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Open Access Undoing scholarship: Towards an activist genealogy of the OA movement

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.


In this article, I argue to open out from critical strands within the Open Access (OA) movement, to propose a genealogy that embraces the activism of feminist, queer, anti-colonial, anti-racist, and labour movements active since the 1980s. By discussing contemporary forms of feminist and intersectional approaches to OA publishing against a background of grassroots activism since the 1980s, I aim to open out from the engagement of ‘concerned academics’ towards those activists who share a politics of struggle against capitalist, colonialist, and patriarchal domination ‐ across epistemological, disciplinary, and geographical boundaries. With this, I seek to tentatively articulate an approach to academic OA publishing in which academic and activist work is not perceived as something divided but as something that embodies different aspects of the same praxis online and offline.

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Keywords: OA histories; OA publishing; activism and academia; feminist scholarship; intersectional knowledge practices; openness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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