Curating the Canon: Editorial Decision-Making, Bias and Privilege in Publishing

Journal article


Barker, David 2021. Curating the Canon: Editorial Decision-Making, Bias and Privilege in Publishing. Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change. 6 (1), pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.20897/jcasc/11118
AuthorsBarker, David
Abstract

In September 2003, the independent publishing house Continuum launched a book series under the banner of “33 1/3”. These were, in the publisher's own promotional literature, “short books about classic albums”. But who decides what constitutes a classic album, and who decides which authors should write such books? Using an autoethnographic approach to analyse the curatorial thinking and strategy behind this book series,
and through close analysis of the online discourse around it, the article innovates by exploring the commercial and curatorial practice of one publishing imprint in the first decade of the 2000s. By focusing closely on the work of one editor and drawing on primary data concerning book proposals that were accepted or rejected as well as reader reactions to those decisions, I illustrate how decisions are made and
how editorial bias might impact the authorial voices that publishers choose to amplify. Finally, the article examines curatorial practice in publishing in light of more recent discussions of inequalities and imbalances of power (along both gender and ethnic lines) in the industry.

Keywordspublishing; ethics; taste; bias
Year2021
JournalJournal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change
Journal citation6 (1), pp. 1-15
PublisherLectito Journals
ISSN2589-1316
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.20897/jcasc/11118
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.20897/jcasc/11118
hdl:10545/625915
Output statusPublished
Publication dates31 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Aug 2021, 14:35
AcceptedJun 2021
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/93zz6/curating-the-canon-editorial-decision-making-bias-and-privilege-in-publishing

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