles of capitalists, private property and ownership. As is clear from 75 the theory of the knowledge society, knowledge is supposedly the basis of this liberating transformation of the economic sphere. Seemingly putting to rest Marx's analysis of capitalism for knowledge production, Bell continues that it is the more subtle revolution of knowledge, not a proletarian revolution, which transforms social relations of commodity production. Furthering his point about the lack of clearly delineated ownership of knowledge, Bell asserts that the product of knowledge is a collective good that is less susceptible to monopolistic ownership: 'knowledge in the form of a codified theory is a collective good. No single person, no single set of work groups, no corporation can monopolize or patent theoretical knowledge, or draw unique product advantage from it. It is a common property of the intellectual world' (Bell 1979:237). Stehr reiterates this belief in Knowledge Societies where he comments that: 'knowledge is a public good; it is often seen as the collective commodity par excellence; for example the ethos of science demands that it is supposed to be made available to all, at least in principle' (Stehr 1994:94). As such, traditional categories for understanding property, commodity exchange and the structure of the labour force itself, must be retooled to incorporate the relations of the production of knowledge for it is understood to be a commodity unlike other commodities. For theorists of the knowledge society this retooling requires a theory of value that takes into consideration the unique and ubiquitous character of knowledge. The Knowledge Theory of Value But a post-industrial society is characterized not by a labour theory of value but by a knowledge theory of value. It is the codification of knowledge that becomes directive of innovation. Yet knowledge even when it is sold remains with the producer. It is a collective good in that once it has been created, it is by its character available to all and thus there is little incentive for any single person or enterprise to pay for the production of such knowledge unless they can obtain proprietary 76 advantage, such as a patent or copyright. But increasingly patents no longer guarantee exclusivity . . . (Bell 1973:xiv). For theorists of the knowledge society the Marxian understanding of labour is a less valid category for analysis of commodity production as production in the post-industrial/knowledge society has shifted away from issues of private property and ownership. As Bell envisions it, the knowledge society has shifted from 'the economics of goods' to the 'economics of information' (Bell 1973:xv). What he then strategically suggests is to move away from the labour theory of value as is understood by Marx in Capital for the value of knowledge in the knowledge society is a question altogether different from value in the labour/capital terms of industrial society. A proper analysis of the knowledge commodity in relation to labour, according to Bell and later to Stehr, specifically requires a knowledge theory of value (Bell 1979:237; Stehr 1994:160). 'In classical and Marxian economics, capital is thought of as "embodied labour", but knowledge cannot be conceived in that fashion' (Bell 1979:237). In this recommendation we come to understand that knowledge has supposedly transformed the occupational sphere to the extent that the production of the knowledge commodity has changed the relations of labour to capital and thus requires a new theory of value that takes this relationship into consideration. As Stehr puts it, the value of collectivity in science and the transcendent, symbolic character of knowledge are now what must be taken into consideration in a theory of the value of the knowledge commodity. The critical question to consider at this point however is whether knowledge has actually transformed the relation of labour to capital as suggested by the theory of the knowledge society, or whether knowledge production is simply another form of labour subsumed under capital. If we return to the theorists of the knowledge 77 society to answer this question we find the obvious answer that is, they claim, also supported by Marx: through technology, knowledge as a force of production transforms the relations of labour to capital: But to the degree that large industry develops, the creation of real wealth comes to depend less on labour time and on the amount of labour employed than on the power of the agencies set in motion during labour time, whose 'powerful effectiveness' is itself in turn out of proportion to the direct labour time spent on their production, but depends rather on the general state of science and on the progress of technology, or the application of this science to production (Marx 1973:705). In reading this quote, one has the impression that Marx is presenting an argument similar to, and indeed in agreement with, the knowledge society thesis. This is especially so if one reads the brief quote from Marx cited by Stehr a little further down from the above passage in the Grundrisse: 'man's understanding of nature and his mastery over it by virtue of his presence as a social body . . . appears as the great foundation stone of production and of wealth, so that general knowledge becomes a direct force of production' (Marx 1973:705; Stehr 1994:9). However, if one takes the entirety of Marx's position on knowledge what we find is not only that Marx does not see the privileged 'authority' of knowledge as outweighing the forces of capital but also, and much more significantly, that knowledge as a productive force is increasingly subsumed under the dominance of capitalist relations. In other words, knowledge is treated by Marx as a type of living human labour that, as labour, is subject to the structure of capitalist production. This dialectic advances a critique of the liberal notions of autonomy and objectivism in that knowledge is seen in relation to the social and historical forces that give it its character and its form. For Marx, scientific knowledge and even the objectivity upon which its authority rests are not seen outside of the context of capital for 'the value placed upon objective knowledge and knowledgeableness in late capitalist society 78 may be understood as key elements of capitalist ideology' (Kemple 1994:24) . We return again to Marx's Grundrisse to see the dialectic between knowledge and production emerge: In machinery, the appropriation of living labour by capital achieves a direct reality in this respect as well: It is, firstly, the analysis and application of mechanical and chemical laws, arising directly out of science, which enables the machine to perform the same labour as that previously performed by the worker. However, the development of machinery along this path occurs only when large industry has reached a higher stage, and all the sciences have been pressed into the service of capital; and when secondly, the available machinery itself provides great capabilities. Invention then becomes a business, and the application of science to direct production itself becomes a prospect which determines and solicits it (Marx 1973:704). While the theory of the knowledge society focuses on the productive and transformative aspect of knowledge on the economic structure of society, it is not without a particular tension, largely unrecognized by theorists of the knowledge society, that Marx raises the relation of knowledge to capitalist production. In Marx's famous 'Fragment on Machines' in the Grundrisse (pp.692-711) he points out that although science indeed contributes to the transformation of industrial production through technology and the machinery it creates, such a relation can only exist when science is 'pressed into the service of capital'. Rather than emancipating labour from the oppressive surround of industry knowledge is seen by Marx as also subject to the forces, values and direction of capital: It is hence the tendency of capital to give production a scientific character; direct labour is reduced to a mere moment of this process. As with the transformation of value into capital, so does it appear in the further development of capital, that it presupposes a certain given historical development of the productive forces on the one side - science too is among these productive forces - and on the other, drives and forces them further onwards (Marx 1973:699). Knowledge production in this respect is still an aspect of production in capitalism that is, like any other form of production, subject to the value structure of capital. As a productive force, 79 knowledge does not transcend the relations of labour/capital but quite to the contrary, embodies the fundamental structure that is at the heart of this relation. Capital, as Marx so eloquently put it, 'absorbs labour into itself "as though its body were by love possessed"' (Marx 1973:704). Labour, however, must be understood most generally in this regard as any human activity that is productive. Knowledge production viewed in this light must necessarily be considered as an essential ingredient to the proper function of the capitalist machine. It is not then, as theorists of the knowledge society suggest, merely knowledge that has an impact on the economic structure of society but also that the economic structure of capitalist society has an impact on knowledge. As Marx contends, capitalism is an economic system that requires continual innovation for the perpetuation of surplus. All human activity - culture, knowledge, science - is potential fodder for such innovation. As academic knowledge today is clearly situated within this socio-historic dynamic, the forces of capital indeed influence the form and content of knowledge. In fact, as we see in the remaining chapters, capital provides the very structure for the production, consumption, exchange and distribution of knowledge. Contrary to the liberal accounts described above, academic knowledge in this account is not a self-legislating sphere but rather is legislated through its necessary relation to capital. Academic values cannot be understood outside of the values of the sphere of a capitalist political economy. Although the liberal-enlightenment myth of knowledge as the great emancipator is indeed beautiful and necessary as a Utopian moment for knowledge producers (i.e. liberal scholars) the line that must now be drawn is between liberalism as knowledge Utopia and liberalism as an ideology that legitimates the power, authority and social standing of 80 academics. The theory of the knowledge society ultimately acts to support the power base and legitimacy for the producers of 'expert' knowledge in the knowledge society to the point where it totally overlooks the practices of knowledge production as reproducing the fundamentally exploitative and essentially unequal, hierarchical character of capital. Rather than concluding that knowledge transforms commodity production to the point that private property, and ultimately the practice of ownership is challenged, what we find if we take a closer look at 'knowledge as a commodity' is that the ideas of ownership, private property and capital remain as dominant features of the system of production. Contrary to the position of theorists of the knowledge society we find that knowledge can only be understood in its entirety as a fundamental component of capitalist exchange. 81 3 Capitalism and Academic Knowledge Just as the proletarian today has many comforts and cultural enjoyments that were formerly denied to him, while at the same time - particularly if we look back over several centuries and millennia - the gulf between his way of life and the higher strata has certainly become much deeper, so, similarly the rise in the level of knowledge as a whole does not by any means bring about a general leveling, but rather its opposite. (Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money) Despite the claims of the theorists of the knowledge society, not only is the age of labour and property not over, but the exploitative economic relations upon which these practices are based are found today in what many liberals might see as the most unlikely (or at least overlooked) of places: academically-produced knowledge. If we open the economic 'black box' of academic knowledge and closely examine the current political economic situation of the university what we find is that although historically the ideological practice of academic liberalism is able to stave off the forces of capital through government subsidization and thus maintain a degree of autonomy, the university's inevitable situation in a dominant capitalist marketplace leaves it susceptible to the encroachment of economic values into the academic sphere. An examination of the contemporary political economic context of the system of academic knowledge production in North America exposes the shift of control away from the 'internally' defined values of the academic sphere toward the 'externally' defined values of the marketplace, thus furthering Marx's insight that knowledge in capitalism exists largely for the purposes of capital. In this chapter I examine the current context of the system of academic knowledge production as situated within a larger capitalist 82 political economy. Moving from the political economic relations of knowledge production inherent to Canadian and American universities, I examine the impact that this has upon the circulation of academic knowledge and its final product, the academic text - in particular, articles published in peer-reviewed journals and scholarly monographs published by university and commercial scholarly presses. Below I inspect how economic forces effect the circulation of scholarly knowledge and the media for its distribution. As I indicate above but have not yet fully explored, scholarly publishing is the focus of this investigation since it is the primary site for the exchange and distribution of scholarly knowledge. Through this examination a complex web of relations emerges through the economic interrelations of production, distribution, exchange and consumption that illustrate the impingement of economic capital on the system of scholarly knowledge production. This chapter begins with an inspection of the current economic status of universities in North America and their changing relationship with 'liberal' governments. From here I move on to explore the subsequent changing role of university libraries as consumers of academic knowledge and the impact of the current political economy on the system of academic knowledge production. Following this I examine what is referred to as the 'serials crisis' in scholarly communication and the relation of this crisis to 'venture' capital and scholarly publishing. Finally, I examine the emerging role that academic labour plays for the exchange value of academic product in a capitalist economy and how this labour is subsumed by venture capital thereby converting qualitative academic value into a quantitative economic value. As we shall come to see, there is a convergence of contemporary capitalism with academia. Indeed economic capital plays an increasingly significant role for the overall structure of academia - from the level of operating budgets of universities 83 (production) to the depleting resources of research libraries (consumption) and finally to the market-driven responses of scholarly publishers (distribution). 3.1 Political Economy and Academic Knowledge Production The influence of the political economy upon academic knowledge production is best illustrated by the relationship of the university to the liberal democratic state and the 'trickle-down' effect this has on various levels of academic practice and the overall system of knowledge production. In the latter half of this century we see that governments in Canada and the United Sates have become increasingly ideologically and financially committed to the economic support of the research university and to post-secondary education generally (Guppy and Davies 1998:21; Slaughter and Leslie 1997:77; Rubin and Huber 1986). Daniel Bell's Coming of Post-Industrial Society shows that behind the notion of 'the knowledge society' is the political and economic support of research and theoretical knowledge necessary for the growth of objective knowledge, and, hence, for the development of a knowledgeable society as a whole (Bell 1973:212). Historically, the practices of liberal governance reflect Bell's position: since W.W.II, government subsidies to universities consistently grew in proportion to enrolments and inflation through the 1970s (cf. Rubin and Huber 1986:64-65). To a large extent this support ensures the ideological autonomy and freedom of academic production and the autonomous practices of the institution as free from the larger forces of capitalism and the marketplace. In North America, as in other Western nations, the financial cost of academic freedom has traditionally been acknowledged to be a responsibility of the state. This support allowed for immense, relatively unbridled growth for academic research in 'the knowledge industry', 84 especially through the 1970s and into the 1980s (C.A.U.T. 1999; Rubin and Huber 1986) . Government support for academic endeavors is, however, in decline. On a political level, this decline occurs with the emergence of more fiscally conservative governments in the 1980's such as the Thatcher/Reagan/Mulroney governments of England, America and Canada respectively and the drive to shift the responsibility for funding post-secondary education from the public to the private sector (cf. Slaughter and Leslie 1997:7). In Canada for example, as a result of this shrinking financial commitment, university operating expenditures per student declined by 17% between 1980 and 1993 ((Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (A.U.C.C. 1996)). We see this percentage fall even further from 1993 to present: 'In 1992-93, provincial governments - the main paymaster of post-secondary education - spent about $410 per capita in 1997 dollars on higher education. By 1996-97 that figure has fallen to $335, a decline of 18%' (Cockburn 1998). This decrease is due to the more general trend in Canada of provincial and federal governments cutting spending on post-secondary education. A study conducted by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (C.A.U.T.) documents how federal subsidies continued to fall throughout the nineties: 'Federal cash transfers, when adjusted for inflation, have declined from $2.9 billion to $1.6 billion, a walloping 44 per cent. On a constant per capita basis, cash transfers fell from $102 in 1992 to just $54 in 1998' (C.A.U.T. 1999). Elsewhere, the C.A.U.T. argues that government grants and contracts that accounted for 74.5% of total university revenue in 1978 have dropped to 55.6% in 1998 (C.A.U.T. 1999). According to this report, the revenues to replace government contributions are then sought in the private sphere through industry-sponsored research activities that in 1998 totaled $12 billion (C.A.U.T. 1999) . 85 Among the results of such dramatic cuts in funding to post-secondary education are fewer academic staff, fewer new faculty hiring, less public money available from government agencies for scholarly research, higher tuition fees for students, fewer course offerings and bigger classes (C.A.U.T. 1999). Undoubtedly knowledge production in the university suffers from such a fiscal retreat leaving many publicly funded North American universities susceptible to corporate interests. Academic liberalism as an ideology can only exist as a practice with the financial support of a non-partisan liberal-democratic government. Without such support many universities and their respective departments are sent looking to the partisan private sector to replace those essential operating funds. With respect to a decline in governmental post-secondary spending, Canada is not alone. The trend in Canada follows a much larger trend among Western nations, especially O.E.C.D. countries (cf. Slaughter and Leslie 1997). As we see in the United States for example, there is also evidence of dramatic cuts in governmental spending on higher education. As Slaughter and Leslie point out, the decline witnessed in America in federal post-secondary education transfers in the early 1980s was constant into the 1990s (Slaughter and Leslie 1997:77). The revenues from federal sources for American institutions of higher education dropped from 14.9% of total revenues in 1980-81, to 12.2% of total revenues in 1990-91, a difference of several billion dollars. A recent study published by The Center for the Study of the States at the Rockefeller Institute tells us that this decline continues today where the reduction of post-secondary funding in American State budgets dropped in the period of 1990-1994 from 14% to 12.5% of their total budget and federal support has been dramatically, reduced by $5 billion, from $20 billion to $15 billion, in 1996 {New York Times, Sunday August 31, 86 1997:4.1) . In addition to the economic necessity of universities to turn to the private sphere to bolster their operating budgets, such cuts have a substantial impact on scholarly communication and the institutional organization of knowledge production. While these cuts are immediately obvious in the undergraduate curricula in the form of bigger classes, fewer tenured faculty members teaching undergraduate classes and increasing tuition fees (C.A.U.T. 1999), the economic impact on the system of knowledge production is equally far-reaching. Since my primary concern here is the eventual effect upon the textual presentation of academic knowledge, I begin this analysis at the institutional level of textual consumption with university research libraries, traditionally the largest consumers of academic knowledge, and examine how this fiscal decline dramatically affects the liberal mission of the university research library. Through this examination the web of social and economic relations can be seen to contribute to the inevitable relationship between capitalism and academic knowledge. 3.2 Libraries and the Consumption of Academic Knowledge As a consequence of the last few decades of decline in federal, state and provincial funding that led to overall cuts in university operating budgets, university research libraries also find themselves operating on a reduced budget. Few libraries have escaped the hard times (Bennett 1992:132). For example, in Canada between 1980 to 1993 university library operating budgets declined by 22% (A.U.C.C. 1996). This reduction manifests itself most apparently in the libraries' ability to consume and accumulate new research and scholarship through new book and serial acquisitions: vAs a result [of the cuts], their ability to provide and maintain access to knowledge at the level expected by users has been 87 severely challenged. Despite the growing body of knowledge, and the need for more rather than fewer resources, Canadian university libraries have been forced to cut back on journal subscriptions as the most volatile continuing cost at a time when overall acquisition of books is also in serious decline (A.U.C.C. 1996:4). Again, Canadian university libraries are not alone in the financial squeeze. American university libraries are also feeling the pressure: 'In recent years our campus libraries have been forced to cope with intense financial pressures' (Ketterman 1994:27). Consistent with both Canadian and American research university libraries is the impact of the financial cuts to higher education on the ability of libraries to acquire new academic knowledge in the form of journals, monographs and scholarly books. An overall decrease in library acquisitions budgets by many universities presents one hurdle to purchase new scholarly product for research libraries. Another equally devastating hurdle for library acquisitions and operating budgets is 'the serials crisis'. The serials crisis refers to the extraordinarily high costs of scientific, technical and medical journals and the impact these costs are having on research libraries' ability to purchase new materials (Ketterman 1994:27) . The financial pressure on library acquisitions is not only based in the federal, state and provincial reductions to university and subsequently university library operating budgets. According to the Association of Research Libraries (A.R.L.), the pressure is also coming from an increase in the cost of serial publications and academic journals that is usurping an enormous portion of the acquisitions budgets of research libraries. Libraries now have to cope with the growing costs of immensely expensive journals as well as the growing cost of university press monographs on top of already shrinking budgets. For example, a recent report from the A.R.L states that between 1986 and 1996 the 88 consumer price index rose 44%. Over that same decade, the cost of monographs increased 62% and the cost of scholarly journals increased 148%, more than three times the rate of inflation. As one university provost put it: 'our budget would have to increase 70% if we were to buy the same proportion of serials and monographs as we did in 1986' (A.R.L. 1998). This dramatic rise in costs, as we see below, is the direct result of the collision of the academic and the economic spheres. In this way, book and serial costs for libraries are an extremely significant factor in this complex web as they indicate a realm in which the interests of economic capital play a direct role (distribution) in the overall system of scholarly knowledge production. As a result of government cutbacks in post-secondary spending and increasing costs of research materials (journals and monographs) the university research library's ability to consume the academic knowledge that is widely produced by the 'knowledge industry' is greatly impeded. As we see the role of scholarly journals plays a significant part in how this crisis unfolds. 3.3 Scholarly Journals and the Distribution of Academic Knowledge If we recall Parsons' discussion of academic endeavors in Chapter One, for many practicing liberal academics, journal publication appears as among the purest forms of scholarly communication. The raison d'etre of a scholarly journal is for academics from the growing plethora of fields of specialization to communicate with each other on topics deemed significant by their academic peers. Publication of scholarship is based primarily upon academic values, such as peer-evaluated merit and the assessments of the overall contribution to knowledge. By virtue of the degrees of specialization, the audience and market for scholarly journals is limited to the few experts in the field. Scholarly journals are the epitome of the liberal principle 'knowledge for knowledge's sake' and exist primarily 89 because of the institutionalized practice of academic freedom and the state funded economic support of liberal education. No other system would allow for the extensive production of such specialized knowledge without a considerable market demand. Ideally, then, the knowledge contained in academic journals is, according to the liberal academic system, not subject to extraneous forces but rather is intrinsic to the supposedly autonomous process of academic knowledge production. In support of liberal scholarship research libraries have been committed to acquiring such specialized academic journals since their inception; often, the number of journals to which a research library subscribes reflects the prestige of the institution as a 'research university'. In this respect, journal acquisitions signify not only the connection of the university to important research outside of that university but also the prestige that comes with its international connections to other research universities. The acquisition of journals by research libraries is an essential ingredient for scholarly communication and contributes significantly to the overall status of a university. To a large extent the liberal belief in the scholarly integrity of journals is founded, at least in the immediate economic sense, as journal publication for contributing scholars finds no direct economic gain. Academics who participate in the production of journals - from the writing of articles to the editorial work - are not monetarily reimbursed for their labour through the sale of the journal, nor are the journals produced for financial profit by its editors. They are produced primarily as a means of scholarly communication. Optimistically, journals are produced to recover the costs of publication. In this respect, university libraries absorb some of the costs of maintaining scholarly journals through their commitment to paying subscription fees. In research university libraries scholarly journals have had a devoted consumer who 90 shares similar values regarding academic freedom and the dissemination of all scholarly knowledge and who has the budget partially to support such endeavors. Academics involved in the production of a journal rely primarily on their salaries as tenured faculty to produce knowledge, as well as further subsidies from among such non-profit federal granting agencies as S.S.H.R.C. in Canada and the National Endowment for the Arts (N.E.A.) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (N.E.H.) in the United States. While many contributors to journals are aware of the production side of academic journals, few are aware of their larger location in the economy of scholarly knowledge production, and in particular, the economics of journal distribution in the serials crisis. What may seem surprising to many is the increasing reality that the distribution of academic journals actually constitutes a sound financial investment for commercial publishers and venture capitalists. As we see below, through distribution by commercial scholarly publishers academic products are brought into the global marketplace and sold for an exorbitant profit. Here, academic knowledge as it circulates textually in an object(ive) form is indeed a commodity, a tangible, usable product for capital, and the forces of economic capital play a large role in its dissemination. 3.4 Venture Capital and the Distribution of Academic Knowledge Initially, the connection between universities and commercial publishers through journal distribution was deemed essential and advantageous to both participants. North American universities in the 1960s and 1970s were experiencing enormous growth in federal funding, enrolments and faculty research (cf. Rubin and Huber 1986). This meant that universities were in fact experiencing a knowledge boom where the production of knowledge far exceeded their capacity to distribute that knowledge. Universities, as a 91 result, were experiencing difficulty in finding enough venues for the distribution of the plethora of new research: 'Recognizing a bottleneck, commercial publishers came to absorb an increasing share of the [journal distribution] market, with the broad support of higher education institutions, scholarly societies and faculty who served as editors, reviewers and members of editorial boards' (A.R.L. 1998:3) . A report from the A.R.L. suggests that this relationship was initially beneficial for all participants as it increased the needed outlets for knowledge distribution and provided commercial publishers with access to a new market (A.R.L. 1998:4). However, in a dominant global capitalist marketplace commercial publishers quickly gained the upper hand, forcing the scholarly community reluctantly to embrace market values as a result of the inevitable commodification of scholarly knowledge. The commodification of scholarly knowledge, that is, the conversion of academic knowledge into a product sold for profit at the expense of the producer, through the commercial viability of academic journals is clearly evident in the example of British media magnate Robert Maxwell. As a distributor of German science publisher Springer Verlag and owner of the academic publishing press Pergamon, forty years ago Maxwell discovered the relatively untapped economic potential of science journals. In particular he noticed that there were few outlets for the dissemination of highly specialized scientific knowledge, especially on a global scale. After attending several international scientific conferences to 'establish a relationship and discover the potential for new publications', Maxwell gathered specialists in the fields and established editorial boards for new scientific journals 'whom he selected for their prestige' (Carrigan 1996:209). In a matter of two years, from 1955 to 1957, the output of Pergamon Press grew from fifty journals and books to over one hundred: 92 In addition to publishing new journals, Maxwell was alert to the opportunities provided by existing ones, and he began to take over the business management of established but unexploited specialist journals from learned societies . . . Relentlessly, universities throughout the world were being offered an increasing range of journals which, because of the prestige of the editorial boards, their librarians were initially eager to buy (Carrigan 1996:210). Although it may be difficult for some to conceive of a specialized scholarly journal as being an attractive business venture, one commercial science publisher I interviewed in the course of this investigation put it this way: First, research libraries of major research institutions are obliged to subscribe to those journals that disseminate vital scholarship, whether it is in the sciences, social sciences or humanities. That is the mission of a reputable research university. Their libraries are the market for such journals, perhaps even a captive market. Second, the labour for journals is free from the perspective of the journal publisher: editors are paid by either universities or federal funding agencies and are not further compensated by publishers, and the authors will contribute to the journal without any expectation of monetary return. In support of this claim, a report on the status of scholarly communication proclaims that academic labourers: "are motivated by the satisfaction derived from creating and disseminating knowledge' (A.U.C.C. 1996:3). It is widely accepted that direct monetary gain is not a primary motivating factor for the contribution of academic authors. Third, the subscription fees are paid well in advance by subscribers even before a product is received and most commonly at the beginning of a subscription year. These advance fees act well for a journal publisher as investment capital, for one has a significant amount of money up front for further investment with few production costs over the course of the year. With reference to the financial position of a scholarly journal publisher, Robert Maxwell once proudly stated in an interview: 'I set up a perpetual financing machine through advance subscriptions as well as the profits on the sales 93 themselves. It is a cash generator twice over' (quoted in Carrigan 1996:210). Given this logic, one can understand the appeal that Maxwell and now many other scholarly publishers see in commercially developing scholarly journals. Further, if one possesses all of the top journals in a field, as Maxwell did, one has a virtual monopoly on the distribution of specialized knowledge. A monopoly, as in any other industry, often ends up being the grounds for charging extraordinarily high rates. This is indeed the case with library subscriptions to journals. The monopoly of science journals combined with the extraordinary high rates for journal subscriptions, comprise what many librarians today are calling the 'serials crisis'. For example, today the Dutch science publisher Elsevier Science BV is first among science journal publishers publishing over 650 science journals and over 8000 science monographs, books and information databases. As one observer put it: 'In essence, the struggle is this. Academic and research librarians and librarians of large urban institutions, pay STM [Science, Technical, Medical] publishers enormous amounts to buy back value-added intellectual property that is donated to them by researchers employed with public funds, usually employees of these purchasing institutions. For their trouble, STM publishers make an enormous return on their investment (around 25% of their gross revenues). These profit levels have been impeding the dissemination of knowledge essentially because they represent overcharging' (Lorimer 1997:12). To demonstrate the profitability of serials we simply need to examine the financial figures of the parent company of Elsevier Science, the scholarly publisher Reed Elsevier, more closely. In 1996, Reed Elsevier reported a gross profit of $3.5 billion USD on sales of almost $5.7 billion with a pay out of dividends to shareholders totaling approximately $1 billion (A.R.L. 1999a). These profits come easily to a 94 publisher who appreciates the necessity of the captive library market and fully exploits such potential. According to an A.R.L. document, on average an A.R.L. library spends $628 000 dollars a year with Elsevier Science to obtain 378 titles. The report points out that amount is 3.5% of serials titles subscribed to but 21% of annual serials expenditures: 'Extrapolating from these averages the 121 ARL libraries spend over $75 million a year on Elsevier Science titles. This is a significant portion of U.S. and Canadian research library materials budgets going to one company' (A.R.L. 1999a). Further, as Reed Elsevier is a public company accountable to shareholders, there is potentially no end to the steady rise of serials costs for the ultimate goal of a public corporation is a consistent return on equity. Along with other profitable scholarly publishers such as Wolters Kluwer, John Wiley and Sons and Plenam Publishing, Reed Elsevier compares with such firms as Microsoft in their ability to generate a strong return on equity (A.R.L. 1999b). Of this group of serials publishers, Reed Elsevier ranked 26/500 and Plenam 8/500 in 1997 of the top 500 companies with high net profit margins as rated by Business Week (A.R.L. 1999b). With the majority of scholarly journals falling under the distribution by commercial ventures, it is safe to assume that on this level journal production is intimately tied to the commercial interests of a few large-scale publishers. In addition to the virtual monopoly of journal's is the consistent increase in journal costs without substantial additions to justify the rise. The serials crisis is the result of the fact that journal costs for research library acquisitions have been steadily increasing over the last forty years. A study conducted by University of Pennsylvania libraries found that, among commercial scholarly publishers, the smallest increase for journal subscriptions over a period of six years (1970 - 1975) was 193% and the largest was 804%. This increase continued throughout the 95 1980's and into the 1990's, and with Elsevier Science alone there were increases between 1995 to 1998 of 43.5% to 65.8% (A.R.L. 1999a). These figures are consistent for scholarly journals generally in the period from 1986-1996 (see figure 3.1). The author of the Pennsylvania study claims that such increases are the result of the fact that 'commercial journal publishers began to realize how addicted librarians were to journals and how insensitive to price increases their product was' (Carrigan 1996:211). At the same time, publishers also perfected the efficiency of journal publishing, allowing them to 'publish many additional journals at a relatively small incremental cost. Naturally, publishers have used that excess capacity to proliferate new journals in ever more specialized fields ... as long as libraries have continued to buy them at inflated institutional rates' (Carrigan 1996:211). In short, the serials crisis refers to the 'continued increase in the number of scholarly journals libraries are expected to subscribe to, and especially the persistent rise in the prices of scholarly journals at the rates greatly exceeding the general inflation rate' (Carrigan 1996:212). In another example, a study conducted by Louisiana State University notes that a small portion of commercially published journals demanded a disproportionately large portion of the library acquisitions budget. At the time of the study (1988), LSU was spending annually approximately 1.3 million for 13 000 journal titles. Approximately 2600 of the titles claimed $900 000 of the total, with the remaining $400 000 going for approximately 10 000 titles (Carrigan 1996:212). Consequently, as the prices rise for the more expensive, prestigious journals, the lower cost journals are dropped from the acquisitions list to prevent spending money allocated for other more prestigious serial subscriptions. Another study by ARL supports this claim. This study found that despite the fact that research libraries are canceling hundreds of thousands of dollars 96 worth of serials, they are spending 124% more on serials to acquire 7% fewer titles (A.R.L. 1999): 'The cancellation approach permits the bottom line profits of commercial publishers and serial vendors to continue to grow while thousands of research journals disappear from our libraries. Ironically, such a cancellation pattern also provides no signal to commercial publishers of the seriousness of the situation in America's libraries' (Carrigan 1996:212-213). Contrary to the aspirations of liberal-minded educators, the role that commercial serial publishers are playing in the dissemination of knowledge at the university level demonstrates that the realm of 'the economic' through venture capital and exorbitant price inflation plays a significant role on the distribution side of the larger system of scholarly knowledge production. It is obvious that through their profit-driven mandate commercial publishers continue to increase the price of journals and this, in turn, affects the consumption of knowledge at the level of the research library. Put simply, the more commercial publishers charge for journals and the lower the budget research libraries have to purchase these journals inevitably, the less knowledge that is available for consumption by scholars, as we witness in the cancellations of many journal subscriptions by research libraries. In this way, the increase in prices by commercial publishers affects what journals are acquired by libraries (consequently, what knowledge is disseminated) and which ones are deleted from further subscriptions. The exorbitant prices of 200% 150% g 100% o C to II) cn c IT o 50% -50% Monograph and Serial Costs In ARL Libraries, 1986-1997 Serial Unit Cost (•169%) 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 Fiscal Year 1996 Figure 3.1. Monograph and serial costs in A.R.L. libraries (from the A.R.L. website: www.arl.org) 98 commercial scholarly journals therefore externally imposes a hierarchy of knowledge based upon a relation between surplus value and sign value - the journals that are worth keeping are the prestigious ones and because they are prestigious they are also expensive. In this way we see how cultural capital and economic capital are closely linked. The example of the relationship between serials publishers and research libraries alone, however, does not in itself allow us to inspect the larger economic effect upon academic knowledge production. Although this example is one blatant aspect of the commodification of academically-produced knowledge and a demonstration of the interests of economic capital that have far-reaching consequences for the system of knowledge production, it is only one link in a long chain for understanding the merging of the economic with the academic sphere in North American universities. 3.5 Knowledge, Labour and Value It is clear in the role that academic labour plays for venture capital that 'knowledge' lends itself to definition by economic value. Contrary to the position of the theorists of the knowledge society, 'pure' theoretical knowledge like the kind found in many scholarly journals does not transform the relations of capital by virtue of the 'transcendent character of knowledge' but rather, as we see in this example, academic knowledge is subsumed under capital as labour that contributes enormously to the surplus value of academic product. By unpacking this relation we see how academic labour and its knowledge product become very significant for the interests and advancement of capital. Academic labour is largely financially compensated by the state and the university. Therefore, liberal academics can indeed claim that they do not represent the type of labour that contributes to the exploitation inherent in capitalism for they do not produce directly for the benefit of 99 capital like wage labour produces commodities directly for capitalists (cf. Marx 1977: Chapter One). Academic labour and its knowledge product are not considered by many academic liberals commodities in the Marxian economic sense insofar as they are not immediately assigned a price for exchange in the capitalist marketplace. Knowledge is first given an 'internal' value through the procedures inherent to the peer evaluation process in the academic sphere (cf. Chapter One). This ideological conception of academic practice rests upon the separation of state compensated academic labour in contrast to labour that is wholly dependent upon the needs of the 'free' market. However, in the above example of scholarly journals it is clear that the academic commodity plays a role very similar to the commodity in capitalism as it is academic labour that establishes the foundation for the value of the academic commodity. In this example academic labour plays a fundamental role in the generation of surplus value for commercial publishers. Academic labour is necessary for the generation of both the 'internal' and 'external' values of academic product. Given the compensation for that labour by the state, the type of labour academics conduct is much more valuable to 'capital' than even the highly exploitable wage labour inherent to the capitalist workplace, for as Robert Maxwell clearly knew, academic labour requires little if any financial compensation by capital. Knowledge's reward for its production comes through its fiduciary responsibility (circulation). This internal value of fiducary responsibility becomes extremely valuable to capital as it removes the cost of labour from the price of the academic commodity altogether, thereby eliminating the factor of labour in the overall cost of the product. The less capital must compensate labour, the greater the potential for profit for the capitalist insofar as it is primarily labour that gives a commodity its value. In this respect, academic labour is 100 highly profitable for capital as it ultimately contributes to the surplus value necessary for the accumulation of capital through profit. Academic labour's primary use-value in this sense is for capital: 'Labour is not only the use value which confronts capital, but rather, it is the use value of capital itself (Marx 1973:297). To capital all academic labour is surplus labour and is therefore the use value of capital. Through the distribution of scholarly journals academic labour is, to use Marx's phrase, subsumed under capital: The labour process becomes the instrument of the valorization process, the process of the self-valorization of capital - the manufacture of surplus value. The labour process is subsumed under capital (it is its own process) and the capitalist intervenes as its director, manager (Marx 1977:1019). Here Marx points not only to the necessary role of labour for economic surplus necessary for profit but also to the inevitable shift of control from the labourer to the capitalist. In this relation of labour to capital the capitalist rather than the labourer becomes the manager of the labour process. Through its control of the labour process capital establishes itself socially as a relation of domination (Kemple 1995:144). Although Marx intended these comments to speak to the plight of industrial labour, such comments speak equally to the 'serials crisis' and the plight of contemporary academe generally. As I have shown, the serials crisis is the direct result of the intervention by capital into the system of scholarly knowledge distribution. Consequently capital, here in the form of venture capital among scholarly publishers, assumes control over the dissemination of scholarly knowledge through the pricing of the scholarly knowledge product. The monetary value imposed upon knowledge by capital, in this respect, becomes the decisive value for scholarly knowledge more generally, for in true 'free market' fashion, it is the monetary value that ultimately determines the fate of scholarly knowledge product. 101 If we return again to the example of scholarly journals this point finds some empirical clarity. In 1999 U.B.C. libraries canceled over 100 serials (U.B.C. Libraries website 1999). The canceled journals represent almost every scholarly pursuit from anthropology to women's studies. According to the librarian responsible for new acquisitions/cancellations, the budget allotted to the library by the university has, unlike many other North American university libraries, been relatively stable despite the federal cutbacks. The need for cutting $83 496.85 and canceling subscriptions for well over 100 journals arises largely from the increasing costs of prestigious science journals and the squeeze that this puts on the acquisitions budget. The decision to cut these specific journals comes from faculty feedback as to their use, prestige and ranking by the specific departments and fields. In this way their fate is somewhat defined by internal standards for academic consumption and the symbolic capital of a particular journal. However, in this case there is no denying that such cancellations are initiated 'externally' by the ever-increasing need for greater profit by commercial scholarly publishers. In these cancellations we can see the dominant relation of economic value over academic value for the fatal determination of academic product. The need to cancel these subscriptions would not arise were it not for the increase in cost of the 'prestigious' journals. Here the marketplace shows its fundamental, anti-liberal inequality and presents capital ultimately as a relation of the dominance of economic over academic value. It is clearly the need for greater profit that drives the pricing of scholarly journals controlled by commercial publishers. In this respect, journals are priced according to their market and their relative dependence upon necessary journals (consumption), not according to the amount of labour time that is required to produce the knowledge therein (production). The value of the academic commodity then rests not only 102 upon its 'internal' evaluation but also elsewhere in its distribution upon an 'external' evaluation of its market potential. From the cancelled journals it is clear that although as scholarly journals they are internally evaluated by the peer review process and therefore have a qualitative internal value to those who participate in the production of those journals, their external value is determined quantitatively by their market potential and consumer desirability. These journals are cancelled not because they fail to meet internal standards of evaluation but because they are squeezed out of the 'free' market by journals that carry greater economic weight for commercial publishers. Libraries simply play a mediating role between the academics who consume the journals and the commercial publishers who distribute them. Here the economic exchange value of the journals determines their fate as academic knowledge, for although they may still be produced, the problem is that without a paying consumer the knowledge contained in those journals is not 'freely' disseminated and therefore does not live up to the internal value of its fiduciary responsibility. It is clear that in this case it is not the 'internal values' of academe that drive these decisions but the 'external values' of venture capital, their need for profit and the needs of the consumer academic marketplace. Its impact however touches upon the very realm of knowledge production that is, in the liberal version, supposedly differentiated and 'autonomous' from such economic forces. Daniel Bell may be right in arguing that Marx's labour theory of value does not apply to the knowledge commodity as knowledge clearly remains with its producer. However, if we think of Marx's labour theory of value as a lajbour theory of surplus value then we can see how knowledge produced by academic labour indeed plays a role in the generation of surplus for the advancement of capital. Academic knowledge, while it remains with its producers, as labour it also contributes to the surplus 103 value of the academic product and therefore contributes to the exploitation inherent to the unequal relationship of labour to capital. At bottom, the wealth that is the result of the distribution of academic journals does not return to the source of its value, namely the university and the producers of knowledge, but rather is appropriated and put to use by capital. Capital, in this way is ultimately a relation of domination in the most material sense: it further divides those who possess monetary wealth from those who do not. Academic knowledge is simply another source for the generation of such wealth. Therefore much like the relationship of labour to capital generally, although the academic labour involved in the knowledge production process gives full value to the knowledge commodity, for the most part capital financially benefits from such production through the substitution of academic value with its abstract quantitative economic counter-part. Contrary to the claims of the theorists of the knowledge society, the subsumption of academic labour under capital does not lend itself to a 'collective character' but rather greatly contributes to the unequal distribution of wealth in capitalist society. The ideological challenge of academic liberalism does not stand up against the obviously dominant material practices of contemporary capitalism. Marx's insight into the pervasive character of capital and its ability to utilize any human activity for its advancement stands as a significant contribution for understanding academic knowledge not only as labour situated within a specific mode of production but also as usable labour that contributes to the surplus required by capital. The example of scholarly journals shows us that even the privileged, 'autonomous' realm of scholarly production does not occur in isolation but rather is fully implicated by both political economic forces and by other components of the production process - namely, consumption, exchange and 104 distribution. If we further examine the impact of the 'serials crisis' upon the system of scholarly production - from its distribution and consumption to its production - we begin to see how increasingly 'the market' for scholarly knowledge plays a role in publication, and hence, in the system of academic knowledge production (production - consumption -exchange - distribution). Here we again see how economic values slowly creep into the academic realm substituting 'external' market concerns for 'internal' concerns of scholarship. However, in the following investigation of the impact of 'the market' upon the publishing of scholarly monographs the dichotomy between 'internal' and 'external' slowly erodes, thereby producing a more general 'economic logic' governing scholarly production. Through an examination of scholarly publishing and the distribution and consumption of academic product, I demonstrate in the remaining chapters the increasing role of capital for the structure of the system of scholarly knowledge production. PART TWO PRACTICES OF CONSUMPTION 106 4 The Market, the Monograph and Scholarly Publishing In this chapter I continue my investigation of the situation of the system of academic knowledge production in contemporary capitalism. However I now turn my attention away from academic labour as an instrument of capital and focus more specifically upon one of the products of that knowledge labour, namely, the scholarly monograph. Although journal article publications are indeed a significant component of scholarly communication for many in liberal academic circles the scholarly monograph stands as the apex of academic achievement (cf. Wolfe 1990). The scholarly monograph in this regard carries a particular weight within academia that assumes a form of capital - cultural capital - that interestingly possesses many characteristics of capital generally. These features of cultural capital and their relation to academic status I will explore in detail in subsequent chapters. It is primarily because of this unique status as a sublime object of scholarly reverence that here I focus upon the scholarly monograph and its dual situation in the worlds of scholarship and publishing, liberalism and capitalism. If it can be said that there is such a thing as an academic commodity then scholarly monographs certainly qualify. Despite the most liberal of academic intentions held by their producers (academics), distributors (scholarly publishers) and consumers (libraries, academics, students), scholarly monographs are increasingly subject to the economic forces of 'free' market capitalism. The Frankfurt Book Fair indeed stands as one example of such obsequious commodification. However, one need not travel this far to find the convergence of the 'free' market with scholarship. Many, if not all, of the books on display in Frankfurt are brought to the fair by scholarly publishers - both university presses and 107 commercial scholarly presses - who hope to expand their already existing market base. This is to say that many local markets already exist for scholarly publishers. What is of interest for me here is the extent to which these markets influence the type of scholarship that attains the status of the monograph. Although the liberal academic position suggests that the publication of the monograph is strictly 'internally' defined and subject to the value structure of one's academic peers, from interviews I conducted with various employees of scholarly presses - including directors and editors to marketers and design staff - it is evident that while there are indeed standards and mechanisms in place for scholarly publishers to protect their liberal mandate, the current economic situation of scholarly publishing has recently led many publishers scrambling for new markets and new consumers for scholarly product outside of the monograph's traditional consumers, such as the research library and the academic specialist. Through an examination of the current practices of scholarly publishing exposes a growing convergence or blurring of the boundaries between the values of the academic and the economic spheres. In this example, however, such blurring occurs within the liberal realm of academic production, and specifically among the publishers of scholarly monographs. 4.1 Researching Academic Economies Primarily because of the increasingly abstract and symbolic nature of contemporary capitalism (cf. Featherstone 1991; Jameson 1991; Baudrillard 1996), a study of the relationship between scholarly publishers, the academic marketplace and the academic author involves several spheres of investigation (see Figure 4.1). The first sphere of analysis is the political economic situation of scholarly publishing and the general relation of capital to academic production. In order to further explore 108 the resulting impact of market values and consumer culture upon scholarly publishers and the books they publish, I conducted fieldwork from May 1997 to November 1999 (see Appendix). This fieldwork involved interviews with members of the scholarly publishing community, including editors, marketing staff, authors and librarians. It also included participation observation at publishing events such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, and an analysis of documents, advertisements and catalogues provided by several university press publishers. I conducted 28 open-focus interviews with members of the scholarly publishing community from Canada, the United States and England. These interviews were with directors and acquisitions editors of university presses and commercial scholarly publishers; marketing and promotions staff from university presses, academic authors from various Canadian universities, bookstore buyers, and librarians. To meet confidentiality requirements I have disguised the positions of the interviewees and their respective institutional affiliations. Data that are not disguised, such as information about Routledge, comes from widely accessible and cited public sources and therefore requires no anonymity. The nature of these interviews is outlined in the Appendix. Because of the 'liberal' scholarly mission of those interviewed for this project, many members of the scholarly publishing community were somewhat reluctant to fully discuss the role of the market and the consumer in the decision making process. One author claimed, 'I do not conduct scholarly inquiry for commercial gain!' and then shifted the interview to discuss her latest book on a popular culture icon. An acquisitions editor suggested I shift my focus away from an examination of the role of the market on scholarly publishers towards an institutional study of the organization of scholarly publishing such as Woody Powell's (cf. Powell 1985). I witnessed the reluctance to discuss such issues in 109 varying degrees, ranging from a high degree of reluctance from those with the greatest commitment to liberal scholarship in university press publishing to a low degree of reluctance for those on the commercial side of scholarly publishing. This is not to say that the response to markets varies by publishers to the same degree (e.g. low response - liberal; high response - commercial), but I believe is rather more indicative of the willingness to discuss such forces with a junior scholar. As I demonstrate, the market plays an important role for all publishers regardless of their scholarly orientations. The reluctance of some editors and authors to discuss the role of market forces in the production of scholarly knowledge, however, did result in further examination into the ideological role of liberalism outlined in Part One. As we see in the interviews, this commitment to liberal scholarship clearly exists. However, these ideas about academic knowledge alone do not present a complete picture of the system of academic knowledge production. Further observations of the marketing of academic knowledge occurred in several contexts outside of the interviews. As well as spending four days at the Frankfurt Book Fair observing the marketing and promotions activities of scholarly publishers, over several days I spent time with varying staff (acquisitions editors, promotions personnel, marketing staff) at 'Eagle' University Press observing the daily activities at the press. I also attended other publishing events such as the annual publishers' display at the learned society meetings in Canada, the book fair at the American Sociological Association Meetings, and the Canadian Booksellers Association meetings. Here I observed how scholarly knowledge is marketed by the staff of scholarly publishers and through various forms of advertising geared to academic authors, book retailers, and the general book buying public. 110 As we know from studies of consumer culture, marketing serves primarily a communicative function through the active manipulation of signs made meaningful for specific consumers. This is what I refer to as a 'symbolic economy'. Here a semiotic analysis of the sign-function of academic capital is necessary to demonstrate how the strategies of consumer culture play a role in the communication of scholarly knowledge. Drawing largely from selected advertisements, catalogues and book covers of scholarly publishers, I demonstrate how scholarly publishers visualize the role and hierarchical ordering of consumers. I examine 5 scholarly publishers' advertisements, 5 catalogues of university press publishers, and 5 jacket covers of scholarly books, primarily in the field of critical theory, to demonstrate the sign value and forms of academic capital utilized by scholarly publishers. Here my focus on works of critical theory is primarily to demonstrate that even the most liberal of scholarly pursuits in the Kantian sense is subject to these 'extraneous' forces. Finally, in order to demonstrate the impact of commodification upon the academic author I examine some aspects of the publishing career of Pierre Bourdieu. In focusing specifically upon his positioning in several theoretical debates, I demonstrate through an analysis of his use of language how markets, consumers, and the hierarchy of capital all contribute to the construction of academic authority. In this analysis we come full circle, that is, returning to the material dimensions of the academic economy, in what I refer to as a 'cultural economy'. Following Bourdieu, I demonstrate how even though scholarly activity is conceived as the denial of the economic, such denial is a necessary strategy for Material relations £ ^, Symbolic Relations Political Economy Symbolic Economy state university libraries journals commercial publishers venture capital exchange value and surplus value economics of capital - scholarly publishers - monographs - marketing - design - advertising - the commodity-text - sign value - culture of capital Cultural Economy cultural capital strategies of recognition publishing as the accumulation of symbolic profit structured by the academic marketplace establishes the field, players and the rules for accumulation and its hierarchy convertible into economic capital tenure, promotions, power in the field an economy of practice Figure 4.1 Academic Economies of Scholarly Knowledge Production 112 advancement up the academic ranks. Ironically, it is only through such denial that financial gains can ultimately be made by the academic author. This process is ultimately witnessed in the publishing strategies of academic authors. 4.2 The Scholarly Monograph and the 'Serials Crisis' My examination of the increasing role of the market in the decision-making processes of scholarly publishers begins with scholarly publishing's current political economic situation and the 'serials crisis' described above. The serials crisis for scholarly journals is significant for publishers of scholarly monographs as this crisis leads to the decreasing ability of the university research library, the major consumer of scholarly monographs, to purchase academic product. As we see above, the research library's budgets are increasingly devoted to maintaining serials publications. Consequently their financial power to purchase scholarly monographs is greatly limited. Because of such fiscal constraints, scholarly monographs are slowly being squeezed'out of library budgets. Figure 3.1 shows the increasing costs of serials results in the decreasing acquisition of scholarly monographs. Since 1986 the number of monographs purchased by A.R.L. libraries has declined by 21% (A.R.L. 1999a). A decline in the purchasing of monographs is further supported by the director of Princeton University Press who contends that 'in 1975 a library might spend 70% of its annual budget on books and 30% on journals, now these percentages are reversed' (quoted in Applebome 1996). This reversal, documented over the last twenty years, has a dramatic impact on monograph sales with both commercial scholarly presses and university presses. Such an impact affects the entire system of scholarly production; as one author puts it: 'Operating almost on automatic pilot, a cozy triangular relationship developed among university faculties, 113 university presses and university libraries. One group wrote, one published, one bought the books: a comfortable circuit leading to secure and tenured jobs all around. It was assumed that university presses would remain committed to publishing books that answered only to the needs of scholarship and intellectual values' (Pochoda 1997:12). This relationship has obviously changed. The effect of the declining ability for university research libraries to consume academic text is most dramatically experienced by university press publishers. In the 1960s and 1970s when federal, state and provincial funding to post-secondary education was rapidly increasing and governments provided generous financial support to universities, university press monographs would see their first printing numbered around 1500 books: 'The sixties were a boom period for university presses as they were, or because they were, for higher education as a whole. The rise in college and university attendance coupled with dramatically increased federal and state support of higher education, allowed presses to increase the size and quality of their lists . . . Much of the economic underpinning for these developments came from the secure support that a flush public and academic library system provided for virtually every university press book. More than a 1000 orders for every academic title was standard' (Pochoda 1997:12). In this economic climate most, if not all, of the titles produced by university presses could be sold to university research library collections ensuring that the publisher would at least break even with a printing of 1500 books: 'Twenty years ago an assistant professor's monograph might have been expected to sell as many as 1500 copies. Since its publisher might have broken even at 1100 copies everyone was satisfied. Today an author in the same position would be lucky to sell 800 copies, but the publishers break-even point remains about the same' 114 (Schwabsky 1997) . Elsewhere publishers claim that often fewer than 500 hardcover copies are printed in the first print-run (Pachoda 1997; Shapiro 1996; Thatcher 1995). This amount is close to the bottom line a publisher must meet in order for it to be economically feasible to print a book at all. Consequently many books are not being published (Schwabsky 1997). Further, even with the smaller print runs today, few are guaranteed institutional library sales (see Table 3.1). An employee of Princeton University Press supports this claim: 'We used to sell 800-900 copies of each of our books to research universities worldwide. Now that figure is down to 300. That's just not enough to sustain the publication of a monograph' (quoted in Schwabsky 1997). The scholarly monograph is slowly losing its primary consumer - the research library. The loss of this customer leads to another crisis, what many are referring to as the crisis of the scholarly monograph. Declining institutional sales of traditional monographs have, in a domino-like effect, led not only to a crisis in scholarly publishing for publishers but also a crisis for those scholars who rely on publishing their monographs for stabilizing their academic position and ensuring their career advancement: 'So that monograph may never be published. Thus you may not win tenure, the tenure committee may not even be sure how to make such decisions, and students as well as other scholars may lose access to the knowledge the book would have shared' (Schwabsky 1997). As a result of the crisis of the scholarly monograph, the cultural practices of the academy - from producing to disseminating and consuming scholarship - are by necessity colliding with economic values in order to understand and develop new markets for knowledge that is produced by scholars. As I discuss in chapter one, scholarly publishing, especially in its university setting, was initially established to communicate the research findings of the faculty to the world through its publication in book form. 115 Scholarly publishing is linked to the 'autonomy' of the institution insofar as it is not intended to be a profitable, commercial venture. Its explicit mandate, rooted in the basic fundament of liberal Enlightenment thought, is to further all knowledge through its broadest dissemination. However, when the traditional non-commercial market for the books of scholarly publishers declines - the research library - publishers are obviously left in a difficult and conflicting position. As part of their scholarly mission, publishers must continue to maintain their scholarly book lists. But as the traditional market for the scholarly monograph declines, scholarly publishers must also find ways to subsist economically: they still must pay their rents and operating costs despite a declining and insecure market for their books, not to mention cutbacks in federal subsidies and university funds. This situation is not new to scholarly publishing. As Woody Powell, a research sociologist of scholarly publishing observes, the eternal plight of the scholarly press is to hover somewhere between commerce and culture (Powell 1985:1) . However, as we see below, scholarly publishing's link with commerce and economic capital becomes tighter when the financial support from non commercial sources such as government subsidies, university budgets and research libraries declines. Before exploring the ways in which university presses succumb to the contemporary economic pressures of the academic marketplace outlined above, I first want to outline several ways in which university presses attempt to maintain their distance from the commercial influences of the market and thereby attempt to maintain their commitment to the liberal ideal of scholarship and academic freedom from the marketplace. Through such attempts the ideology of academic liberalism finds some grounding in practice. Although the market for the products of scholarly publishers is now less stable than in the 1970s, there are several mechanisms built into 116 most university presses that enable them to continue publishing scholarly work with a specialized, limited readership with less fear of market failure. Woody Powell points out: 'University Presses operate under different economic circumstances [than commercial scholarly presses] and, as a result, decision making in university presses is less oriented towards the profit motive. As a part of non-profit educational institutions, these presses are tax-exempt. Their overhead costs are lower because they are typically located in university towns rather than metropolitan centers, and their parent universities may assume various expenses for them. Many presses have endowments or other forms of subsidy. As a general rule, it would be fair to say most university presses would be satisfied to break even' (Powell 1985:32) . This description of the university press is true in varying degrees across the spectrum of university publishing. Generally speaking, all university presses are not-for-profit, and as such, stay true to the original mandate of scholarly publishing outlined in Chapter One. They are also most commonly affiliated with the parent university, although it varies to a large degree the extent to which the parent university politically and economically supports its press. If the parent university does not financially support the press, as is increasingly the case, then there are several other means by which a university press can maintain its not-for-profit mandate. In many cases a university press maintains its commitment to liberal scholarship by locating other sources of revenue to support its scholarly publishing program. Using the interview data as well as institutional documents, I now compare six scholarly publishers from Canada, the United States and England to develop a sense for how presses of different orientations (i.e. small university press to large commercial scholarly press) deal with market interests, liberal scholarship and consumers. 117 4.3 Academia meets the Marketplace: University Press Publishing Moose University Press I begin this analysis with the situation of Moose University press. This university press is an example of how the mandate of liberal scholarship struggles to survive despite the current financial difficulties of maintaining primarily scholarly monograph lists. Moose University Press (M.U.P.) is a large-scale Canadian university press (130 titles a year, over 1000 backlist titles) that manages its scholarly publishing program without the direct financial assistance from the parent institution. In this respect, the M.U.P. subsidizes its scholarly publishing program through profitable commercial ventures as well as through mainstay academic publications that have a guaranteed sales potential over time. The press also runs and operates both a full-scale printing plant and several bookstores. It is clear that the commercial ventures of the printing and bookstore divisions, with their range of clients outside of the university itself, bring in added revenues to the overall functioning of the Press. Further revenues that support the Press's scholarly publishing program include the scholarly journals it owns, manages and distributes and the published titles that are virtually guaranteed in their purchase - from academic best sellers to multi-volume, long-term projects. In this regard, it is not uncommon for a university press to rely on a reference work to partially subsidize its scholarly publishing. For example, both presses at Oxford and Cambridge universities were initially established to print the Bible. While today Cambridge still publishes the Bible and reaps the enormous financial benefits of this publication, Oxford publishes another profitable mainstay: the English Dictionary. Moose University Press obviously carries on with this tradition in scholarly publishing with several of its reference works. 118 The primary motivation for owning the various divisions of the Press is to financially subsidize the publishing of scholarly manuscripts in order to avoid market pressures and ensure the scholarly integrity of their monographs. Having other divisions that bring an income to the press allows the press to financially support its scholarly mission without having to rely too much on the sales potential of its scholarly monographs or the backing of the parent university. In this way, the university is partially freed of the financial burden of independently maintaining a scholarly press. As its former director asserts: ' . . . this university press was indeed expected to pay its own way. The attitude of the academic staff, from the president on down, was not much different. Members of the faculty, if asked, would have agreed that it was much more important that the university's publishing be distinguished than that it be profitable. Nevertheless, most of them seemed to think that the Press should also be profitable . . . The Press's responsibilities thus seemed reasonably clear. Certainly it ought to publish more books that earned a profit, if only that it could publish more that never would.' The concluding sentiment in this statement sums up the logic of the profitable, not-for-profit university press: it is necessary for some things (the bookstore, printing, trade books) to make a profit so that they can publish the many manuscripts that, because of their limited audience, will never make a profit. Largely the commitment of a university press is to service the scholarly community with quality monographs that are internally assessed and reviewed by academic peers. In this mission M.U.P. attempts to maintain absolute consistency with its liberal academic mandate. However, as indicated by its former director, even a cash rich press such as M.U.P. still has to consider the bottom line: the salability of its books. That is, with the shrinking of traditional library markets, the wider academic 119 marketplace and subsequently marketing practices play an increasing role in the journey of a manuscript from academic author to its readers. Reflective of the crisis mentioned above, an employee of the press stated in our interview that the university libraries that were once a guaranteed sale of all of their manuscripts are now cutting back: There used to be guaranteed library sales: they would have standing orders for many of our lists. They wanted everything we published. Now however the government has started cutting back on library funding. What you might have sold 600 copies of ten years ago now you would be lucky if you sold 2-300 copies. That is the big fear for the monograph - if the libraries are not going to buy it who will? The support of all of the divisions of the press, in this respect, is still not enough to see many monographs through the publication process financially. As another employee points out, money is very important for if the books cannot support themselves many of them would not be published. Markets other than university libraries, then, must be considered if only to recover the costs of publication. As a result, it is important for publishers to know that a monograph is not only a contribution to scholarship but also that it will sell enough copies to make its publication worthwhile for the press: A lot of university presses are moving in that direction as the pressure not to cost the institution anything increases. We are very fortunate in that we have other companies that help support us so we don't have to go out and find titles that are strictly there to make us money. Having said that, the editors have to be good at knowing where the trends are going and what kind of stuff we should be getting into. As an aspect of the dynamic nature of the contemporary academic marketplace, academic trends increasingly play a role in manuscript acquisition as they allow acquisitions editors the freedom to pursue new and emerging 'hot' markets, as another employee admits: 'we're driven by market trends'. Emerging new markets such as those of postmodernism, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies and Post-Colonial Studies possess the potential to open the strictly traditional scholarly appeal of a manuscript to new readers outside of the scholarly 120 field. Consequently the market potential of a scholarly manuscript is considered as a factor early in the acquisitions process: The mandate of the press is not just to service scholarship and fellow scholars within the field but to take that knowledge and distribute it further where possible to people who can write to a larger audience. It might be through a textbook style down to first or second year students or a wider general interest audience. In this regard, sometimes even those in the marketing department who are traditionally separate from editorial process and have little say in whether or not a manuscript is accepted for publication are now included early in the publication process: 'Once the editor has received one if not two reviews, the editor puts forward a decision to publish. I decide if we can sell the book, how many copies we print, what it should look like and whether it has trade potential. It then goes to the publishing committee to decide whether we should offer the author a contract. If it is decided to go ahead with the book then it goes to the manuscript review committee' (the 14 scholars who have the final say in whether a book is published). As one employee points out, although the marketing department is not qualified to academically evaluate a manuscript, they can turn down a book if they think it would be better served by another press. For example, if they receive a book of photography, they would typically turn it down: 'we don't know how to sell them and we cannot afford to publish them'. The final decision, however, is of course left to the review committee and whether the book is a contribution to scholarship, regardless of its salability. As one employee contends sometimes even if a monograph cannot meet minimum sales it is published: 'we will eat this one if it is an important book, but because we print our own books we have an advantage over other publishers'. Having said this, the marketing department can inform the author that certain changes to the manuscript might open the text to wider markets. For example, the post-secondary education population boom in 121 Canada (from 140 000 full-time students in 1962 to 570 000 full-time students in 1996, see Guppy and Davies 1998:136) means a burgeoning market for course textbooks. A book that is subtly revised with this in mind might dramatically increase its sales potential, or at least result in a split-run of both hard cover and paperback editions. Marketing might suggest to an author: 'that if you rewrote it and jazzed it up so you could get an undergraduate to read it as well, then we could do it in a split edition'. The manuscript, then, may possibly be altered if book sales and an undergraduate readership are a significant consideration for the author. Ultimately, marketing provides the information that can inform such decisions. Marketing also plays a significant role in the final appearance of the book. When markets other than libraries are broached, such as bookstores, the appearance of the text becomes a very important factor in its sale as it then visually competes with the plethora of other texts in both the academic and the wider consumer marketplace. With respect to the appearance of a book an employee points out: Everyone's jackets are getting better, not just ours. There are so many books to compete with and jackets to draw an eye to the book, the book then has to sell itself. You have to have something for that initial draw. If you are working in a bookstore and the jacket looks good you will display that book over others. Design is often a significant contribution to the marketing process as it provides a potential reader with that initial lure; the visual cues that create meaning for the reader. The design process involves, to this extent, contracting a designer to establish the market they think they can reach and creating something that speak to both the contents of the book and its potential audience. For example, textbooks are designed to reach the student consumer. They are 'gaudy with a big title on the spine as they are displayed on their side. The title is displayed to be read. It's for teenagers. Bright colours: gaudy as hell but they work'. With 122 design, another employee of the press points out, 'the only way you are going to make any money is to spend some money'. In these aspects marketing obviously plays a role in the journey of a scholarly manuscript from author to reader. Although at Moose University Press marketing in no way determines the fate of an academically qualified and scholarly validated manuscript, it does contribute significantly to the overall decision-making process. Largely M.U.P. is quite privileged for despite the increasing need for scholarly publishers to turn to broader markets to sell their wares, this press is still able to fend off market forces to some extent by the financial backing of its other divisions. As we see, however, the notion of 'the market' for scholarly monographs even creeps into the most liberal of scholarly missions and appealing to scholarly trends becomes a goal inherent to servicing broader notions of the scholarly community. Consequently 'the market' and the realm of consumption is a growing reality for academic knowledge production. Before inspecting this further, it is again useful to demonstrate how such 'external' economic forces are ideologically situated outside the context of liberalism in the scholarly publication process through other forms of subsidy available to all Canadian-authored scholarly manuscripts. Aid to Scholarly Publishing Program While the various divisions allow M.U.P. to subsidize their publishing program, more generally other subsidies for the publishing of scholarly manuscripts are also possible through federal funding agencies that focus on the dissemination of vital scholarship. In Canada, for example, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities (C.F.R.), the Social Science Federation of Canada (S.S.F.C.) in conjunction with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (S.S.H.R.C.) has a program in place to 123 preserve liberal scholarship that financially supports the publication of scholarly manuscripts. The Aid to Scholarly Publication Program (A.S.P.P.), as it is called, is 'designed to assist the publication of works of advanced scholarship which make an important contribution to knowledge, but which are unlikely to be self-supporting' (A.S.P.P. 1997). Typically, many scholarly manuscripts meeting the criteria of the A.S.P.P. are submitted by scholarly presses, on behalf of the author, to ensure that if they are accepted, some funds come into the press to support its publication. A manuscript is granted up to a maximum of $9600, a substantial contribution to publication costs. The A.S.P.P. is a significant aspect of scholarly publishing in Canada. True to the historical support of liberal academia by governments, it supports many manuscripts that would not necessarily otherwise see publication, making diverse and specialized scholarship accessible in published form. As an acquisitions editor points out: 'The A.S.P.P. plays a significant role for any [Canadian] publisher. They support the publication of scholarly monographs by Canadian authors and on Canadian topics. This money is important as the books we publish, if they have not support themselves, we would not be able to publish many of them'. Therefore, the limitations of the marketplace for scholarly monographs require, by necessity, a subsidized publishing program to ensure that monographs without a market to sustain them will still see their way to publication. Although the A.S.P.P. has ensured the passage of many Canadian scholarly monographs that may not have met the eyes of an audience wider than its peers, its ability to do so is also recently decreasing due to the larger trend of federal cutbacks to post-secondary education. Consistent with the larger trend of cutbacks mentioned above, since 1996 the A.S.P.P. has been laid on the fiscal cutting board along with other 124 federal granting agencies. It is being cut by 16% over three years (A.U.C.C. 1996). This decrease of course has severe effects on the ability for many monographs to be brought to publication. They either have to pay their own way by having a selling potential that few scholarly monographs have, or, the price of the monograph must increase to make up for the increased production costs. Either way, these cuts have an impact on the liberal mission of scholarly publication in Canada, especially when a diverse number of monographs are reliant on this funding for their publication. While the A.S.P.P. is available to all Canadian authors, or those authors who write on Canadian subjects, and therefore available to all Canadian publishers who have a manuscript by an author who meets these requirements, the other internal forms of subsidizing scholarly manuscripts that are available to M.U.P. are of course not available to many other university presses. Many smaller university presses who were formerly subsidized by their parent institution have, in the last ten years, been financially set free due to the larger trend of declining university operating budgets. In this new arrangement between universities and their respective presses, many university presses are expected to 'make their own way' financially with the books that they publish. This is the case with the Beaver University Press. Beaver University Press Beaver University Press (B.U.P.), several decades younger than M.U.P. and much smaller - thirty five titles a year to M.U.P.'s one hundred and thirty - has been forced to find new sources of revenue since its host institution stopped subsidizing the publishing program. As one employee points out in our interview: 'previously scholarly publishing was seen as the most important thing a university could do. Through the imprint is 125 the way the university travels throughout the world. Today it sinks hundreds of millions of dollars into research and only a couple of hundred thousand into publishing'. These cutbacks can be viewed within the larger 'tighten-the-belt' context in which universities found themselves a little less than ten years ago with respect to operating budgets. Given the perhaps inevitable deficit at which a university press runs if it is to maintain its commitment to liberal scholarship, a university has the option, in an economic climate of down-sizing, of either closing the press down entirely or setting it free from the university's books by giving it the mandate of financial independence from the university by stopping the subsidies. Similar to the fate of many other university presses, B.U.P. was granted the latter. The result of this independence is, as one employee states: 'that it makes you much more responsive to the market. We have to respond to market forces. If you publish in the right areas you will sell'. In addition to an eye for the market, then, B.U.P. must also look to other forms of revenue to subsidize its publishing program. One way of maintaining the financial security of a university press is simply to publish books that sell. However, this is always a difficult mission for a publisher that specializes in scholarly monographs. It rides the uncomfortable line that all scholarly publishers must ride between culture and commerce. A very successful book for a university press publisher, that is one that sells two to three thousand copies in its first run and with the potential of a second printing, indeed provides revenue to publish those other books that will not sell more than a few hundred copies, if that many. A book that sells this many copies, however, is seldom a traditional scholarly monograph. More commonly, it is a 'general interest' book with 'trade potential'. It is in the direction of trade books that many university publishers must turn in order to both draw 126 attention to the press and to sell books. However, even with a trade book on the market, an editor of B.U.P. tells us, it is difficult to generate enough money to subsidize the whole process: That book [a trade book] brought in enough to subsidize other parts of the process. It may subsidize other parts of the process but I don't think any of them are immensely profitable. That book turned a lot of money but was extremely expensive to make. Nothing will subsidize that activity entirely. We just hope to break even. Commonly, especially with a smaller press such as B.U.P., publishing trade books alone will not subsidize the entire scholarly publishing program. Other forms of revenue are' desperately needed to keep the press financially afloat. In the case of B.U.P., the financial ball is kept rolling through further subsidies generated by the distribution of other scholarly press imprints: 'The way in which we subsidize more so is through distribution. We distribute or act as an agent for other publishers. That is the single activity that makes a substantial contribution to our overhead, a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year'. Among the advantages of acting as a distributor for other presses are the added ability to find a larger market for B.U.P. books abroad, and the potential to find out what others are publishing such that they may find a vehicle for some of their books as well. Obviously a smaller academic press without financial subsidies from external sources is also more reliant on the marketability of their books than perhaps a much larger press who has several forms of subsidies. This is indeed a factor with many university presses when considering a manuscript. However, how much consideration the marketability of a manuscript commands varies between presses. Similar to many university presses, B.U.P. outlines the financial consideration as a significant factor in its acquisition of manuscripts: Detailed cost-benefit analysis is done for all manuscripts taken under consideration. Factors examined are length of text, graphics, format, potential market, price, publication subsidies, sales and marketing costs 127 and applied overhead costs. Using these data, Press management decides whether there are sufficient resources to take on the project. Although distribution contributes to the overall subsidization of the publishing program at B.U.P., the bottom line is that a manuscript still must possess a potential that translates into sales. As an employee remarks: 'We are not driven by markets but by financial necessity.' As we see below, this tautology reverberates throughout the scholarly publishing community. In fact, due largely to the political and economic circumstances, we see that salability is increasingly a significant factor in acquiring scholarly manuscripts. However, the hope for most non-profit scholarly publishers lies in their ability to subsidize their publishing program through various other means such that the scholarly quality of the program remains intact. Without such subsidies, one is left to respond solely to the economics of the academic marketplace. As we see at BUP what is required to maintain a small Canadian university press is a careful balance between forms of subsidy, a keen eye for the market and publishing books that sell. Coyote University Press Coyote University Press (C.U.P.), an American University Press similar in size to Beaver, provides an interesting example of other means to subsidize a small university press publishing program. Although the C.U.P. is partially subsidized by the parent institution through free rent, this subsidy only amounts to 4% of their overall operating budget. Therefore further subsidies are necessary to maintain the publishing -program. Much like Beaver University Press, C.U.P. has found that the distribution of other press titles is able to bring in a significant portion of the revenues: in this case about 30% of overall revenues, which is a substantial contribution to the overall operating budget. 128 Another means of subsidizing the program is through title subsidies and endowments. This is comparable to the A.S.P.P. in Canada where funds are attached to a particular manuscript or series. As one employeee points out: 'One of the successful things we've done in the last ten years is to build endowments. This really helps cushion us: our income from this and other subsidies cushions us from our income from sales versus the costs of scholarly publishing. It is still not-for-profit, and this is one of the things we have to keep hammering out to administrators. You have to look for income from many different areas.' With title subsidies individual donors, foundations or philanthropists are sought to cover the publication cost of a particular manuscript. For example, the C.U.P. is well known for its American Native Studies list. The books in this area, often art books with many images are big and expensive to publish. Therefore the Press seeks a donation or grant in order to publish these books: One of our strongest fields of publication is Native Studies. We have developed an image with Native American art. We have published the premiere list anywhere, but these are big, expensive books. Recently we went to the Getty foundation and sought support for a series of books in this area. And they gave us a grant that will basically cover our production costs for the series of books coming up. This ensures the quality of the books, that the price is reasonable, and the ongoing life of that list. We are always looking for that kind of support. The life of a title subsidy, however, only lasts as long as the publication of the book, or the completion of the series. This is why the Press would rather seek long-term subsidies such as an endowment. There are American federal funding agencies that provide such support such as the N.E.A.. Of late, C.U.P. has benefited from such endowments: The National Endowment for the Humanities over the last ten years has given us two challenge grants. They will give us 600 000 if we will raise an additional amount. That's the challenge. And so we've used those two grants to build our endowment. Endowment income is a long-term source of support for us. A title subsidy will be used up in one go. Endowment support allows us a steady stream of income. We can use it to project our income. In most cases it has to be used in particular areas. We have one 129 for books in environmental studies. That money stream will keep coming in over the years. The endowment is harder to raise than title subsidies. While all of these subsidies contribute to the overall operating budget of the press and substantially to the publication costs of monographs - from reviewers reports and copy-editing to cover design and promotions - the bottom line remains that a book still must be able, at bare minimum, to sell enough copies to make its printing financially feasible. This is increasingly more a concern in a climate where the scholarly monograph is less likely to reach its intended market - the research library. Given the decline in library purchases of monographs, scholarly publishers are looking towards new markets in order to sell their books and maintain their publishing programs. Especially when the publisher has no other source of income, that is, no subsidies or revenues from sources other than the sale of their scholarly monographs. This is the situation of scholarly publishing at Eagle University Press. Eagle University Press The large-scale American university press Eagle University Press (E.U.P.) is structurally dependent but financially independent from its parent university. It is structurally connected to the university in that it is owned and operated by the parent university. It is also connected to the university by its editorial board which consists of the president of the university, its provost and twelve faculty members who ensure the scholarly quality of the manuscripts and the ultimately the university's control of the books it publishes. As a financial entity, however, the Press operates on its own without any subsidies from the parent institution. It is financially independent as it pays the university rent and all the various other expenses involved in the publishing program. As one employee put it, the consequence of this financial independence is that: 'every book has to pay its own way', or, every manuscript acquired 130 must be perceived by the acquisitions editor to be able to sell at least enough copies to cover the costs of publication. As I understand it, [Eagle University Press] has never had an endowment from [Eagle University] and we have been in operation now for over 100 years. In fact, our very first director was a commercial publisher. This place has always operated as a commercial house, only because each of our books has to pay its own way. We have to pay rent and salaries and all that. We don't call them profits, of course, because it is a non-profit organization. The revenue that comes back in tends to go either in the reserves or into the university. This allows us to keep a lot of inventory at our warehouse. Operating as a 'commercial' house means that each scholarly manuscript acquired by the Press must be able to sell enough copies to pay for its production, not that it must make a profit. Of course, it is always difficult to predict how a book will do financially. However, attempts are made early in the process at E.U.P. to minimize the risks of publishing a monograph that will not sell. These attempts begin with the editorial process which involves not only a keen eye for the selection of a salable monograph but also requires an intimate relation with the majority of consumers of scholarly monographs - the academic authors. Often it is through this relationship and the marketing information this relationship produces that the editor develops 'a mind's eye' for what books will succeed in the academic marketplace. One editor sums the marketing aspect of acquisitions editing this way: Almost every editor you meet looks for projects by visiting campuses and going to academic meetings. You have to have your finger on the Zeitgeist. That means that you use every avenue of intelligence gathering that you can muster: looking at journals, staying in touch with authors who become consultants, and then friends. That is basically what happens to editors, you actually put together a friendship circle. That is also a way to find out what is salable and what is of interest. Ultimately they are the consumers - the authors are the same people who buy the book. When we want to find out marketing information authors are our best resource. As a result of the insight that their authors are also their consumers, this Press devotes considerable energy towards the marketing of their books for academics. This means a lot of energy is put into design, 131 marketing and promotions all generally geared for the American 'academic marketplace' . It is not only ivho writes a book (the prestige of the author, her/his institutional affiliation) that is considered valuable to the press but also who it speaks to (the consumer market) and who can authoritatively comment on it (peer prestige). Knowledge of these factors become essential for the proper market positioning of the books the press publishes. Here knowledge becomes a commodity in another respect: it is an effective marketing tool, a sign used to draw the attention of knowledgeable academics and to distinguish the presses' products from other publishers. Through marketing academic knowledge is given a sign value. This relation of sign value to publishing I will explore in more detail in the next chapter. Eagle University Press, as well as many other presses seeking their market share, is well aware of the sign function of knowledge in order to sell monographs to the academic consumer. For Eagle, academics are seen as the primary consumers of monographs, whether they assign the book in the classes they teach or it becomes an important contribution to scholarship in their field of specialization. Consequently, their marketing strategies are geared to selling scholarship to their primary consumer. Of course marketing and promotions are a considerable financial drain on the resources of a scholarly publisher. Not only does one pay the salaries of the marketing and promotions teams but also the added costs of creative book design, speaking engagements and advertising. As these factors inflate the cost of a book, an editor must be sure that the return is immanent for these added costs of publication. In this scenario the emphasis on the salability of an academic text is more significant in comparison to other presses, for without subsidies there is little else to financially shield the publisher from lost revenue from a poor-selling book. However, like many other university press publishers, the promotion 132 of scholarly books is more of a zero sum game, where in the end, one is simply hoping that the books that do well cover the costs of those books that do not financially succeed. Eagle University Press, despite its strong emphasis on marketing and promotions is, however, still a university press with a commitment to liberal scholarship. It can maintain this commitment through its non profit mandate. That is, although they obviously must sell the books they publish, they do not need to sell as many copies as a commercial publisher, nor do they acquire manuscripts solely for profit. They can still subsist on 'modest' print runs, by E.U.P. standards - three to four thousand copies. At bottom, as a not-for-profit publisher, the university press is simply looking to break even with the books it publishes. This is in contrast to a commercial scholarly publisher who seeks a profit from scholarly books. Driven primarily by financial gain, a commercial scholarly publisher must acquire manuscripts that show promise for profit. In contrast to university press publishing the emphasis of a commercial scholarly publisher is indeed on commerce over academic culture. 4.4 Scholarship that Sells: Commercial Scholarly Publishing Widget Press Widget Press, a medium-sized commercial scholarly publisher, was established by several academics who, like many academics involved in publishing, had previously worked for other publishers as either academic authors, editors or reviewers. Rather than continue to work for other publishers for little financial compensation, these scholars decided to form their own publishing entity. This emerged as Widget Press that is owned and operated entirely by these scholars. Although they rely on another publisher for the actual physical printing of the books, and therefore share the rights of the books and the overall profits with this 133 publisher 50/50, they have full editorial control over the acquisition of manuscripts. The editorial process differs substantially from a university press, as one employee describes: Here there is simply one editor, no reviewers, no committee. We are it. The advantage at [Widget] is that those decisions are made by academics who participate in the field, in the debates. We make those decisions about academic content, intellectual merit and marketability. This process is much more streamlined than a university press. Being a commercial scholarly press another substantial difference exists between Widget and university presses. Namely, the basis for the existence of Widget as a commercial scholarly publisher is to make a profit. This influences their choice of book acquisitions in so far as a book will not be acquired if the owners believe that it will not be commercially viable: While we wouldn't publish books that we don't find intellectually interesting, we always ask of those books are they going to cover the bottom line, are they going to make a contribution, are they going to get our gross margin? If the answer is no then we very, very rarely take the book on. Widget differs greatly from university presses who have more freedom in this respect to take on books of intellectual merit despite their low commercial potential. As one employee admits: 'What restricts our choices is the commercial viability of our books. However, we will not do something strictly because it is commercially viable. It still must fit into the broad critical framework of our list'. Unlike a university press, the reverse of this is not true: they will not publish a manuscript solely because it is a significant academic contribution, it must always meet the bottom line: The question becomes more of how can we sell the work - who is going to buy it? We would not publish it if we didn't think it would cover our costs and make that book profitable. However interesting the project, let me make this absolutely clear, we would not publish it if we didn't think we could cover our costs and make that book profitable. Every single book must pay its own way. 134 Commercial scholarly publishers like Widget are faced with the added dilemma of making scholarship sell, not only to recover costs, but also to make a profit. Their arduous goal is to ensure scholarly standards without the backing of a university or the state and yet at the same time to produce books that will sell enough copies to make a profit. In many ways, this approach excludes monographs that, although significant contributions to scholarship, do not have the breadth of readership that is required for a commercial scholarly press. As Woody Powell found in his research, occasionally commercial scholarly publishers can be quite blunt about this goal: We publish the best material and the brightest scholars in the social sciences. Sometimes we may err but our goal is to produce good scholarship and make a profit. I firmly believe good books will sell . . . Nobody published Max Weber because they thought they were doing a service for humanity; they did it to make money! (quoted in Powell 1985: 82) . Ultimately, the focus on profit is a focus on numbers; it is about the number of copies sold, the profit generated and gross margins. In the case of commercial scholarly publishers, selling monographs typically means much larger numbers than university press publishers - bigger print runs, co-publishing deals, marketing and promotions to disseminate information about their product lines through advertising to reach a wider market. Making money in commercial publishing also means establishing a market broad enough for the sale of large quantities of books. Traditionally the sale of scholarly monographs only commanded the attention of librarians who were committed to consuming new scholarship. Commercial scholarly publishers, however, are looking for monographs that command the attention of a broader academic market: from scholars' personal libraries - 'the best scholarly books are those that professors have to buy for their personal libraries - the ones they have to read to keep up with their field' (Powell 1985:30) - to course adoptions and 135 textbooks where teachers use the book for classroom instruction. Not unlike some university presses, course adoptions constitute a significant portion of the product line of commercial publishers, as an employee of Widget tells us: We seek marketing advice. We look to see if teachers are using the books in their classrooms. We do more market research the more we think we are publishing textbooks. We publish three kinds of books: 1) We publish people in the peak of their field who have a large audience, 2) We publish scholarly monographs which have a reasonably strong global market, 3) We publish course books that interest students, that are not necessarily cutting edge. Generally publishing such a range of books is the key for scholarly publishers if they are to look beyond declining library sales and into broader, newer markets. The quest for new markets is especially vital, for both university and commercial scholarly publishers alike, as university libraries cannot be counted as the primary consumer of scholarly books. As the employee of Widget implies, rather than with library sales new markets are found with scholars' buying books to stay on top of their field and with students who must buy those books in order to stay on top of their studies. While both university and commercial publishers are indeed heading in the direction of broader markets in response to declining library purchases, there is also another strategy that scholarly publishers are taking in response to the closing of the traditional institutional markets. As we see above with university presses, many scholarly publishers are also looking to new trends of scholarship in order to broaden their lists and find new markets for publishing monographs. Although the search for new fields of study is becoming more common among university press publishers, this strategy was most successfully initiated by the commercial scholarly publisher Routledge. An examination of Routledge show what impact the market forces of consumption dialectically have on the production of scholarly knowledge. For Routledge the scholarly monograph is indeed a commodity 136 that commands economic value in the academic marketplace. Academic liberalism in its most dynamic form - critical studies - is seen through this analysis to be an extremely profitable position for scholarly publishing and hence for capital more generally. 4.5 Commodification and Critical Studies: Publishing at Routledge The Routledge business was founded over 150 years ago primarily as a book publisher. Routledge's publications focus particularly within the social science and humanities subject areas and they publish approximately 1000 new book titles per annum with a backlist of over 7000 titles in print which include: The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy; the Spon Architect's and Builder's Price Book, the Media Student's Book. In addition, Routledge publishes approximately 275 journals including Addiction, Applied Economics, Regional Studies and Sport Studies (www.routledge.com). Routledge has a very long history in commercial scholarly publishing in various formations in England, publishing many of the great works of Anglo philosophers - from Mill and Locke to Russell and Wittgenstein as well as other great works in the social sciences and humanities. However, it was not until Routledge expanded to the United States after being usurped in the 1980's by the Canadian-based, multi-national corporation the Thomson Company, that it began to seek to establish new markets in the academic marketplace. In terms of academic trends, Routledge set the pace for many scholarly publishers by actively soliciting new fields of scholarship, developing new 'critical' scholarly lists and capitalizing on emerging fields of academic study. In 1986, under the directorship of Bill Germano, the New York office of Routledge began moving away from the traditional scholarly monographs for which its London-based parent is well known and towards new realms of study with growing intellectual markets. Among them, the interdisciplinary 'discipline' that originated in England under the rubric of 'cultural studies' began to commercially flower through the cultivation of the American division of Routledge. Unlike traditional scholarly 137 monographs, scholarly books of cultural studies published by Routledge 'began capitalizing on cultural studies' American twist - pop culture -and became objects of popular culture themselves' (Boynton 1995:28). Cultural studies under the American incarnation of Routledge began to move away from its critical English Marxist roots a la Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams and Dick Hebdidge in class struggle, mass culture and commodification and youth subcultures and towards works about mass culture, from film and television to popular cultural events. A telling example of such a move is the Routledge published edited collection of feminist scholars commenting on the Olympic skating trials episode of Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan: Women on Ice: Feminist Responses to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle. By publishing this book, Routledge attempts to bring esoteric cultural theory to events that are witnessed by a large majority of book-buying Americans in the hope of bridging the gap between academia and mass culture. The publication of this book is reflective of Routledge's marketing strategy more generally: it is an attempt to produce scholarship that sells by commissioning scholars to write on popular events. Cultural studies, in this way, provided new market opportunities for Routledge in a potentially dormant academic marketplace. Under the directorship of Germano, new academic lists, such as cultural studies, emerged with enormous market potential to the extent that many now claim that the title cultural studies is thrown around as a commercially recognizable marketing tool simply in order to sell books, almost regardless of their content (cf. Bourdieu and Wacquant 1999:47). The general appeal for publishers of books in cultural studies (of which both Moose and Eagle Press now publish as central to their scholarly lists) is that the potential exists to tap a larger market of book buyers. Cultural studies often provide a commentary on popular topics with which 138 many consumers are familiar and not simply those strictly academic topics that only have a limited academic appeal. On the one hand, then, such books commercially appeal to a wider 'popular' book-buying market. On the other hand, by also establishing itself as an 'interdisciplinary' discipline, much to the liking of publishers, cultural studies titles potentially appeal to a broad range of specialists in varying disciplines from Anthropology to Zoology. Obviously this 'crossover' appeal broadens the academic market to which its books are sold. Typically, books in cultural studies, if not now all academic books generally, are categorically cross-listed with other disciplines - sociology, philosophy, geography, science studies, women's studies etc. - and many, if not all scholarly books today reach for the widest audience possible through the marketing of their interdisciplinarity. Like the Routledge published Donna Haraway book Modest Witness @ Second_Millenium.Female Man_Meets_ OncoMouse (1997), they establish their interdisciplinarity through the categorical announcement on the back cover that lays claim to the book's far-reaching application and implications to a range of fields such as cultural studies, science studies, women's studies and anthropology. Finally, the form of the cultural studies book does not stray far from its popular mass cultural content where academic authors are turned into celebrities and the books largely resemble commercially driven trade paperbacks (Boynton 1995:28). Here we see the fine line of commerce and academic culture slowly erode as the critical content of such books is outweighed by its commercial form. Or, as some scholars who support cultural studies now argue, the embracing of popular culture and signs of commodification by academics presents a new form of postmodern critique: the blurring of the distinction between high and low culture (cf. Jameson 1984). Regardless of the critical scholarly intentions, on the level of commerce, such commodification of scholarly discourse through the 139 appropriation of popular, sexy and recognizable imagery is, without question, used to sell books: The cover of Spectacular Bodiesr a study of gender and race in action movies, is typical of Routledge's hunky, puff 'n' pant aesthetic: It features a muscle bound and tattooed Jean-Claude Van Damme. Arresting Images, a collection of art on censorship, juxtaposes an image of the artist Leon Golub dressed as a cardinal with a bound torture victim, her nude chest dripping with blood (Boynton 1995:28). The popular content of Routledge's critical studies lists proved to be commercially viable. Under the directorship of Germano, Routledge posted $20 million in sales in 1994. Thomson Corporation, the owners of Routledge, boasted to its shareholders that it will increase its revenues in the following year by 16% (Boynton 1995:26). Routledge's success, Germano says, is based not upon the developing of a few blockbusters, as some university presses tend to do to support their lists, but rather upon 'identifying a particular academic audience and selling to it relentlessly' (Boynton 1995:28). Its books then are directed at the academic market that is established by editors going to conferences, not to attend sessions but to find out from scholars in what and in whom are they interested. As Germano states in an interview: When I go to the MLA I don't go to hear papers. I go to ask people whom I respect who's hot, what's going on, what are you really excited about? That is much more important than spending two hours listening to a lecture (Boynton 1995:26). The Cultural Studies list and the various other lists initiated by Germano such as the Post-Colonial Studies list, Women's Studies list, the Gay and Lesbian Studies list, and most recently the White Studies list, are so successful that university presses are looking to Routledge as a model for scholarly publishing in today's market (Boynton 1995:30). As the editor for the cultural studies list at the University of Minnesota Press remarks: 'Although Routledge operates with a very different level of financial pressure from us, that pressure is not something we are going to 140 be able to avoid for very long. We are going to have to operate more with an eye toward the market, something you can already see in the fact that university presses are offering more crossover books. The logic of capital runs through us all.' (quoted in Boynton 1995:30) . Such marketability of scholarly monographs may be an emergent feature of university press publishers but, as of yet, definitely not to the same extent of Routledge. Having acquired numerous profitable, market-driven scholarly books under the directorship of Germano, Routledge boasted enormous financial growth as a scholarly publisher. As a result, its owners, the Thomson Co., saw an investment opportunity in the sale of Routledge. After stripping down its editorial staff while maintaining its marketing staff to manage their lists, Routledge was put up for sale. Not long on the market, it was purchased by the venture capital company Cinven, June 21, 1996. As the press release regarding the sale of Routledge states: Cinven is one of Europe's leading venture capital companies. The company, which bought itself out from British Coal in October 1995, manages some 1 billion (pounds sterling) on behalf of its clients, who include British Coal Pension Schemes, Railways Pensions Schemes, Barclay's Bank Pension Funds and Royal Insurance. The total assets of these funds is over 40 billion pounds. As illustrated in the acquisition of Routledge by Cinven, scholarly publishing again shows itself to be a wise investment for a venture capital firm. As Cinven director Brian Linden states: 'Routledge represents an excellent investment opportunity and as a truly global company, we feel that it has great potential for growth both within the UK and abroad. We have been very impressed with the company's strong market position and track record' (www.routledge.com). This situation seemed to suit Routledge as well, as Bob Kiernan the executive chairman proclaims: 'this is a very exciting time in the history of Routledge. It is a wonderful company, with superb products and an excellent franchise. The 141 management and staff have created a strong platform from which we plan to expand and grow to increase our market share worldwide. Routledge and Cinven will make an excellent partnership to ensure a highly successful future' (www.routledge.com). Along with Routledge's acquisition by Cinven came the acquisition of Carfax journals by Routledge Publishing Holdings Limited. Carfax, 'a highly successful' publisher of humanities, social sciences and medical journals, has over 150 journals including a number on behalf of learned societies and associations. In this acquisition, the logic is apparent and consistent with various other journal publishers outlined above: journal publishing represents a sound investment for venture capital. A major acquisition such as Carfax is a great boost to the Routledge group. The humanities and Social Science market represents the core of Routledge's international strategy and the addition of such a well motivated, highly efficient organization is a wonderful coup. Routledge's backers, Cinven, are as pleased as us at such a rapid development following the purchase of Routledge last June (www.routledge.com). Routledge, now also an international competitor for venture capital, resembles less a scholarly publisher on this level than it does an international media conglomerate not unlike Elsevier Science. Routledge's circulation as an investment for venture capital is even more apparent in its sale by Cinven and its most recent acquisition by the Taylor and Francis group. The Taylor and Francis group, a publishing venture based in England, announced its plans to acquire Routledge from Cinven in November 1998. The press release reads: Taylor and Francis, the long-established specialist publisher of scientific and academic journals, has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the Routledge Group, a leading publisher of academic books and journals. The Routledge Group includes the Carfax and E&FN Spon Imprints. The Taylor and Francis board believes the acquisition of Routledge represents an outstanding opportunity: it is highly complementary to the existing Taylor and Francis business; it will increase mass in Taylor and Francis book business and add new subject areas in journals (www.routledge.com). 142 In the eyes of venture capital it is clear that Routledge's desirability as a publisher comes from its ability to publish scholarly books that not only sell but which also make a substantial profit. As we see above, Routledge utilizes a commercial publisher's aggressive marketing strategy to sell its scholarly books. From its self-conscious creation of academic trends under the directorship of Germano to the sexy book covers and lionization of their authors, Routledge is among the first in scholarly publishing to openly embrace the commercial publishers' market model. The problem, according to many liberal academics, is that it seems to work. Scholarship can indeed sell to a wider audience through the consumption-driven market model of mass culture. Academic culture not only meets commerce in this way but it fully embraces it to maximize the sales potential of academic product. So successful is Routledge at 'commodifying' scholarship that many university presses are now looking towards the Routledge model to sell their scholarly monographs. One editor I interviewed from another prominent university press stated: 'I am an unabashed commodifier of culture and believe it is important to help the intellectual work of the academy to address the most pressing issues of our society'. Despite the liberal mandate of university press publishers, the practices of university press publishing are coming to resemble those of Routledge and other commercial scholarly publishers. The director University of Pennsylvania Press Sanford Thatcher confirms this sentiment: 'University Presses are increasingly having to make their decisions by reference to the market' (Thatcher 1995). As an aggressive commercial scholarly publisher seeking continual financial return on their academic investment, Routledge appears to now set the terms for other scholarly publishers for competing in the academic marketplace of scholarly publishing. 143 4.6 The Monograph, the 'Superstore' and the 'Mass' Market Along with the decline of the largest consumer of the scholarly monograph comes the added hurdle for scholarly publishers of the commercial influence of such houses as Routledge. In the days of guaranteed library sales university press publishers need not have concerned themselves with the marketing strategies of commercial houses for they were trying to reach slightly different markets: institutionally-based research libraries versus the intellectual book-buyer/reader and his/her personal library. However, in their drive to find.new markets to fill the gap left by declining research library orders, university press publishers must appeal to a wider consumer market. As we see, commercial strategies are then utilized in attempts to reach this market. Moreover, such an impulse is supported by the fact that a new 'consumer' has emerged for scholarly monographs that contributes to the pressure of the 'mass' market: the book chain superstore. Coinciding with the recent decline of library purchases, the emergence in the 1990's of the book chain superstore has temporarily provided a market for those scholarly books that have not found their home in a university library. Book chain superstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble in the United States and Chapters and Indigo in Canada stepped into the book buying market as ardent consumers of scholarly books. Often shelving over 200 000 books in each store, scholarly publishers appeared to have found some relief from the consumption crisis of the monograph. However, it quickly became obvious to publishers that increased orders do not necessarily translate into increased sales. In fact many scholarly publishers are now finding that in order to compete with other books in the book chain superstore many 'mass' market strategies must be adopted in order to draw the attention of a potential reader/consumer. This often means, among other things, publishing 144 scholarship that sells. Moreover, even if commercial marketing strategies are adopted for monographs there is no guarantee that those books will sell. The result is that the market has shifted the orientation of scholarly books to adopting commercial strategies, yet there is little relief of the financial burden suffered by the university press publishing community. This, of course, has effects that reach all the way down to the scholarly author and the knowledge that is produced by academics, as I demonstrate in the following chapters. The book chain superstore offers consumers a dizzying array of selections, a feature that many independent bookstores are finding difficult to compete with and which often leads to their demise. The examples of the failure of independents to compete with such book selling behemoths are numerous (e.g. in Vancouver alone at least three independents have closed their doors since the opening of two Chapters stores downtown). The advantage that the superstores have over independents is that, in exchange for bigger orders, they are often given deeper discounts from publishers than their independent retail counterparts. Where an independent book retailer is usually given a 40 percent discount, superstores are given a 50 percent discount from the same publishers. This means that superstores can charge less for the same books and still make more of a profit than the independent. If one combines this fact with the immense selection of a superstore one can understand why many book-buyers are shifting their consumer loyalties away from specialty independent bookstores and toward the book chain superstore. Interestingly, while these two features of the book chain superstore - the deeper discounts and the enormous selection - may benefit consumers, they pose serious problems for both small independent bookstores and also for many university press publishers. The deeper discounts that 145 university publishers give to superstores the more difficult it is for scholarly publishers to recover their costs on the sales of their books: 'we're being pressured to offer deeper discounts than we can afford, which means we get fewer dollars for each book sold' (quoted in Baker 1997:44) . By this costing equation scholarly publishers simply have to sell more books in order to stay afloat financially. This at first appeared to be the promise of the 'mass' market potential of the superstore - with thousands of stores across the United States and several superstores in every major city in Canada, a book ordered by a superstore had the potential of least enough sales to cover the costs of publication, in some cases to create even larger print runs and to distribute books to a much wider audience: At a time when sales of university monographs have dropped well below 1,000 copies per book, and often as low as 300 or so in cloth, the chains offer hope. How can it be otherwise when the sale of only a single copy of a book at each of the hundreds of Barnes & Noble bookstores probably surpasses the book's library sales? Here, especially for the larger university presses, is an opportunity for real growth - the possibility of up to 5,000 or more for the top titles on their lists, numbers that can balance out the anemic sales of specialized scholarly monographs (Shapiro 1996) . However, the immense selection of books that the superstore provides does not necessarily mean increased sales for those books, especially if those books are specialized scholarly monographs (academic titles account for only 2% of book sales in America; see Shapiro 1996) . Although the superstore must properly stock its shelves to draw buyers away from independents and appeal to discriminating readers, many of the books that are shelved return to the publisher unsold. Some argue many of the books are simply being used to fill space: 'as these superstores proliferate they need to line their shelves. What's new is that we've never had so many linear feet of shelf space to fill. In a sense these books are being used as wallpaper. There is no evidence that any more of them are being bought. Instead we are seeing record returns' (quoted in Schwabsky 1997). 14 6 Scholarly books as well as many commercial titles are finding that the returns rate for books has increased ever since the advent of the book chain superstore - some claim the return on all books to publishers is now around 45 percent (Carvajal 1997). Unlike other industries, the book industry has always had a return policy for retailers: if a book is not sold the retailer may return it within a year for a full refund. Book orders from retailers, in this respect, do not necessarily amount to book sales. Orders simply mean that the book is given exposure to the book-buying consumer market that frequents the store. From there the book must in many ways sell itself. This is a problem for scholarly publishers and their monographs when the latest esoteric work from a renowned cultural anthropologist must compete with Oprah's picks. While books may be ordered and sitting on a bookstore shelf they must then compete for the attention of the book buyer. Commercial publishers are obviously in many ways better equipped to draw the eyes of the consumer to their wares as compared with many scholarly publishers. Scholarly publishers are effected simply though the competitive nature of the book buying marketplace where their sales are proportionate to the readers of scholarly monographs, i.e. relatively very few. This is compounded by the enormous surplus of scholarly books that are stocked. Many scholarly publishers are competing amongst themselves for sales of their latest titles. Those monographs that cannot compete in the book-buying marketplace and don't sell are in the end returned. Therefore, although many book orders from book chain superstores initially excited members of the university press publishing community, they now approach this market with some hesitation. This enormous increase in returns presents a new challenge for monographs in an increasingly fragile consumer environment: 'What looked like a very promising development in terms of developing depth of 147 inventory proved rather illusory as what is politely termed "inventory adjustment" came along' (quoted in Baker 1997:44). What this means for many scholarly titles is business survival, that is, the necessity to sell books in an increasingly competitive book market spurned on by the profit-driven retail market of the book chain superstores. While university press publishers still operate according to a non profit mandate that attempts to maintain the scholarly integrity of their publications, the changing nature of the academic marketplace is shifting the orientation of many publishers towards market models for selling scholarship. Although it is difficult to think of much scholarship that emerges from the esoteric surround of the academic sphere as catering to a 'mass' market - the numbers simply do not add up to anything close to a mass - the 'mass' character refers to the strategies that are appropriated from mass and consumer culture. That is, although the numbers that consume academic knowledge are not 'mass' numbers, the same strategies used by commercial houses to attract consumers are used by university press publishers in order to maximize the sale of their scholarly product. Therefore, the impact of the consumer market is not the extent to which the sales of scholarly monographs reflect the sales of commercial bestsellers but rather how similar semiotic strategies are applied to manufacture desire for the consumer. The capitalist marketplace is, in this sense, not simply a system for the pursuit of profit through the accumulation of surplus (surplus value) but also a system of communication that structures meaning for consumers (sign value). The economics of capitalism today also require and indeed possess a cultural component. An editor comments above that it is not the market that is driving scholarly publishing but financial necessity. For an understanding of the collision of the academic with the economic sphere, however, these factors are not clearly distinguishable since financial necessity (the material 148 relations of the political economy) and the dominance of political economic pressures leads publishers to seek out and establish new markets that in turn influence their editorial decisions (the symbolic relations of culture). In a true dialectical fashion one cannot separate one from the other. If scholarly publishers are to succeed in this new academic political economy, then indeed the market for such knowledge plays a greater role in the constitution of that knowledge. As with scholarly journals, academic values are being replaced with economic values in the decision-making process for the publication of scholarly monographs. As I demonstrate further in the following chapter, this is not primarily dependent on the production side of knowledge and the 'internal' consensus of scholars but it is also dependent on the consumption side of knowledge. The knowledge commodity in an academic economy is produced to meet the needs of consumers and the demands of the academic marketplace. The relationship between capitalism and academic knowledge further unfolds in the semiotic marketing strategies of the sign economy in consumer culture. In this relation it is evident how the economics, and thus relations of capital transmogrify into the culture of capital. The relationship of the political economy of academic production with the symbolic economy of scholarly publishing and the cultural economy of the academic author is summarized above in figure 4.1. These spheres represent the three components of this analysis, two of which (the symbolic economy and the cultural economy) comprise the remaining chapters. As the figure suggests, the system of academic knowledge production involves not only a political economic dimension but also, to varying degrees, the symbolic dimensions of capital. In the following examination of scholarly publishing as a symbolic economy, I demonstrate how through scholarly publishing academe is subject to the signifying practices and structuring of meaning inherent to consumer culture in 149 contemporary capitalism. Following this, I demonstrate through an example of Pierre Bourdieu, how academic authors are an integral component of this symbolic economy. The defining feature of the academic economy is, however, that despite the seeming distance of academic knowledge production from the blatant profit-driven commercialism of the economic world, the cultural economy of academic authorship, through various forms of capital, ultimately possesses the potential for economic convertibility. In this way the academic economies are rooted in the material practices of power through the structure of exchange in the capitalist mode of production. Like capital, knowledge is also a practice of power and is socially structured in a similar fashion. 150 5 Consumer Culture and the Academic Commodity As a result of the crises of scholarly publishing described above academic values merge with the value structure of contemporary capitalism. While this is most apparent with commercial book and journal publishers and their inherent motivation to profit from scholarship (e.g. Reed Elsevier, Routledge) we also witness the cultural dimension of capital emerging in university press publishing with the distribution of scholarly monographs. Although it is indeed difficult to argue that university press publishers publish monographs strictly for profit, it is not a far cry to suggest that university press publishers participate in the same marketing and advertising practices of commercial publishers in order to make their wares visible in an increasingly competitive academic marketplace. It is clear that university press publishers do not operate for profit as do commercial publishers. However, they indeed participate in the same culture of capital, as their participation at the Frankfurt book fair and indeed in a variety of marketing practices, suggest. As demonstrated in the interviews with various staff from university presses, university press publishers are by necessity turning to marketing and advertising strategies in order to make their lists largely visible to a consuming public and thus to sell the books that will command a sale. In this chapter I explore how the scholarly monograph is subject to the strategies of commodification inherent to consumer culture. In light of cultural Marxism's analysis of consumer culture, I examine how signs are used produce meaning and value for the academic commodity. More generally, such signs are necessary in consumer culture to differentiate and distinguish various consumer 151 products in the consumer marketplace. Through examples drawn from the advertising and marketing practices of university press publishers, I demonstrate how scholarly monographs are not unlike any other commodity that circulates in consumer culture insofar as they are subject to the same signifying practices of capital. Although it may not strictly be for the maximization of economic capital, the circulation of scholarly books reflects the contemporary logic of late capitalism in its use of an economy of signs that are motivated by the sale of a product to an interested market of consumers. The circulation of any product in contemporary capitalism requires a sophisticated semiotic strategy of sign manipulation and recognition that necessarily involves the interpretive participation of consumers. In this relation the dialectic of consumer culture and the sign economy as it relates to academic knowledge unfolds. 5.1 Capitalism as an Economy of Signs If we return to Marx's discussion of the commodity in capitalism we find that he not only illustrates the material and social consequences of the class-based exploitation of the commodity through the labour theory of surplus value but he also shows us how capital also exists as a language - an economy of signs - that symbolically structures social practices in capitalism (Kemple 1995; Goux 1990). In this respect, capital, does not solely refer to the material appropriation of wealth from labour as we see in many Marxist political economic analyses. Capital also refers to the symbolic system of social relations that arise from and contribute to relations of capital: 'Marx understood the capitalist economy in part as a symbolic economy, and conducted his own critique of political economy in part as a theory of•social symbolism. Not only is he concerned to show how imaginary sign values and use 152 values have an effective and real function as social symbols, but his own theory of how this happens is designed to make sense of and intervene in the laws governing those symbols' (Kemple 1995:94). The basis for Marx's insight into the symbolic dimensions of capital is contained in his analysis of the commodity form where he demonstrates how capitalism is a system based on the money symbol, 'not only in material terms, as a restricted economy of buying and selling, borrowing and lending, or producing and consuming, but also in view of its symbolic character as a potentially unlimited and generalizable economy of wealth, power and knowledge' (Kemple 1995:95). For Marx, the commodity in capitalism is socially represented by its exchange value. Because the exchange value of a commodity is already abstracted from its material use value, the commodity is the prime location for the investment of symbols in a capitalist economy. Such abstraction lends itself to the wiles of a symbolic system where symbols and signs represent and mediate the social relation of capital. We witness the ability of signs to 'stand-in' for or 'substitute' material relations of capital most prominently in the fetish character of the commodity where Marx illustrates the representational character of the commodity form: '[a commodity] is at first sight an extremely obvious and trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties' (Marx 1976:163). The 'strange' character of the commodity-form lies in how it acts as a symbol that both conceals and reveals the logic of capital. As Marx shows through his labour theory of value, the exchange value of the commodity in capitalism conceals the socially necessary labour that is exploited to produce the surplus value for all commodities in capitalism. In this way the commodity acts as a symbol that stands in the place of labour; its representational character 153 conceals the actual 'social character of the labour that produces them' and presents it as a 'social relation among things' (Marx 1976:165). Through capitalist exchange commodities acquire a 'phantom objectivity', to use Georg Lukacs' term, that presents the circulation of objects as a social relation. The basis of the commodity-form is that a relation between people takes on a relation between things, 'an autonomy that seems so strictly rational and all embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people' (Lukacs 1968:83). Exchange value as the basis for the exchange of commodities acquires the sole properties of the system of exchange concealing the actual human labour that exists as the fundament of the economic and social systems. The 'real' value of commodities (e.g. the academic use value of a monograph) is not to be found in its exchange value; rather, exchange value exists as a 'social hieroglyphic' which 'later on men try to decipher to get behind the secret of their own social product: for the characteristic which objects of utility have of being values is as much men's social product as is their language' (Marx 1976:167). Exchange value is 'a mere symbol, a cipher for a relation of production: a mere symbol for its own value' (Marx 1973:141). As well as having a material basis in production, capital also circulates as a symbol/sign in the form of the exchange value of commodities and their monetary equivalent. Consequently capital also exists as a language that ascribes value and gives a meaning to objects - commodities - that negates their original use value based upon human needs rather than capitalist requirements. Through commodity production in capitalism use value is replaced with or substituted by exchange value. We see this substitution of values in the sale of academic publications. In the above examples, especially the commercial 154 acquisition of scholarly publications, it is easy to see how money acts as a symbol that represents the value of a commodity and replaces other 'internally' significant values, i.e. academic use value. Our current system of capitalist exchange is still based upon this principle of substitution. However, because money more generally is based upon the social practice of representation, the logic that transcends the 'material' economic dimension of capital is the logic of representation. That is, if money can represent the value of a commodity, the logic is clearly in place for something else to represent money as the ground zero of exchange. What stands in for value is somewhat of an arbitrary assignment; 'metaphors, symptoms, signs, representations: it is always through replacement that values are created' (Goux 1990:9). What is not as arbitrary, however, as it provides the greater rules of exchange in capitalism, is the social relation that informs how what is represented, namely, the objects of exchange, relate to one another. This social relation can be seen materially as well as symbolically in the hierarchical ordering of accumulated objects. Capitalism as a symbolic economy is based upon the greater logic of accumulation and hierarchy. Whether it is money, or as I show later, the accumulation and hierarchy of scholarly publications for an increase in academic merit, the arbitrary assignment of what stands for value is ordered by this logic. What is significant here is that this logic is the basis for the market ideology that now informs scholarly practice. We see the signifying aspect of capital in the consumption of commodities. For commodities, especially academic commodities -knowledge, books, articles - are not simply consumed out of a direct need or 'use value' but consumption is also symbolically mediated by signs that order cultural objects. Put another way, although we 155 materially and biologically have the need to eat, what we indeed choose to eat is culturally determined and symbolically mediated. Moreover, this choice fits into a larger system of ordered objects, e.g. caviar communicates one thing, pork and beans another. The same can be said for the consumption of knowledge: knowledge as a commodity is hierarchically ordered according to what it signifies within a cultural framework. Through the structured symbolic meaning of commodities and their manipulation as signs capital leaves the economic realm of production for the cultural realm of consumption. This shift has a direct bearing on the production of academic knowledge as we see that academic production is not isolated in the sphere of production (the liberal ideology) but that knowledge, by virtue of the relation of production to consumption, is externally and symbolically tied to a cultural system that gives the products of academe their cultural value. The substitution of the value of a commodity occurs on the level of its 'sign value' and the system of signification that structures the meaning of objects in order to culturally advance the demands of capital: 'It is because the structure of the sign is at the very heart of the commodity form that the commodity can take on, immediately, the effect of signification - not epiphenomenally, in excess of itself, as a message or connotation - but because its very form establishes it as a total medium, as a system of communication administering all social exchange' (Baudrillard 1981:146). Or, to rephrase for my argument below, if academic knowledge is communicated, as is its raison d'etre through its fiduciary responsibility, namely publishing and teaching, then it necessarily circulates as a commodity, for its consumption is based upon a logic of capital that is culturally and symbolically determined through its sign value: 'The commodity form, then, more than unmasking the true source of value in production 156 and human labour, becomes of critical significance in the valorization of social relations as they manifest themselves through the commodity as a cultural and a symbolic form' (Lee 1993:23). Here the logic of capital as described above by Marx as commodity fetishism is further seen in the commodity form as social relations that are ideologically structured according to their symbolic ordering as signs. Capital, in this respect, is also a practice of signification that reaches its height with the dominance of the sign in consumer culture. Jean Baudrillard argues commodities circulate according to their sign value when the system of exchange establishes the hierarchical order of objects: 'it is the specific weight of signs that regulates the social logic of exchange' (Baudrillard 1981:66). For when objects are culturally ordered, they do not relate to their 'need' in a strictly material sense, but rather to the ideological structure of need by the cultural system. In this social hierarchy, cultural status is accrued by the holders of esteemed objects or commodities. Through sign value it is not simply what an object is worth in dollars, although this is indeed a sign of value too, but more importantly what a commodity is worth in social power and status and how such power is socially communicated through its display. If we look to Veblen's understanding of conspicuous consumption Baudrillard's central point about sign value is clarified for our purposes. Essentially, Baudrillard argues that commodities have a cultural (symbolic) life over and above a strictly economic (material) one; they are valued according to what and how they signify in the system of signification: 'the object-become-sign no longer gathers its meaning in the concrete relation between two people. It assumes meaning in a differential relation to other signs . . . sign objects exchange among themselves' (Baudrillard 1981:66). As with Veblen's 157 notion of conspicuous consumption, objects not only have a material use, a use value, but they also have a symbolic, and hence a social use in their consumption (a sign value) insofar as commodities are social indicators or signs of wealth. Objects are culturally ordered to indicate the status of those who possess them: 'possession of wealth confers honors: it is an invidious distinction' (Veblen 1953:35). In this the consumption of commodities conveys social relations of capital: sign value hierarchically orders objects in relation to one another and assigns to their consumer a place in the overall economic order. Sign value acts as a social display, a play of signifiers, a communicator that operates to give meaning to objects that has the larger social function of distinguishing the cultural value of a commodity as well as the cultural value of both the consumer and the producer. Value, in this sense, acts much in accordance with the logic of capital insofar as it represents social power through the status of accumulated objects (furthering the symbolic nature of surplus value). The meaning and value of commodities, we learn from Baudrillard, is not then constituted and concealed through production and the generation of an exchange value but value is subject more generally to a cultural sign system, or, as Baudrillard refers to it: a code, and the commodity form is at the very centre of its communicational structure (Baudrillard 1981:75). Value is, first and foremost, inherent to the realm of culture through the social meaning given to consumption through sign value. Signs, in this way, do not operate autonomously but rather socially acquire meaning through the system of signification; the language structured by the code. That is, their symbolic distinction and differentiation from one another is not based upon individual differences, as we are led to believe in liberal accounts of economics and knowledge, but rather 'there is a social 158 production, in a system of exchange, of a material of differences, a code of significations and invidious values. The functionality of goods and individual needs only follows on this' (Baudrillard 1981:75). The commodity form as the vessel of signification and thus the bearer of social relations, then, traverses all social fields (specifically the economy and culture) as capital is embedded in its very communicational structure, as a logic, a code, that frames meaning for all subjects who participate in culture. The notion of a symbolic economy relates to the potential for all symbolic forms (culture) to be governed by the hierarchical logic of accumulation (economy). NIt is necessary ... to define consumption not only structurally as a system of exchange and of signs but strategically as a mechanism of power' (Baudrillard 1981:85). The social effect of the symbolic ordering of commodities, namely status and social power, is produced by the cultural power of the commodity form. Sign value therefore establishes the ability to synthesize previously distinct and autonomous realms of social discourse through its communicative framework. The commodity form as a general phenomenon is not simply the economic value attached to an object but, as we see here, the cultural value as established by the system of signification. The symbolic hierarchy of commodities through consumption serves the same function as and is indeed integral to surplus value in production: each establishes social power through relentless accumulation. This social relation of accumulation and hierarchy allows us to begin to understand scholarly practices as academic economies. Baudrillard's conception of sign value reveals how the logic of capital in the form of the commodity moves throughout various social realms without restraint. According to this claim, academia is not autonomous or differentiated from economic forces as is it not immune 159 from the greater forces of commodification. In its most recognizable form, sign value makes visible the sign differentiation inherent to the social practices of advertising in consumer culture as they relate to capital and commodities to academic production specifically. I explore these connections below. Baudrillard points us to the signifying function of advertising as a system of social communication based on commodification in order to demonstrate that the realm of production in capitalism by necessity requires a cultural form of manufactured consumption such that a crisis of commodity overproduction is averted (cf. Galbraith 1956). Here the direct systemic manipulation of signs is evident in advertising's attempt to order objects for consumption according to a higher logic: 'choices are not made randomly. As we see, they are socially controlled and reflect the cultural model from which they are produced. We neither produce nor consume just any product, the product must have some meaning in relation to a system of values' (Baudrillard 1996:36). Sign value as symbolic capital, on this level, possesses the potential for convertibility into economic capital. In this convertibility we see the dialectical relation of the symbolic and material as they meet in the realm of the social practices of publishing the scholarly monograph in consumer culture. 5.2 The Commodity in Consumer Culture As Jean Baudrillard and other theorists of consumption tell us, the commodity in capitalism takes on a symbolic form in culture as well as a material form in the economy and the mode of production (Featherstone 1991; Jameson 1991, 1983; Baudrillard 1996, 1981). Here capitalism reaches a stage in its development where the encroachment of the commodity-form in the symbolic-representational mode of culture is essential for the maintenance and perpetuation of capitalism. In 160 consumer culture the (economic) production of commodities requires (cultural) consumption in order to avoid a crisis of commodity over production (e.g. though not-for-profit, monographs still must be sold). However, in a world in which the meaning has been drained from commodities through the mode of production and the substitution of use value with exchange value new techniques are required in order to reinstate the meaning in commodities. As Sut Jhally argues, the goal in consumer culture is to give meaning to objects through advertising: In non-market societies there is a unity between people and goods, but in capitalism there is a separation between object and producer. The world of goods in industrial society offers no meaning, its meaning having been emptied out of them. The function of advertising is to refill the emptied commodity with meaning. Indeed the meaning of advertising would make no sense if objects already had an established meaning. The power of advertising depends upon the initial emptying out. Only then can advertising refill this empty void with its own meaning (Jhally, 1989:221). The consumption of new commodities also cannot occur without the desire or created want of the consumer. In this respect, capital finds solace in the ability for culture to symbolically create meaning and motivate the desire of consumers. The goal of consumerism, as Baudrillard tells us, 'is to allow the drives that were previously blocked by mental determinants (e.g. superego) to crystallize on objects' (Baudrillard 1996:13). Consumers must be made aware of their desires through the meaning that is culturally created for objects through such practices of signification as advertising. Advertising becomes a dominant means of communicating desire in consumer culture as it forges a previously absent connection between objects and the consumer. There are no innate or pure needs for objects or use-value as Baudrillard tells us, but rather, all needs are culturally mediated through their sign-value. This is especially the case with the 'need' to consume academic knowledge or more generally the 'need to know' in consumer culture. When we inspect how the 'need' for knowledge is 161 partially structured by the system of signification inherent to consumer culture, we see how scholarly knowledge circulates as a commodity in consumer culture. Although the sale of academic knowledge in the form of scholarly books may not necessarily be a capitalist venture through the generation of economic surplus (e.g. university press publishing), capitalism continues to operate on a cultural level through the manipulation of signs that reflects the deeper logic of commodification. Such strategies of signification, embodied in advertising and marketing techniques and witnessed in such signs as brand names, logos and other visual communicational forms, are inherent to the contemporary form of capitalism that is frequently described as consumer culture. In consumer culture all cultural artifacts, including scholarly knowledge, are subject to the principle of the commodity form. Commodification is the process inherent to consumer culture that attaches an economic logic to all cultural products through a sign-value. As Henri Lefebvre tells us: 'commodities do not assert themselves qua things but rather qua a kind of logic' (Lefebvre 1971:98). This logic manifests itself through the hierarchical ordering of cultural objects by a system that is strictly in place in order to make us aware of commodities such that our desire is piqued and acted upon through consumption. According to theorists of consumer culture (Baudrillard 1996; Featherstone 1991; Jameson 1983), in late capitalism all culture necessarily acts as a system of signs and operates according to the logic of the commodity insofar as the system classifies objects for consumption: 'This becomes central to late capitalist society where sign and commodity have come together to produce a commodity sign' (Featherstone 1991:15). In consumer culture, however, signs are divorced from objects taking on new meanings that 162 are more related to the system of signs rather than directly related to the objects themselves. Consumers, in effect, consume signs over objects, sign value over use value. One simply needs to think of the Nike swoosh as a sign of a running shoe as an example of the way in which signs reign over objects in consumer culture. In this production of consumption there is an 'announcement' of the sign from its meaning where, for example, cars represent prestige rather than transportation or social theory represents status rather than critique. Anticipating Baudrillard's comments on the culture of consumption of late capitalism, Horkheimer and Adorno sardonically assert in their famous essay 'The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception': Something is provided for all so that none may escape; the distinctions are emphasized and extended. The public is catered for with a hierarchical range of mass-produced products of varying quality thus advancing the rule of complete quantification. Everybody must behave (as if spontaneously) in accordance with his previously determined and indexed level and choose the category of product turned out for his type (Horkheimer and Adorno 1988:123). What is described here by Horkheimer and Adorno is the tendency of culture to act as a medium for the sale of commodities, either through marketing as a structured system of communication for the classification of consumers as markets or through advertising and the use of 'culture' as a sphere in which to sell products. In either case, the realm of the economic has, through the symbolic transference of the commodity form, embedded itself in the communicational structure of culture through advertising and marketing. According to Horkheimer and Adorno, and later to Baudrillard,. there is no longer a separation between the two spheres of culture and economy but rather, the realm of the economic has permeated all things cultural (art, music, philosophy) through the commodity form thereby achieving, some argue, the complete commodification of everyday life (cf. Gottdiener 1994). 163 I am arguing that contrary to liberal ideology academic knowledge is not immune to these forces of commodification in late capitalism. As Horkheimer and Adorno contend: 'because the system obliges every product to use advertising, it has permeated the idiom - the "style" -of the culture industry' (1988:162). The economic interests of capital reach completion in the realm of culture. Among other forms, we see this achievement reaching completion in the recent occurrence of the commodification of the scholarly monograph by university press publishers and their circulation of academic books. 3.3 The Book as Commodity Beginning with the inception of the Gutenberg Press and the previously untapped potential for the mass production of books, the book, as we know it today, has always been a manufactured commodity not unlike many other cultural objects produced in (post) industrial society. As Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin discuss in their overview of the history of publishing titled The Coming of the Book, the commodification of the book is an inherent and necessary practice of book publishing: From its earliest days printing existed as an industry, governed by the same rules as any other industry; the book was a piece of merchandise which men produced before anything else to earn a living, even when they were scholars and humanists at the same time. Thus it was vitally necessary from the outset to find enough capital to start work and then to print only those titles which would satisfy a clientele, and that at a price which would withstand competition. The marketing of books was similar to that of other products (Febvre and Martin 1976:109). On its most basic level, a book, like all other commodities, is produced in order to be exchanged on the market in order to reach its audience. As printing emerged with industrialization, the printed book, unlike need-based, pre-industrial commodities such as food or clothing, has never been traded in a system other than capitalist exchange. Printed books are immediately subject to this economic 164 system of exchange. In this way industrialized book production, distribution, exchange and consumption have always been commercial activities. As I demonstrate in chapter one, it is from this commercial activity that the academic publishing community (as well as the 'culture' community more generally) attempts to distance itself. However, the contemporary practice of scholarly publishing reveals a much closer link to the commercial cohort of publishing and the subsequent commodification of the academic text than the liberal vision of scholarly publishing suggests. Although the publishing of scholarly monographs once held a privileged position in the publishing world in relation to the greater marketplace of consumers, today this is clearly no longer the case. Increasingly, scholarly publishers are looking to the realm of the consumer and utilizing market strategies through the 'production of consumption' in order to establish a wider consumer base and new markets for scholarly product. These marketing strategies occur on many levels: from the strategic positioning of the press through advertising in magazines and catalogues, to the use of mass market iconography and cover design for scholarly monographs. Inherent to establishing new markets is the importance of the role of advertising, images, and cultural capital to establish visibility in the marketplace, to differentiate products from one another and to hierarchically organize the field of scholarly publishing into a logic - a coherent and ordered system of meaning for the consumers of those commodity-signs. 5.4 Scholarly Publishing in Consumer Culture The attempt of scholarly publishers to reach out beyond the specialized walls of research-oriented academics and into the eyes and minds of a 165 larger audience is increasingly obvious upon examination of advertising strategies and the types of advertising used to attract consumers to scholarly books. With the decline of monograph sales in the institutional marketplace of research libraries described above, it is imperative for scholarly publishers to establish broader markets. This economic necessity, however, has lead many scholarly publishers to adopt strategies that were previously outside of the autonomous cultural realm of scholarship and academia. As discussed, economic necessity has led scholarly publishers to adopt strategies that are most commonly associated with commercial practices of signification inherent to consumer culture. This adoption of marketing strategies by scholarly publishers is analogous to the pending crisis of overproduction of mass-produced goods following the Second World War (cf. Galbraith 1956). Much like this crisis, academic producers find themselves in the potential situation of academic overproduction where there are increasingly more academics doing original research, i.e. there is a surplus of academic product, but there are not enough consumers for this specialized knowledge to continue with this pace of production. Similar to the potential threat of the earlier crisis that led to the creation of new advertising strategies in order to create a demand for that building surplus of products (cf. Ewan 1976), scholarly publishers are also turning to techniques of market visibility in order to manufacture consumption or instill desire in new consumers for their academic products. With storehouses of academic knowledge piling up in the form of theoretical knowledge and research coupled with the loss of this knowledge's primary consumer, i.e. the research library, today scholarly publishers are concerned about their ability to successfully 166 distribute the findings of new research. Since the traditional goal of scholarly publishers is to disseminate the research produced by academics, as we see above publishers who take that task seriously must now focus on establishing new markets in order to move their inventory. What this means is that the market proven commercial strategies used to move other non-academic commodities out of the postwar fear of over production are now adopted by scholarly publishers in order to move theirs. Given the current political-economic situation described above, it is obvious that the dissemination, and ultimately production, of scholarly knowledge is influenced by broader markets and consumers. Not unlike the perceived need of postwar business for 'administered consumption', many publishers feel that scholarship must steer towards consumer culture if it is to disseminate the storehouse of knowledge it produces. Recall the statement of the university press editor above: 'I am an unabashed commodifier of culture'. As publishers of scholarly monographs today are fully aware, production cannot occur outside of commercially mediated consumption. 5.5 Seeking the Scholarly Consumer: Academic Advertising in Magazines For advertising is not simply an adjunct to the system of objects; it cannot be detached therefrom, nor can it be restricted to its 'proper' function (there is no such thing as advertising strictly confined to the supplying of information). Indeed, advertising is now an irremovable aspect of the system of objects precisely by virtue of its disproportionateness. . . it itself becomes an object to be consumed (Baudrillard 1996:164). Among the most clear signs that academe has indeed entered the commodified realm of consumer culture is the circulation of the official magazine of academe, titled Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life. Published by University Business LLC, Lingua Franca is the magazine devoted to exploring issues in the culture of American academe. As it primarily, if not solely, deals with academic issues, 167 its readership consists primarily of academics or people working in academic-related fields. However, the readership of a magazine also implies, for marketing purposes, a coherent market of like-minded consumers with similar interests and consumption patterns. Academics, in this respect, are situated by Lingua Franca as a substantial market of affluent consumers. The specifications of the academic market exist most clearly in the advertising information supplied by Lingua Franca for potential advertisers. Lingua Franca describes its readership to advertisers as 'the core of intelligentsia' who have a mean income of $70 000, a mean age of 44, and where the career composition is 78% professors, 51% of whom work at a research university. Most interesting among the market categories described by Lingua Franca are the publication qualifications of its readership: readers in the last two years who have published: an article: 66%; a book: 27% (www.linguafranca.com). Through Lingua Franca advertisers are strategically connected to a consuming (reading) market of publishing (writing) academics. We see many examples of the type of academic content contained in Lingua Franca in any given edition. For example, in the December/ January 1999 edition the articles include: 'Brainwashed' - an article on the debate in Cult studies on the existence of brainwashing; 'Totem and Taboo' - an article on the work of an architect and professor on Berlin, the new Germany and the Holocaust; 'The Visionary Company' - an article on the debate on whether 'folk art' constitutes 'real art'; and 'Do it Yourself - an article on how libraries are dealing with the serials crisis. These specific articles are published along side the regular academically-oriented columns on 'Breakthrough Books', 'Inside Publishing', 'Conferences' and 'Hirings and Tenurings'. 168 As well as providing the reader with the most current information about the relevant issues and debates in American and international academe, a quick glance through any issue also provides the reader with information on the most current books on those debates (monographs and edited collections). Reading Lingua Franca also informs the readership about many other books covering the pressing issues of contemporary culture and academe in such regular columns as 'Breakthrough Books' and 'Inside Publishing'. Here we begin to see the transcendent, i.e. non-autonomous, character of the commodity-form in scholarly publishing. Information about current scholarship begins with the articles contained within the pages of iingua Franca that are based upon the ongoing or completed research of academics. Often, the details of the related book or journal in which the research is published are included in the article, steering the curious reader towards those published works. While such 'information' about scholarly books is provided in editorials and the regular columns, one also finds further information about scholarly books throughout the magazine in the advertisements provided by scholarly publishers, from both commercial scholarly and university presses. Although the information about scholarship found in the advertisements fits seamlessly into the academic context of the magazine, as Baudrillard tells us above there is no such thing as advertising strictly confined to the supplying of information. Advertising also refers to a system of communication that, at its foundation, is informed by the greater logic of capital. The articles in Lingua Franca, in this respect, draw the attention of readers to scholarly knowledge that is also found in books published by various authors and for sale by various scholarly presses. These signs are then reaffirmed in the advertisements of the publishers of scholarly books creating a basic system of signification where scholarly 169 publishers are figured into the equation of the consumption of knowledge. This type of commodity-intertextuality is witnessed, for example, in Lingua Franca February 1997 where prior to an article on the unionization of academic labour is a full-page advertisement taken by The University of Chicago Press. Such strategic placement draws attention to the publication of a new University of Chicago Press book on The Future of Academic Freedom. Here, the inclusion of scholarly publishers through advertisements shows their participation in the overall field of scholarly knowledge production. Through such inclusion they are presented as a sign that is given meaning within the larger context of the system. This occurs with the connection of the book on academic freedom and its publisher to the article on unionization. Moreover, through its strategic location, 'the sign' -the University of Chicago Press - is used strictly as a vehicle for recognition and for the circulation of its books. The article and the book chosen for the advertisement mutually reinforce one another as signs - the former providing a context of meaning for the latter. If the existence of a magazine on academic life is not evidence in itself of academe's growing link with consumer culture, an examination of the advertisements within Lingua Franca provides one with a precursory glimpse into the economic logic of the marketing of scholarly publishers and their monographs. An example of the advertising of scholarly publishers shows us the extent to which this market of academics is catered to by the advertisers in the magazine. Upon opening a recent 'Christmas' issue (December/January 1999), one is immediately confronted with a two-page colour advertisement for the textbooks and translations published by the Modern Languages Association. Another two-page colour spread follows this ad and 170 advertises a guide; 'an insider's map to graduate school', published by Lingua Franca books. The advert for the book: The Real Guide to Graduate School: What You Better Know Before you Choose, claims to inform its readers as to the 'intellectual issues and the practical choices for anyone considering graduate school': 'it's as if savvy professors, a university library and a job market hot-line were all present to advise and guide the prospective student' (Lingua Franca 1999). Advertisements such as these, although undoubtedly dealing with academia, ironically do not appear out of place in the context of the content of the magazine or the larger context of consumer culture. As Richard Ohmann points out in his history of magazine publishing, magazines serve a critical function for consumer capitalism insofar as they provide an essential medium for manufacturers to display their wares to specific markets and entice selected consumers to purchase products made relevant to them through the magazine articles and the subsequent advertising throughout the magazine (cf. Ohmann 1996). Further, given the economic requirements of any magazine to acquire revenues not solely through subscriptions but also through the sale of advertising space, such advertisements for commercial ventures such as textbooks and graduate guides are consistent within such a commercial context. It is therefore not a surprise to find commercial interests represented in a commercial context such as a magazine. There is obviously a degree of commerce that necessarily lies behind the publication of any magazine. Regardless of its academic content, Lingua Franca is in this respect no different than other magazines in consumer culture: it is a commercial venture that provides a forum for advertisers to display their commodities to an established or potential market of consumers. On this level, its form reflects a basic economic 171 logic where ad space is sold to advertisers whose products are then advertised in order to reach their target market. Interestingly but not surprisingly, the majority of advertisers are scholarly publishers. Reflecting on this point briefly, if we return to the advertising information of the Lingua Franca website (www.linguafranca.com), we see the extent to which the magazine financially benefits from providing space to paying advertisers. For example, corporate rates for four full-page colour ads cost $3625. In the ten magazines that I examined, advertising space of this size went to Absolute Vodka, one of the few non-academic advertisers in the magazine, who secured the back cover of all of these issues in colour for around $4000 an ad. Most of the other ad space in the magazine went, to varying degrees (full page, half page down to l/12th of a page) to university press and commercial scholarly publishers. Publishers are charged less than the corporate rate, $2980.00 for four full-page colour ads. However, if one considers that this cost could be up to one-third of the cost of publishing a scholarly book, one then sees how economic capital becomes a significant feature for the advertising and circulation of scholarly books. Economic capital, in this regard, is especially a factor if the exposure of advertising increases book sales for scholarly publishers. Greater exposure, in this sense, through the sign value given to the publisher through advertising, has a potential convertibility into economic capital. As with the advertising of any other product, market exposure increases market visibility that increases the sales potential of the products advertised. Advertising is a basic communicational form in capitalism whose goal is to communicate new products to interested consumers. Magazines simply provide a medium for this communication. 172 We find numerous examples of the attempts by university press publishers to advertise their wares in Lingua Franca. In a recent edition one comes across a full-page, colour Christmas advertisement for the University of Chicago Press. It reads: 'A Season for Good Books' and advertises six books available from University of Chicago Press for the Christmas season (see figure 5.1). Although they appear to be books of general interest since they, not unlike larger commercial publishers, have beautifully designed covers that are displayed to reader of the ad, the blurbs, the promotional/ informational text that accompanies the advert, reveal that the books are indeed the work of specialized scholarship as samples from the following excerpts demonstrate: The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making - Adrian Johns "A scholarly investigation of printing's early cultural history in England . . . Relying on a detailed knowledge of the original texts and a magisterial view of the enormous secondary literature, Johns has written a fine grained study with considerable force of argument". Kirkus Reviews Cloth $40.00 The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century - Tony Judt "Tony Judt's essays on the three great dead French figures touch all the moral and intellectual bases of our time. Amidst the current din of the culture wars, Judt's voice of reason cuts through the babble like a knife through butter" - Eugene Weber author of The Hollow Years: France in the 1930's Cloth $17.50. Mesmerized: Powers of the Mind in Victorian Britain - Alison Winter "A cracking work. Alison Winter explores the people's greatest participatory science with great insight in order to ask the bigger questions about persuasion, boundaries and who controlled the Victorian state of mind. There is no prejudging here - the mesmerists had everything to play for in Winter's deft recreation of their eerie world." - Adrian Desmond, author of Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest. Cloth $30.00. Although at first appearance it is difficult to distinguish this advert from that of a commercial press (compare this with figure 5.2), the captions beneath the titles reveal to the reader that the books are 1 A S0,1 W "fefc^ ^W"" * .JLtf 173 Print and Knowledge in the Making Adrian Johns "A scholarly investigation of printing's early cultural hiscory in England.... Relying on detailed knowledge of original texts and a magisterial view of the enormous secondary literature, Johns has. written a fine-grained stud) with considerible force of argument." —Kirksa Ranetvs Cloth $40.00 P-assiiWiiafte iMsfflefeffate Unfashionable Essays Sut>an Haack "Is it possible for a philosopher to have a wicked wit, a kindly heart, a pwsi-ioi' for clarity, and an utterly cnnvinciiig argument thaf aobsword puzzLs Me, for thinkers, wh<i,r labs are for scj;:ntifts? Tt is, h'her name is Susan Haack. If vou have not ytt experi enced Haack's wit, heart, < larit/, and puvsdr-solving abilities, this collection will convince you that these words do not exaggerate her talents."—Robert Heilbroner, author of The Worldly Philosophers Cloth $22.50 TTtoe Hm&t&m of irJesponsilbiillftty Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century TonyJudt "Tony Judt's essays on three great dead French figures touch all the intellectual and moral bases of our time Amidst the din of current culture wars. Judt's >toice of reason cuts through the babble like a knife through bucrtv."—Eugvn Weber, author of The Hollow Yean: France tn I be l?3Gs Cloth S17.50 Holocaust Memory through the Camera's Eye Barbie ZcBzsr ''Has tile djrwKinance of Holocaust imagery become w> archetypal that its very telling of lie gruesome story makes us less responsive rhan we should be to the flood of images that record new atrocities in Bosnia and Africa? [Zelizcr's] controversial conclusion that televised and journalistic images now wear themselves out of memory and may lessen the viability of public action gives [her] work an urgent contemporary relevance " —Geoffrey Hartman, Yale University Cloth $27.50 Why She American © smtay? Olivier Zunz "Zunz has written an intriguing account of 'the ways big business, government, and the expanding sector of higher education built a partnership in the late 19th century and early 20th to engineer and manage a new America."—Library Journal "A provocadve and absorbing work with important implications for our future place in the wwidV-rBooklist Cloth $24.00 Meswieiriteed Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain Alison Winter 'A cracking work Alison Winter explores the people's greatest participatory science with great insight in order to ask the bigger questions about persuasion, boundaries, and who controlled the Victorian state of mind, There is no prejudging here—the mesmerists had everything to play for in Winter's deft recreation of their eerie world.' —Adrian Desmond, author of Huxley: Prom Deuil't Disciple to Evolution's High Priest Cloth $30.00 int. : 'i NATURE ol'TIlt" ' BOO K american century? Available at bookstores T * I UM1VBHS1TY © F CHU«» PRESS Visit us at www.press.uchicago.edu Figure 5.1. University of Chicago Press Ad, lingua Franca, Dec. 1998 US UTTLE PEOPLE Mennonite Children by Carl Hiebert 174 Photographer Carl Hiebert, himself a former Mennonite, spent seven years documenting the Mennonite way of life for thi; beautiful and touching book. 9 \ 9 Ul, 120 pages, color photos throughout (hc) June 1-5S04A-Z72-S SZ4.00 U.S. Boston Mills Press TWENTY-EIGHT BOTTLES AROUND THE BAY Tan Gourmet Dinners for People with No Time and No Space by Margaret Sbarpe 1)0 ii 1 MS \ Gourmet menus drawn from four friends and ten days aboard a 37-foot sailboat. 1018, 80 pages, two-color illustrations throughout (p) June 1-55046-239-3 $14.95 U.S. Boston Mills Press DU0DU0: CROSSING THE SEA Poems in Exile/Poems in China by DuoDw Edited by Lee Robinson, translated by Lee Robinson & Li Ming Yu Afterword by Nino Ricci DuoDuo'Crosring the Sea contains poems written in China and in exile by one of China's leading dissi dents. 5x8, 112 pages (p) November 0-88784-5622 $11.95 U.S. House of Anansi Press PORTRAIT Of A THOUSAND PUNKS Hard Core Logo by Nick Crame From the pen of hugely talented comix artist Nick Craine comes a searing rendition of the reunion rour of the fictional punk band Hard Core Logo 7 1/2 x 9 1/4,128 pages, b&w illustrations throughout (p) July 0-88784-6068 $14 95 U.S. House r*f Anansi Press HARDCORE ROADSHOW A Screenwriter's Diary by Noel S. Baker Foreword by Bruce McDonald Herd Cor-: Roadshow is a movie depicting a punk band's ill-fated reunion tour that won rave reviews and several awards. 6 x9, 256 pages, photos (p) March 0-88784-5843 $15.95 U.S. House of Anansi Press ALPHABET CITY Open City Hailed as one of the best avant-garde magazines available, Alphabet City has become an annual, pub lished as a joint venture with House of Anansi Press. 7 3/8 x 10 7/8,320 pages (p) August 0-88784-6211 S 19.95 U.S. House of Anansi Press THE KLONDIKE QUEST by Pierre Berton i F. K R T. Ill 1MON 199S marits the 100th anuversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, and this masterful memoir is comple mented with rare photos and a lively and informative text by master historian Pierre Berton 10 x 12 1/2, 240 pages, 200 photos (hc) Available 1-55046-2024 $34.95 U.S. Boston Mills Press figure 5.2 Stoddart Publishing Ad, Publisher's Weekly, September 1998 175 of scholarly production and therefore, as every liberal academic reader familiar with the principles of scholarly publishing knows, not for commercial but for scholarly advances. The content of the text demonstrates their scholarly merit as the first example tells us: 'A scholarly investigation . . . Relying on a detailed knowledge of original texts', or the second example telling us that The Burden of Responsibility is a collection of essays 'on three great dead French figures touch all the intellectual and moral bases of our time'. Judging from the descriptions in the advertisement and those who wrote them, the books advertised are the well-researched products of scholars; they are not of the general interest, 'commercial' variety but indeed qualify as scholarly research as any editor at the press or the books' reviewers would surely insist. Reading on, if one is not solely convinced by the promotional words about the books, then perhaps focusing on those who wrote them might be more convincing to confirm their scholarly merit and their place in the intellectual hierarchy. As we see, included with each book advertised is the recommendation from a credible source ensuring the reader of both its readability and its scholarly contributions (Geoffrey Hartman, Yale University; Robert Heilbroner, author of The Worldly Philosophers). The author of 'the blurb' is often, in a marketing sense, as important for the sale of the book as is the author of the text. In this case, all of the blurbs attempt to signify for the reader, especially if one is not already familiar with the University of Chicago Press lists, that these are indeed books of scholarly merit. Interestingly, this ad does not seem inconsistent with the previous ads despite the fact that it is from a university press. This ad for scholarly books fits seamlessly into the format of the other advertisements and the articles in the magazine as do the 176 other advertisements from university presses. Throughout the magazine, the advertisements from both commercial and university press publishers alike all blend into one seamless format blurring the line between the commercial and the scholarly. The advertisements within the pages of Lingua Franca exhibit the logic of consumer culture and commodification, which is described by Horkheimer and Adorno as the 'culture industry'. Horkheimer and Adorno describe culture in advanced industrial society (what I call here consumer culture) as being subject to the same logic of abstraction and quantification that, in industrial society, commodified labour power in the realm of economic production. In the case of advertising or 'administered consumption', Horkheimer and Adorno argue that people are commodified as consumers just as they are as producers, and similar to the objects they produce and purchase. As we clearly see through the marketing of academic texts, consumers are categorized and reified as types (market profile), sold by the magazine to advertisers and subsequently delivered to as a category of consumption by advertisers through advertising. As we see, the scholarly content of the commodities does not detract from the commodity-form in which they are presented. In this respect advertising serves a similar cultural function for all commodities: it attempts to deliver the market of consumers to the producers (in this case the consumers to the distributors - i.e. publishers) by symbolically ordering the commodities into a coherent and hierarchical system of signification for the consumer. In this case, Lingua Franca acts as a broker of cultural signifiers through which it establishes its rank in the cultural hierarchy as an authoritative voice of academic culture to both advertisers and subscribers alike. For advertisers, it delivers its established, prestigious market of academics and academic workers 177 to those whose commodities are suitable for consumption by the readership. In this way, it is the perfect market mechanism for scholarly publishers to present themselves to their prospective consumers: the academic marketplace. It is also the epitome of the abstract, reifying logic of categorizing and commodifying consumers inherent to the 'culture industry' as described by Horkheimer and Adorno. Advertising in a magazine format, then, commodifies in a double sense: it presents cultural objects for sale to consumers (the basic relation of the commodity) and it also presents consumers (the market) for sale to producers who wish to advertise. Through advertising, scholarly publishing engages commodification as a process to meet the necessary ends of economic capital through its attempt to establish a share of the larger academic marketplace. Through the advertising of scholarly publishers, we see that scholarly knowledge in the form of research monographs is delivered as the commodity sign of cultural capital to prospective consumers. Academic culture, in this respect, is not immune from the commodifying tendencies of late capitalism and its ability to produce a sign value for any cultural obj ect. The advertising of scholarly publishers in magazines demonstrates in full clarity the most obvious of its relations with consumer culture. In this way scholarly publishing most closely resembles the commercial publishing industry, as one industry commentator remarks: 'Many of the leading university presses have emulated aspects of commercial publishing - to the point where they are beginning to compete with trade houses in terms of design, marketing and even publicity'. If we further compare advertisements of university presses with those of commercial presses, we see little difference in the way in 178 which their wares are presented to their potential consumers - in both content and in form. In this respect the signifying stamp of capital bears its mark on all publishers presented, regardless of their economic orientation (profit or non-profit) for its context, advertising, is undeniably framed by the logic of capital. This is especially the case if we look at scholarly publishing's attempt to reach beyond the academic market and into the minds and pockets of a more general, non-specialist but 'intellectual' marketplace. 5.6 Seeking the 'Intellectual' Consumer: 'Mass' Advertising A recent example shows us how far university press publishers of scholarly monographs will go to reach new, broader markets. In the Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail, the weekend literary supplement, simply called Books, contains various book reviews from primarily commercial publishers who publish fiction, self-help books, travel diaries, historical surveys, political memoirs etc. Not surprisingly, most of the advertisements one finds throughout these pages are from commercial publishers advertising their latest wares to their prospective consumers: the non-specific book readers and buyers who read the weekend literary supplement. However, also contained within these pages are the advertisements from some scholarly presses displaying some of their latest trade books and scholarly monographs. The example I examine comes from McGill-Queen's University Press (figure 5.3). In this series of advertisements, placed in the Saturday December 4, 1999 Book supplement of The Globe and Mail, the advertisements for McGill-Queen's run over four consecutive pages through the supplement. Each page is headed with the website address (www.mcgill.ca/mqup) and followed below with a textual caption that differs on each page as well as a different newly released book on each MCGILL-QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRESS I MCGILL-QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRES Figure 5.3. McGxll-Queen's University Press Ad, The Globe and Mail, Saturday, December 4, 1999. 180 x S V;; l rn o • • If • •••.••jr. "God's Assassins is a remarkably successful attempt to get inside a nightmare." Gwynne Dyer In the words of the perpetrators and their victims, God's Assassins explores the methods and consequences of the Argentinian state hiring on its citizens. 1 • H X ' 5 jrs' • r> p 'i i co; . •:• mi a> :. .. x I-'-: • O ' X B ^ I ' 'Afy ••S3. V"'-!>• - s cO-" v.- ••" •<? Three generations of Inurt 'women share their sometimes disturbing stories about changes in the Arctic from igloos to email. v. f \ \ \ > P Is c MCGILL-QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRESS | MCGILL-QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRES Figure 5.3. McGill-Queen's University Press Ad, The Globe and Mail, Saturday, December 4, 1999. 181 page and footed with the name of the press. While the books vary from 'trade' (a 'renegade's' story about native rights) to scholarly research (an anthropological ethnography of the lives of three Inuit women) what connects all four books are the headings for each ad. The heading, that spreads over four-pages, boldly proclaims: 'WHAT IS NOW? US. ' Such an attempt to draw the attention of readers of the literary supplement to McGill-Queen's University Press does not differ from the advertising and marketing practices of commercial publishers. As an advertisement it is an attempt not only to draw the attention of specific readers/consumers to its publications but also, more generally, to draw the attention of readers to the existence of the press as a type of brand name for scholarship. By focusing on 'newness' as a quality of the press, McGill-Queen's is attempting to distinguish and differentiate itself in a competitive book-buying marketplace. While other Canadian university press publishers are known for their conservative and traditional academic monographs, McGill-Queen's attempts to distinguish its lists by their relevance to contemporary popular culture. In this respect the advertisement not only alerts readers to its wares but also attempts to communicate a greater message about the press and its books to readers. It creates a 'third-term', a sign that, like many other ads, attempts to link a characteristic previously unattached to the commodity creating a commodity-sign. This semiotic coding strategy is a common approach by contemporary advertisers, as a segment from an interview with an advertising executive published elsewhere tells us: It's a coding process. I have a product to sell and an idea. I decide on something succinct to get your attention, than I encode it and put it into the medium. You see it and then decode it. I hope you get the same idea from the process that I started with. I hope that you will make the choice and that the idea I as the advertising person had of 182 what would cause you to buy that product has merit (quoted in Leiss, Klein and Jhally 1990:208). Most reflective of consumer culture is not only the existence of the advertisement itself but the system of signification, 'the code' that accompanies the books for sale. As Baudrillard points out, it is not the objects that are consumed in consumer culture but also, if not more so, the signs that circulate around these objects. While McGill-Queen' s is attempting to reach a broader market by advertising in a national newspaper's literary supplement during the Christmas book-buying season, they are also making a coded connection about their lists to a series of signs about the books and the publisher. The books advertised do not speak for themselves in the advertisement but are rather spoken for by the caption and the 'nowness' of the books proclaimed in the ad. This caption serves the purpose of building a system of signification around the books that communicates something other than the books contents. It connects the goal of being contemporary with the consumption of the books and their press. One then is not simply consuming the books of the press but the greater 'more desirable' characteristic of being current, an important goal for consumers everywhere. As such, the books circulate as commodity-signs that stand in relation to the greater system of signification that is constructed by and through the advertisement. The signs of course ultimately have to be interpreted by the consumer and given meaning in relation to the system. However, as the advertiser above points out, the meaning is framed by a code that is deciphered by the consumer. While interpretation does indeed occur it is a framed interpretation. In this example, then, the books are not only marketed to a larger market with the hopes of sales but they are also structured as commodity-signs where a slogan (NOW) and a brand-name (McGill-Queen's) 183 all contribute to the interpretation of the commodities within the system. Such tactics are reflective of the signifying tendencies of capital inherent to communicative practices in consumer culture. Other attempts by university press publishers to both broaden their market and construct meaning (systems of signification) around their products (commodity-signs) are seen in the following examples taken from Publishers Weekly: The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling. As it is a magazine directed towards publishers and retailers in the book industry, the aim of university publishers' advertising in this magazine is clear: they are reaching out to booksellers in order to seek footing in other than strictly academic markets. However, as we see in the following examples, their books are primarily products of scholarly research. By placing scholarly research in the context of advertisements in this magazine, scholarly publishers are attempting to reach the potentially larger book-buying market of book retailers. An examination of their advertising strategies again reveals little difference in form from commercial publishers. If we compare the following ads from the August 1998 issue of Publishers Weekly it is clear that there is little difference between the university press advertisements and the commercial press advertisements. The August issue of Publisher Weekly is particularly significant in the book selling industry for the fall season is the biggest season of the year. If one is going to advertise this is one way of staking out one's place in the market. As is obvious from the number of ads in this issue, many publishers, both commercial and scholarly, take advantage of this time and this medium. The layout, the images and the text, on first appearance, reveal that there is 184 little difference in the presentation of the books. One cannot easily distinguish the commercial from the scholarly books in form. If we compare the Cornell University Press (scholarly) ad with the Berrett-Koehler Publishers (commercial) ad we can see this similarity (figures 5.4 and 5.5). Both use the imagery of book design to capture the visual appeal of the reader. Cornell presents the attractive bird on the cover of the Bird-Finding Guide to Mexico: a general interest book that leads the non-academic retail book-buyer into the scholarly list without threat of esoteric alienation. As we see in the ad however, the books that fall in the list are a mixture of books of genuine general interest and scholarly monographs on topics that may appeal to a non-specialist readership. The layout of the books, as we see, is similar to the commercial advert: image, title, author, blurb, ISBN number, price. This ad provides all of the information required for the ordering of the book by book retailers. Also, more generally, this information alerts the reader of the ad to the existence of the press and the highlights of its fall list. This is very important as it is the first step in ensuring that the retail store book buyer, when later confronted with the catalogue (this is examined in detail below), opens it to see the full range of their seasonal and back list books. The ad structures the reader's perception of the press and its books through the inclusion/exclusion of particular books. Those books that are included in the ad attempt to reframe meaning for the consumer of those images such that the elements of the ad provide an ordered, albeit incomplete, perception of the publisher's seasonal list. In this case, the ads attempt to provide meaning for the non-specialist buyer of academic, university press published, books. The advertisements are structured to 186 CHIP R. lit 11 UKATHFK SHEA DANCE U Six Steps to Great Partnerships in Business and Life Chip R. 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August, $17.95, Trade paper 1 576 75-04 9 3. 300pp, 6 I'S x 9 14 Also available this Fall THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER Standing Up To and For Our Leaders InChaleff September, $17.95, Trade paper, 1-57675-036-1, 2l2pp, 6 if x 9 ut EFFECTIVE TRAINING STRATEGIES A Comprehensive Guide to Maximizing Learning in Organizations limes B Dark ind Adelaide R. Davis October, J49.95X, Clorii, I-S7S75-037-X, 442pp, 6 lit x 9 IM THE NEW MANAGEMENT Bringing Democracy and Markets Inside Organizations William £- Halal August, S/9.95. Trade paper, 1 57675-032-9, 304pp. <HI>H PREFERRED RJTURWG Envision the Future You Want and i'nleash the Energy to Get There Lawrence L_ t.tppitl October, $24.95, Trade paper. Figure 5.5. Berrett Kohler Publishers Ad, Publisher's Weekly September 1998 187 communicate and appeal to a newer, more generalized, non-academic market. The other ads included reveal much the same logic in their structure. Blackwell's, for example, a commercial scholarly press, proudly announces in bold letters that its new fall list is 'Bringing Books to New Heights'. Upon closer examination of the titles we see that all, although not necessarily monographs (many are textbooks), are definitely academic in their content: A Brief History of Western Philosophy, The Stanley Fish Reader, What is Social Theory?, A Social History of the Labouring Classes. These titles indicate academic content but also reveal that the intended audience is directed toward a non-specialist readership. Many of the books included are Readers and Introductions to various areas of academic specialization - e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, post-colonialism. In this ad and others, we see how scholarly publishers in the medium of magazine advertising are promoting products that appeal to a larger market sensibility. Textbooks, general interest books, and academic titles with a general interest sensibility (e.g. see figure 5.6 below - From Barbie to Mortal Combat, Terrorism in America, from The MIT Press), are all presented to the reader of the ad, the retail book buyer, hoping to break down the traditional market barriers of university presses and the specialist scholarly monograph. University press publishers in these examples, much like the strategy of Routledge discussed above, are looking to make the world of scholarship meaningful for non-academics through the structured use of signs. These signs are an attempt to bridge the world of academia to the general book buyer. As discussed in the previous chapter, although university presses are not-for-profit, they do rely on the success of titles that are THE FUTURE OF THE ELECTRONIC MARKETPLACE edited by Derek Leebaert Trie electronic marketplace is a global one. and it's changing every aspect of the consumer-vendor relationship. 12209-X September 392 pp.. 21 illus. $35 REMEDIATION Understanding New Media Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin A new framework for considering now all media constantly borrow from and refashion other media. 02492-7 December 256 pp.. 88 Illus.. 22 color $27.50 REASON ENOUGH TO HOPE America and the World of the Twenty-first Century Philip Morrison and Kosta Tsipis Two eminent scientists offer a global approach to issues of security and development 13344-X November 288 pp. S25 ENERGIES An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization Vaclav Smil An enlightening survey of the manifold forms of energy that shape our world. 19410- 4 December 256 pp.. 300 illus. $25 INFORMATION DESIGN edited by Robert Jacobson A guide to the new field of designing information for electronic delivery. 10069 X December 354 pp., 73 illus. S35 INVESTMENT INTELLIGENCE FROM INSIDER TRADING H. Nejat Seyhun Learn how to profit from information about insider trading. 19411- 2 November 256 pp.. 24 illus. $29.95 WILD SOUTH AFRICA Alan G. Mountain A photographic Journey through the wilderness areas and national parks of South Africa. 13347-4 October 208 pp.. 400 color illus. $40 THE INVISIBLE COMPUTER Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution Donald 4. Norman Challenges the PC industry to produce information appliances that are convenient and easy to use. 14065-9 October 340 pp.. 28 illus. $25 AT THE WEIGHTLESS WORLD Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy Diane Coyle A call to develop a new politics for the age of the digital economy, when currency and goods literally have no weight. 03259-7 October 272 pp. $25 CONFESSIONS OF A MEDICINE MAN An Essay In Popular Philosophy Alfred I. Tauber "[A] welcomed voice, almost a lyrical cry in the wilderness for a genuine, caring approach to understanding the physician-patient relationship.* — Herman J. Saatkamp. Jr., Texas AAM University 20114-3 December 160 pp. $25 ARCHITECTURE AND MODERNITY A Critique Wide Heynen Bridges the gap between the history and theory of twentieth-century architecture and cultural theories of modernity. 082640 November 240 pp.. 103 illus. $35 THE ARCHITECTURE OF RED VIENNA, 1919-1934 Eve fflau An ambitious communal building campaign at the center of an early twentiethoentury program of radical socialist reform. 02451-9 December 500 pp.. 299 illus.. 27 color $50 ANYHOW edited by Cynthia Davidson Architects, artists, and intellectuals address the "how" of architecture. 540959 September 272 pp.. 120 illus. $35 paper CRITICAL VEHICLES Writings. Projects. Interviews Krr/SMf HodiCIko The writings of a contemporary avant-garde anist and designer who combines artistic mastery with a conviction that public spaces should be truly public. 73122-3 December 200 pp.. 100 illus. $25 paper THE FAVORED CIRCLE The Social Foundations of Architectural Distinction Garry Sfevens A look at che field of architecture written by an outsider who demystifies the mechanics of fame and fortune. 19408-2 November 228 pp.. 45 illus. $30 CARAVAGGIO'S SECRETS Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit An original, psychoanalytic look at the enigmatic portraits and subliminal message of painter . Michelangelo Caravaggio. '"02449-7 October . .. 140 pp.. 26 illus.. 8 color $2S A HISTORY "" OF MODERN COMPUTING Paul Ceruzzi From the first digital computer to the Web: a story of Individuals, institutions, and the forces that led to a series of dramatic transformations. 03255-4 November 408 pp.. 51 illus. $40 JULIEN LEVY Portrait of an Art Gallery edited by Ingrid Schaffner and Lisa Jacobs Recollections and numerous reproductions tell the story of a twentieth-century art dealer and impresario who played an essential role in bringing the avant-garde to New York. WOMEN IN DADA Essays on Sex, Gender, and Identity ed/'fed by Naomi Sanelson-Gorse Finally, a 'ook at the role of women m the shaping of the high-spirrted—but hardly feminist—Oada movement. 194090 Januan/ 448 pp.. 85 illus. $45 TALKING VISIONS Multicultural Feminism In a Transnational Age edited by Ella Shohat A mutuvoiced collection of essays and images grounded in a relational feminism of diverse communities. 692058 November 304 pp.. 66 illus. $30 paper CONVERSATIONS AT THE CASTLE Changing Audiences and Contemporary Art edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Michael Brenson Who Is contemporary art for? Artists, curators, and the public seek fresh answers to this troubling question. 10072-X September 176 pp.. 110 illus.. 80 color $25 FROM BARBIE TO MORTAL KOMBAT Gender and Computer Games edited by Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins Girls, computer games, and the movement to overcome the stereotyping that dominates the toy aisles. 0325&9 December 300 pp.. 57 illus.. 26 color $35 SCENES IN A LIBRARY Reading the Photograi in the Book, 1843-187 Carol Armstrong An exploration of the hisiorl moment when the photogra image became wedded to "j printed page. 01169-7 November 572 pp.. 143 illus. $40 REALITY TRANSFORMED -Film as Meaning and Technique Irving Singer "Singer's argument is extn well structured, elegantly .' written, and compelling." — Richard Allen. Tisch Set the Arts, New York Unlven 19403-1 September 180 « TERRORISM AND AMERICA A Commonsense Stra for a Democratic Soc Philip B. Heymann 1 'Few individuals can brine Heymann's combination q legal scholarship and prat; policy experience to the "i subject.' — John Deutch, Director of Central Intelllgi and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense 08272-1 September 180 ( THE MIND WITHIN THE NET Models of Learning, Thinking, and Acting Manfred Spitzer A highly readable, non-mathematical introductior to neural networks—com] models that help us to understand how we perce think, feel, and act. 19406-6 October 320 pp.. 107 illus. S27.SC THE SPRINGBOAI IN THE POND An Intimate History of the Swimming Pr> Thomas A. P. van Leeu\ "A veritable encyclopedia modernism In all its pha: as it affected every socif-this book will become a i — Anthony Vidler. authoi The Architectural Uncanr 22059-8 December 304 ' 210 illus.. 28 color $40 19412-0 September 160 pp.. 50 illus.. 20 color $25 THE POWER OF DISPLAY A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modem Art Mary Anne Staniszewski A history of exhibitions at New York's Museum of Modem Art that offers a groundbreaking examination of the ideological messages conveyed by how artworks are displayed. 19402-3 December 400 pp.. 204 illus. $45 Figure 5.6. The M.I.T. Press Ad, Publisher's Weekly, September 1998 189 financially successful in order to support the monographs that do not bring in the required revenues. What this means in terms of economic capital, however, is that every university press, to varying degrees, is dependent upon a portion of their lists being commercially successful - they depend upon a certain amount of titles being commercially successful in order to stay afloat. Advertising in magazines, both academic and trade, is one strategy for ensuring visibility of those books that are perceived by the press to appeal to consumers and possess the potential for commercial success in the larger marketplace. In this way, the marketing strategy differs little from commercial publishers and is to the same end - to present in an appealing manner their books to the buying public through advertising and sell as many copies of a book as possible in order to bring in enough capital to support the running of the press. In this way, the market and strategies of consumer culture have a clear and definite impact on the contemporary form of scholarly publishing. Of course, books that sell more allow for a greater influx of capital and therefore, given the non-profit status of a university press, a greater economic potential to invest more money in marketing and exposure for the press. Economic capital invested in marketing and advertising works in this way to help distinguish one university press from another through greater visibility in the book-buying marketplace. On this level it is also clear how the accumulation of capital operates to distinguish one scholarly publisher from another: the greater the capital, the greater the potential for market visibility, the greater the potential to sell books. Visibility and market positioning are among the strategies of signification used to appeal to the larger marketplace of retail book buyers and is an obvious strategy among all of the larger 'prestigious' university presses such as Harvard, 190 Princeton, Chicago and Stanford. This can only be achieved through marketing, advertising and promotions - all of which are foundational aspects of the economy of signs inherent to the logic of the commodity form in consumer culture. 191 6 The Academic Commodity and the Sign of Cultural Capital The advent of magazines and advertising in academic fields clearly demonstrates a link between scholarly publishing and the signs at work for commodities in consumer culture. The logic behind the academic commodity governs the basic commercial strategies by which scholarly publishers attract new, broader markets for their product and maximize the sales potential of their books. It is a logic of recognition through sign value. However, we also witness at the interface of scholarly publishing with consumer culture a more sophisticated strategy is embedded in the system of signs that circulate around scholarly publishers and their books. Here an attempt is made to frame the meaning of the knowledge contained in scholarly books by communicating the position and rank of the authors, the books and the press itself. That is, cultural capital is employed by scholarly publishers as a communicator of social rank that hierarchically differentiates and distinguishes academic commodities. Where the employment of sign value by scholarly publishers as a strategy of recognition reveals a connection with the greater marketing mechanisms embedded in consumer culture, their use of cultural capital reveals yet another level of the academic economy. On the one hand we have the economic surplus of scholarly product that directly contributes to capital (scholarly journals, scholarly books, venture capital). The extension of this relationship of economic capital to scholarly product is the culture of consumption that is employed to frame and ultimately sell scholarly knowledge (the use of advertising by university press publishers). Both of these mechanisms can be 192 viewed as necessary components within the greater context of contemporary consumer capitalism. However, neither economic capital nor the cultural manifestation of sign value fully demonstrate the extent to which the logic of capital penetrates or is synonymous with the academic sphere. Although some venture capitalists may make their fortunes off the backs of academic labour, this is not yet to say that academics conduct their knowledge work for economic gain nor that academics have fully internalized the values of the economic sphere. So far in this investigation economic forces appear to still exist outside of scholarly practice. However, if we examine the employment of cultural capital in academic production, we begin to see how capital operates more generally as a logic of social practice. While cultural capital may not appear as capital insofar as it does not immediately generate financial gain, it is used in the academic sphere through scholarly publishing and authorship to secure a symbolic profit that has an economic convertibility. Again, in contrast to liberal academic ideology, we see through this analysis how academic knowledge is used as a form of capital. Understanding the function of cultural capital for scholarly practice demonstrates how academic value is potentially synonymous with economic value. Below I continue my analysis of the circulation of the academic commodity - scholarly knowledge in book form - in consumer culture. Through an examination of the need for scholarly publishers to distinguish themselves as well as their products in an increasingly competitive book selling marketplace, I demonstrate how it is not enough for publishers simply to utilize the sign value mechanisms of advertising and marketing for the sale of academic product but what is also required is the communication of academic distinction for the sale of scholarly knowledge. Here the academic commodity is not simply 193 subject to the systems of signification in consumer culture but rather the academic commodity also contributes to its own sign value through the application of the internal ranking system of academe and academic values to the commodity-sign. The academic commodity in this respect does not achieve its full value through the mass-market mechanisms of marketing but rather the value of the academic commodity is determined through internally defined forms of cultural capital. In scholarly publishing academic value as cultural capital is utilized as a strategy to distinguish academic product from 'mass' market knowledge. Despite its seeming distance from 'mass' culture the ultimate goal of cultural capital is still the sale of scholarly knowledge. As I demonstrate in examining the inclusion of cultural capital into the equation of the academic commodity, the value of the academic commodity is neither strictly externally defined through the mechanisms of capital nor is it internally defined through the scholarly knowledge required to properly evaluate its scholarly value. Rather, capital exists as a logic that transcends all social spheres, making the claim to autonomy of scholarly values difficult if not altogether impossible. As knowledge, the employment of cultural capital in scholarly production ultimately demonstrates that even the most liberal of scholarly pursuits can be understood in terms of capital. 6.1 Cultural Capital: Knowledge as Capital Among the most developed theories of cultural capital is Pierre Bourdieu's theory of cultural production. Bourdieu contends that the economy is not the home of capital that can be isolated from other social spheres but rather one of many sites where capital as a logic of social practice is evident. For Bourdieu capital exists as a greater social logic that informs all social practice: it exists culturally as 194 the institution of symbolic power that may or may not be converted into economic capital. Capital is not strictly an economic phenomenon but rather occupies several levels of the social strata, moving between them with some fluidity or 'convertibility' (Bourdieu 1986). Consistent with Marx, Bourdieu defines capital as 'accumulated labour which, when appropriated on a private, i.e., exclusive, basis by agents or groups of agents, enables them to appropriate social energy in the form of reified or living labour' (Bourdieu 1986:241). Labour in its accumulated form is the foundation of capital. Capital is 'inscribed in the objectivity of things so that everything is not equally possible or impossible' (Bourdieu 1986:241-42). Rather than being a strictly economic activity, capital informs not only the economic realm but in fact the logic that underlies all social exchange: 'it represents the immanent structure of the social world, i.e., the set of constraints, inscribed in the very reality of that world, which govern its functioning in a durable way determining the chances of success for practices' (Bourdieu 1986:242). Capital, as the description of the field of unequal access to social resources for the acquisition of social power, determines to a large extent one's success in the social world. It is not simply the accumulation of economic capital that provides one with social power but rather that power can be accrued in the accumulation of many forms of social capital. The social and symbolic power of monetary accumulation does not exist without the greater support of cultural practices and their overall contribution to capital. For Bourdieu the mutual dependence of the economy and culture is perfectly clear: The class of practices whose explicit purpose is to maximize monetary profit cannot be defined as such without producing the purposeless finality of cultural or artistic practices and their products; the world of bourgeois man with his double entry accounting, cannot be invented without producing the pure, perfect universe of the artist and 195 the intellectual and the gratuitous activities of art for art's sake and pure theory (Bourdieu 1986:242). This notion of capital shows its relevance for understanding scholarly practices when the liberal practice of accumulation of knowledge - 'knowledge for knowledge's sake' - is examined in light of knowledge's differing access to social power. As with economic capital, cultural capital is based upon unequal access to resources, in this case knowledge, where those who acquire the potential for profit are often those who secure a position of symbolic power in the cultural field. Bourdieu uses a specific example from the field of education to demonstrate this point. Although success in education is based to some degree upon natural aptitudes, economists have shown that the amount of monetary investment into education also contributes to the success rate of the student (Bourdieu 1986:243). Here we see the economic class relation of social power in education: if one can afford 'good' private schools, then one maximizes the student's potential for success. However, this relation of direct economic capital does not alone fully account for success as it does not consider the extra-economic social factor of cultural investment and the conversion of this into economic capital. Cultural capital is essential for educational success, as well for social success generally, insofar as it provides the cultural antecedents for the accumulation of profit. In education for example, the cultural education of the bourgeoisie begins long before a formal education, and establishes through cultivation the cultural requirements for the ruling class. This form of capital, which for Bourdieu is at first an embodied capital, is transmitted by the social class into which one is socialized and 'it always remains marked by its earliest conditions of acquisition, which through the more or less 196 visible marks they leave (such as pronunciations characteristic of a class or region) help to determine its distinctive value' (Bourdieu 1986:245). Like the relative scarcity of economic capital, cultural capital acquires its distinction, and hence its social power, by its rather limited distribution. In this way, upper class skills that are culturally acquired through the devotion of time and patience (e.g. manners) are limited to members of the working classes who cannot afford the luxury of time it requires to accrue such cultural capital: 'It can immediately be seen that the link between economic and cultural capital is established through the mediation of the time needed for its acquisition' (Bourdieu 1986:246). Labour plays an important role in acquiring cultural capital for it not only establishes class relations but it also materially prefigures the potential for its acquisition. As such the resources for its acquisition are materially limited, thus leading to the necessity of scarcity for the reproduction of social power and capital: . . . the relationship of appropriation between an agent and the resources objectively available, and hence the profits they produce, is mediated by the relationship of competition between himself and the other possessors of capital competing for the same goods, in which scarcity - and through it social value - is generated. The structure of the field, i.e., the unequal distribution of capital, is the source of the specific effects of capital, i.e., the appropriation of profits and the power to impose the laws of functioning of the field most favorable to capital and its reproduction (Bourdieu 1986:246). For Bourdieu, the acquisition of cultural capital and its subsequent social and symbolic power is strongly rooted in the acquisition of particular forms of knowledge that are linked to social power. Both power and knowledge are valuable because they are relatively scarce. Of course, education plays a determining role where the knowledge one acquires at various levels of schooling is ordered according to its scarcity and thus its rank in the social hierarchy (high school diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees). As I 197 demonstrate below the scarcity of knowledge through limited acquisition (as in a resource such as 'pure' theory) is an extremely important factor in determining the cultural authority of academics and the hierarchical relations within the academy: to some extent the scarcity of knowledge determines academic value (e.g. as seen in the hierarchy of liberal academe versus 'mass' society). This scarcity then plays a role in the value of knowledge and the subsequent exchange value of the academic commodity in the marketplace. The acquisition of knowledge accrues symbolic profit and power in part through the symbols it accrues such as degrees, publications, personal and institutional affiliations and various other signs of intellectual distinction. Knowledge, in this way, is cultural capital as it acts to secure its holder a symbolic position of social prestige that may or may not be converted into economic capital (Bourdieu 1986:248). The social power of knowledge comes in the form of one's position in social relations as a result of such acquisition, e.g., the status of a physician in a medical situation. However, it is the unequal access to knowledge that establishes the scarcity for accumulation and hence the symbolic power gained through cultural capital. Academic authority is based upon such unequal access to knowledge and the objects of distinction that give it its symbolic, social and cultural power. Through cultural capital we see how revered cultural objects (e.g. peer-reviewed publications, monographs) bring with them social status and academic power through their relative scarcity and, as such, mirror the relations of capital. In this way publishing establishes the foundation for academic capital as it provides the objects of distinction (articles, books) that may or may not be converted into economic capital. Scholarly publishers as distributors are one step removed from knowledge production. However, 198 they directly utilize the cultural capital of academe (status based upon knowledge acquisition) in order to draw attention to scholarly books and hence enhance the distinction of their products and the press. For scholarly publishers cultural capital has a direct convertibility into economic capital through book sales. Cultural capital based upon the 'internal' ranking system of academe contributes to the sale of academic commodities. Seen in this light academic value (accumulation of knowledge as demonstrated through an active career of scholarly publishing) appears as a constitutive component of the academic commodity. 6.2 Cataloguing Capital If we return to an analysis of scholarly publishing to examine the role of cultural capital in the constitution of the academic commodity, we see how knowledge plays a role in the distinction of university presses and subsequently for the sale of scholarly monographs. For example, upon examination of university press publishers' catalogues it is obvious that every attempt is made to connect the press with as wide a public as possible. However in order to reach this market, through the catalogue every publisher must differentiate and distinguish itself from other presses such that its books are chosen by retail book-buyers over the books from other publishers. The content of a book alone cannot accomplish such recognition given the enormous variety of books buyers are faced with in a given season: during a busy book-buying season a retail book-buyer can be faced with up to and possibly over one-hundred catalogues (there are over 100 members of the AAUP alone), each containing hundreds of book titles. The goal of catalogues for publishers is to draw the attention of a retail book-buyer who knows little of the new books published by a press other than what is 199 communicated to them through the catalogue. Here the catalogue serves the basic yet essential function of communicating the position of the press, distinguishing and differentiating the press in relation to others, and simplifying the contents of the books such that a purchasing decision can be made by retail book-buyers without the immensely daunting and impossible task of reading the books themselves. In the catalogue we see that signs stand in for or represent the contents of the press, its authors, its books and its scholarly lists. As these signs are ordered according to the knowledge required for their interpretation, cultural capital is employed by scholarly publishers to sell their books. If we begin with the cover of the catalogue itself, we already see how efforts are in place here to visually appeal to the book-buyer through the use of images. Since the reader of catalogues is typically the retail book merchant, the cover design of catalogues display an attempt to communicate the position of the press in relation to other presses as well as establish its product line. Much like other products in consumer culture, university presses are engaged in the practice of signification•that attempts to differentiate its products from competing products in the marketplace. The differences are established through a presses' ability to attach signs to itself that are unlike the signs associated with any other press. Through signification comes difference; through difference comes distinction; through distinction comes cultural capital with the potential for conversion to economic capital. In order to compete in the competitive environment of university press publishing, smaller university presses have taken to the publishing of regional issues as a way of differentiating and distinguishing their lists from other university presses. As we see with the Universities of British Columbia and Washington Presses, 201 Figure 6.2 University of British Columbia Press Catalogue, Fall 1998 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRESS SPRING AND SUMMER BOOKS V Figure 6.3. University of Texas Press Catalogue, Spring/Summer 1998 203 204 catalogue cover art is a way of visually reinforcing such connections in the eyes and mind of the consumer. Compare, for example, the catalogue covers of UBC Press, McGill-Queen's Press, University of Texas Press and The University of Chicago Press (figures 6.1 - 6.4). Although each catalogue is in itself visually appealing, each press is attempting to communicate a different message about itself and its product line through the images that adorn the catalogue cover. Each press, except for the University of Chicago Press as I discuss below, has chosen a cover illustration that visually connects the press to a region on which it is known to publish books. UBC Press displays a photograph on the cover of its catalogue published in a book for that season: Gamblers and Dreamers: Women, Men and Community in the Klondike. McGill-Queen's displays the cover from their book from that season: Images of Justice, a book about the evolution of the justice system in the Canadian Arctic. The University of Texas shows a beautiful photograph from its publication of a book of photographs from the desert by photographer Bill Wright titled: Portraits from the Desert: Bill Wright's Big Bend. All of these catalogue covers communicate the connection of each press to the publication of regional issues that form its areas of specialization in an attempt to distinguish themselves from each other for the retail book-buyer. Region, as symbolically demonstrated, differentiates each press from one another - UBC Press typically does not publish books on the Mexican-American desert, University of Texas Press typically does not publish books on the Canadian north. In this respect, images act as signs communicating to the viewer a message about the press and its publications. In these cases, the message is simple in that attempts to differentiate and distinguish each press from each other through their connection to and emphasis on specific regions. Images 205 act as signs that establish the differences between publishers in the simple equation: different regions = different publishers. In this way each element differentially relates to the others, giving us the signs that begin to comprise the system of signification for the circulation of scholarly books in consumer culture. Here we see the differences established between publishers through imagery but we do not yet see the cultural hierarchy that comprises the system of objects ordered by cultural capital. The use of images to establish difference and distinction is a fundamental aspect of consumer culture as they give meaning to producers and products that are otherwise undifferentiated and unknown to consumers. Images invite the consumer to participate in the creation of meaning of particular products by providing the elements of meaning that are then connected by the consumer: 'The metaphors of symbol, image and icon work by analogy and allusion; they refer beyond themselves to something else; they invite comparison between two things which appear to be dissimilar but which, they suggest, have a shared meaning' (Leiss, Kline and Jhally 1990:289). The images on the cover of catalogues function in an identical manner, presenting two signs (a university press and a region) that are perhaps at first unrelated in the eyes of the consumer but then associated by the viewer to construct a third term that connects the two in a new meaning. In this respect, images act not only to differentiate presses from each other but also operate to give meaning to the press that previously may not have existed for the consumer. Images are powerful tools of communication as advertisers and scholarly publishers are keenly aware. They operate on a symbolic level by unleashing the potential of signs to redescribe reality, or, at least to create new associations between previously unrelated terms. This symbolic construction is an essential component 206 of any commodity in consumer culture of which university press publishers take full advantage. However, these images are not neutral but rather convey a cultural hierarchy ordered by cultural capital as we see when comparing these images with that of the University of Chicago Press. The University of Chicago Press catalogue cover examined here communicates something different from the above 'regional' presses. Although it uses images on the cover of its catalogue to differentiate and distinguish itself to the retail book buyer, unlike the presses above it does not publish substantially in regional issues but rather focuses on many aspects of North American scholarship and culture. Rather than compete with the regionally focused university presses, the University of Chicago Press attempts to differentiate and distinguish itself along the broader lines of 'culture'. That is, it attempts to differentiate itself by symbolically elevating its status in relation to other 'regional' presses through the hierarchical placement and association of images that convey a particular standing within scholarly publishing and culture more generally. If we take, for example, the catalogue cover from spring 1996 (figure 6.4), we see the cover design from a book by Paul Rabinow titled: Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology. There are several interesting aspects about the cover that reveal the presses' deployment of cultural capital and its attempt to communicate a message about itself through images and a knowledge of the cultural position of those images. As we learn from opening the catalogue, the cover itself is taken from a painting titled: The Return of Jonah by John Wehrle that hangs in the laboratory at Cetus Corporation. The use of this painting not only visually distinguishes the press, its catalogue and subsequently its publica