Reviving the Festschrift on the Web -- innovations in scholarly circulation


The Wikipedia informs us that: "In academia, a Festschrift (German pronunciation: [ˈfɛstʃʁɪft]; plural, Festschriften, [ˈfɛstʃrɪftən]) or Festschrifts, is a book honoring a respected person, especially an academic, and presented during his or her lifetime. The term, borrowed from German, could be translated as celebration publication or celebratory (piece of) writing (literally: party writing). A comparable book presented posthumously is called a Gedenkschrift (memorial publication).... Increasingly, Festschriften are being compiled and published by electronic means.[citation needed] An electronic Festschrift is often called a Webfestschrift (pronounced either [vɛp-] or [wɛb-])."

Scholarly publishers increasingly find it difficult to accommodate the festschrift among their publication projects. The Web is a fine venue in which to continue this meaningful tradition, and a degree of anarchic production can be valued properly as well, a feminist do-it-yourself sense of serious play.

Two projects are likely to commence here.

Donna Haraway is scheduled to retire from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and from the Department of the History of Consciousness Fall 2010. A Festschrift in honor of her retirement has been in production for a while, and can find a home here.

Susan Leigh Star died unexpectedly Spring 2010. Already several memorial projects, on the web and in various publication venues are in motion. They can be linked here in a version of a Gedenkschrift.


Party writing for Donna Haraway, click here!

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