All posts by Patrick Flack

Progress Report

It’s been 3-months since my last post, in great part because we have been very busy behind the scenes. As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve rolled out our very own content management software, “MOM”. Now that we are in full control of our back-end, we’ve been able to add a lot of references to the database (we’re up to a 1000, including the full bibliography of Hendrik Pos, and with Jakobson’s on its way) and have started implementing some of the nifty features which will hopefully make sdvig a very user-friendly platform.  For example, it is now possible to quickly find all the translations and other editions of a given text.

We are a bit behind schedule with the Digitise! programme, as the implementation of MOM took us more time  than we thought. And we still need to fine-tune the management of users. We’d like to have something solid in place before opening up registrations to avoid mayhem and discourage potential contributors. We’re hoping that everything will be ready before Spring. In the meantime, we have got the Max Scheler Society on board and will be discussing publishing issues next April in Prague at their next meeting. We hope we can take advantage of the digitisation effort on the platform to also move forward with the publication of his unpublished materials.

As regard to the scientific side of things, we have all sorts of exciting plans and ideas, fueled in part by the untiring Hans Rainer Sepp. Michal Mrugalski has made excellent progress in putting together an impressive board for his series Teoria on Polish Thought, and Janette Friedrich is doing likewise for her series on the history of psychology. The board for the structuralist series I run is now complete and work will begin very soon on planning the contours of the series. On top of all this historically oriented work, we’re considering adding a more reflexive series on the concept of Europe itself. The whole sdvig project is indeed “ideological” informed by a certain conception of Europe as a unified space marked by discontinuities and ruptures which it might be fruitful to question and refine. Just as the realisation of a digital research platform such as sdvig can become an object of studies from the perspectives of the Digital Humanities, so can (and should) its ideological or programmatic underpinning.

Slightly embarassingly, our editorial plan for the year has yet to materialise. We hope that our re-edition of Sievers’ Rhythmisch-melodische Studien will be ready around Easter. Pos’s Zur Logik der Sprachwissenschaft will be next, as should the first volume of Marty’s Complete Works. To be honest, the publication of the print editions is not a top priority at the moment, as it is much more important for the short-term developement of the project to get the IT infrastructure ready.

Crucially to us and least interestingly to everybody else, we’re ramping up the financial side of things. The project is now officially out of its pilot phase and I believe it is sufficiently mature to apply for serious funding. We’ll be starting by looking around in Switzerland (SNF, as well as other public and private foundations) and might give the EU a try if paperwork is not too daunting.

Digitise!

digitiseWe are pre-launching a crowdsourcing initiative to scan, OCR, clean and proofread large corpuses of texts from the Humanities and the Social Sciences. We hope to get YOU – whether student, scholar, professor (active or retired) or enthusiastic layman – to help us with this huge but essential task. We are kicking off the project with a small pilot: our first objective is to digitise the complete works of the great phenomenologist Max Scheler. If successful, the next target will be the digitisation of the full corpus of early phenomenology. Learn more and join the project!

What’s this all about?

One of the first and biggest tasks facing sdvig press is the digitisation in a very high, error-free quality of very significant amounts of texts. Even with performant OCR software, it takes us about 30 hours to obtain a fully satisfying digitised version of a monograph (250-300 pages). At this rate, it will take years if not decades to digitise a satisfactory number of texts, even if we find the money to pay some poor souls to do this full time. If, on the other hand, we can mobilise several hundreds of volunteers to give us a helping hand, we could have full corpuses ready by the end of 2014!

Aren’t Google and the DPLA already doing this?

Yes, impressive digitisation efforts are being undertaken by Google, the DPLA and libraries such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Austrian National Library, etc. As such we will probably initiate collaborations with some of these partners in the future. At this point in time, though, none of them offers a satisfactory answer to our digitisation needs, mainly for the following reasons:

–  They often do not allow free use or access to their texts

–  Their digitised texts have not been cleaned and are  full of errors

–  Many of the texts most relevant to us have not been digitised

Why should you get involved?

As a student or a researcher, have you ever spent hours scanning or copying a book that you weren‘t allowed to borrow from the university library? Spent days trying to find a reference you forgot to note down properly? Spent weeks waiting for the single copy of a book to become available again? Have to pay to get a book shipped from a library at the other end of the country? Well, all these inconveniences will be a thing of the past once all or most of the texts relevant to your field of study have been digitised. You won’t even need to go the library, they will all be at hand on your PC or your mobile phone. Give us ten hours of your time, we’ll save you hundreds!

Why should you help sdvig press?

sdvig press will guarantee contractually that all the texts digitised through its Digitise! initiative will be made fully available in open access on its platform before they are exploited in any other way.  Even better, we will license the digitised texts under CC-BY at the latest 2 years after their publication on our website, meaning they will be freely available and exploitable by anybody. That 2 year delay, by the way, is not meant to restrict access, but to give us time to prepare commented print editions. Best of all, we are developping software to enable advance search, dynamic visualisations and text-mining on the digitised texts. In other words, you should help us because we are doing this for you!

How will it work?

Simple. First you must register on the sdvig press website (registrations are not open at this time). This will give you access to a list of titles that we will have prepared (broken down into single chapters or articles). By clicking on the titles, you will be able to download or upload a document and perform actions such as scanning, cleaning OCR or proofreading a cleaned copy. Once all the subparts of a text have been scanned, cleaned and proofread, we’ll put it up on the sdvig website. Still confused? We’ll explain the detailled workflows and have someone on hand  to help when the project starts in earnest!

How do you join?

You can’t officially register yet, but you can obtain regular information and already show your support for the initiative by following Digitise! on Twitter (@sdvigdigitise). We’ll let you know as soon as we launch the pilot.

Share the word!

Before the pilot even gets going we are looking to gather support both to test the waters and to have as many people as possible on board when we start. We are also applying for grants, so your support is more than welcome! Get the word out by sharing our Facebook page and tweeting about us!

 

Any other questions? Write to us at digitise@sdvigpress.org on Twitter @sdvigpress.

Credentials and our new editorial board

One of the key challenges of a new project such as sdvig press is of course obtaining academic credentials. It is all very well to design a nice logo, think of a name, publish a few books and make them available online. If the quality of the books is up to standards and we maintain a certain production over a number of years, we might even accrue a certain amount of name recognition and respect. But in order to get initial funding and to really get the project going, it is also paramount to demonstrate the project’s legitimacy and seriousness immediately.

The most obvious way of quickly demonstrating that we are not just a vanity press reprinting some public domain stuff (I am surprised at how many of the texts we are intending to re-issue have already been reprinted and are available from huge, miscellaneous catalogues, often at not especially cheap prices) – is to have recourse to the trusted institution of the editorial board. The prime reason for establishing an editorial board for each of our series is of course to obtain crucial advice and guidance, and make sure the books are indeed up to the quality we want them to be. But at the same time getting half a dozen of respected specialists to sign up and show support for each of our various series would mean obtaining a visible and immediate endorsement from the academic establishment.

Last week I therefore set about writing a few emails in order to put together the editorial board for our flagship “figures of structuralism” series. I have an existing network in that field, but I also wrote to a couple of people whom I have never met. The answer has been extremely quick and positive. We already have 6 board members from all over Europe:

Natalja Avtonomova of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a leading Russian philosopher and former colleague of Jacques Derrida at the Collège international de philosophie in Paris;

Tomáš Glanc of the Humboldt-University in Berlin, a highly respected expert on Jakobson and Central and Eastern European literary theory;

Tomáš Hoskovec, Masaryk University in Brno, the acting secretary of the Prague Linguistic Circle and a keen agitator for the cause of European structuralism

Mihhail Lotman of the University of Tartu, an international eminence in verse theory and semiotics, as well as, incidentally, the son of the great semiotician Jurij Lotman;

Michal Mrugalski, a Humboldt-scholar at the University of Tübingen with rare knowledge of Germano-Russo-Polish intellectual exchanges;

Michael Silverstein, University of Chicago, a former student of Roman Jakobson and a world-class theoretician of semiotics and linguistic anthropology;

Christian Puech of the Sorbonne in Paris, the man who has done most to further a broader historical understanding of structuralism in France;

Klaas Willems of the University of Ghent, a distinguished linguist with a very strong background in the epistemology of linguistics and philosophy of language.

Needless to say, I am much honored and absolutely excited at this response and am looking forward to editing the series even more than I was up to now. I am pretty confident we can get a similar response for our other series as well. In any case, this bodes very well for the future of sdvig press. The rapidity of the response to my solicitations leads me to think, moreover, that the sdvig press initiative is in fact responding to a latent need in the academic community for ambitious publishing ventures, and that the scholarly manpower, so to speak, is just waiting for the opportunity to collaborate.

It’s been a great Open Access week for us.

From « archives » to « figures »

You may have noticed that we have recently changed the name of one of our series from “archives of structuralism” to “figures of structuralism”. Along with the name, the whole concept behind the series has also been modified, a change that is very revealing of the possibilities offered by combining a large online database of texts with print series (and of the need for us at sdvig press to understand these possibilities as soon as possible)

Initially, our plan was to publish “everything” that was remotely relevant to structuralism in that series, hence its title of “archives”. Yes, this sounded slightly ambitious, would take time and we probably would have to wait for quite a few of the authors to go out of copyright. But we could start with Saussure, Trubeckoj, Brøndal, Tynjanov, and add all sorts of peripheral but important thinkers such as Pos, Paul, Marty, Koffka, Ehrenfels, Sievers, etc. This would be enough work to start with and provide a solid basis for the archives. Logistically it seemed, and still seems, absolutely feasible.

The problems however started almost immediately. After editing a collection of articles by Hendrik Pos (to be the first book in the series), I decided it would be good to re-issue his 1922 dissertation On the Logic of Linguistics. On the one hand, this text fitted perfectly in the concept of the archives, as it is a sort of echo of Saussure’s famous Cours de linguistique générale. On the other hand, however, it never quotes Saussure, its theme is more philosophy of language than linguistics and its gist is more neo-kantian than really structuralist. Later texts by Pos, I then reflected, are even less connected to structuralism and it would be in fact quite a stretch, indeed completely misleading, to include his whole work under the banner of structuralism. So should I include only part of Pos’s work in the structuralist series? Would I have to do the same with other authors? How to decide what to include and what to leave out? Wasn’t the concept of our broad, exhaustive archives defeated by this editorial cherry-picking?

Similar problems of editorial selection were raised moreover by the fact that we wish to publish the complete works of some authors (Marty for example). Should we publish some texts twice, once in the complete works, and once in the “archives of structuralism”? In the case of Marty, where only one or two texts would require this treatment, that might be possible. But what about with Tynjanov, or god forbid, Jakobson? Would it really be justified to have a double edition of 80% of their texts? Would that be fair and transparent with regard to the buyers of the books?

All of this, in a way, is nothing else than the typical problems of selection and redundancy any publisher or editor of a series will encounter. In the context of the sdvig project, the possible solutions to these problems however appear to be quite different. Indeed, regardless of the way in which we decide to publish the texts (as complete works, as thematic series, even as stand-alone books), we would still end up with an “archives” such as we had planned initially. The fact that all our books are available in an online database means that they exist there as a full archive. Moreover, the database can be structured so as to offer a selective access to the specific corpus of texts we deem relevant to structuralism. Additional search function can even allow the user some freedom to tweak the criteria and adjust the corpus to his own needs and conceptions.

As such, we discovered, we didn’t need a print series called “archives of structuralism” at all, in fact having such a series would be a hindrance, because it would allow less freedom online with the structure of the database. Instead, what was called for was a series that could serve as a curation tool, a sort of introduction or overview of a specific theme. Instead of stuffing every possible structuralist text into a mammoth and therefore somewhat pointless series, we could decide on a way to select some of these texts and highlight them, so as to create an immediately visible “map” of the field of structuralism.

That is when we changed the concept: instead of having everything in the series, we would have just one volume per author, with a selection of his most important “structuralist” texts. Luckily, that is exactly what I had done with Pos, so that book could stay. At one go, all the above problems were solved: we will still have a thematic series dedicated to structuralism, and we will still have our general archives. But we won’t have to force the complete works of some authors under the banner of structuralism, and we will only have to publish a very limited number of texts twice. What’s more, we’ll have a useful curation tool to structure our database and serve our aim of broadening the way people look at and understand structuralism. And best of all, this approach is replicable for our other thematic focuses and will even allow a productive criss-crossing between the different themes, at least on-line, thanks to the malleable structure of the database.

Why CC-BY is not for us, not for now

We are not members of the OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) yet, but as a self-proclaimed Open Access publishing platform we certainly hope to become one. As such, we will have to meet one of their key requirements, which is to have published at least one Open Access book with a license that allows the “broadest re-use of published material possible”. In essence, this means using the “CC-BY”-license, now also required by the United Kingdom funding bodies if they fund research, the European Union, and increasingly other funding bodies around the world.

Philosophically, I have nothing against CC-BY, quite to the contrary. I think it is a wonderful thing that published material be made as widely available as possible, and that the only condition for that is that my name or the name of my publisher be cited. I don’t particularly share the concerns as to some of the misuses CC-BY might lead to, in particular the bundling of free, original research into expensive unoriginal derivatives, such as collections of articles (such bundling can already be done with out-of-copyright materials – and it is a customer’s prerogative to find out what is the best offer for an identical product). I do not really buy the view put forward here by John Emerson that the Humanities’ integrity might be put more at risk by CC-BY than the raw data of the technical and natural sciences. People are freely rewriting, rewording and misinterpreting ideas all the time and I don’t really see what CC-BY changes to that. Finally, I also have if not blind, then definitely some faith that the main advocates of Open Access have thought this through and sized up the pros and cons before deciding in favour of CC-BY.

Having said all that, I am bothered by OASPA’s requirement and we will definitely not be applying CC-BY licences to our books to start with, and we might possibly not stick any CC licence on them at all, at least not on all of them and not by default. Why this retrograde attitude? Because we are still transitioning.

My first argument is maybe a bit obvious: with sdvig press we are trying out a whole new experiment, with no clear models or indeed role-models to follow. As it is, we are being bold enough, and if we can control any parameters, or put the experimentation with any part of the project to a later, more mature stage of our development, I think we should, and we will. CC-BY, seen strictly from our point of view, is an experiment and is not necessary at this point. A simple statement on our website of our relaxed approach both to fair-use and the downloading of our texts should amply suffice to guarantee open access and the convenient use of our platform to our users. All we need then is a further statement propounding our openness to the various reuses of our texts and calling upon interested scholars to just contact us. We certainly won’t be submerged by demands and we’d anyway be keen on knowing who are the strange creatures interested in our outrageously niche texts on Czech structuralism. It might turn out there isn’t a need to CC-BY our books at all.

Secondly and much more importantly, the business model of sdvig press, not unlike the one developed by OpenEdition Books (do they CC-BY?), relies or will rely on traffic to the platform. We will not be making money from the books themselves, neither from the digital open access version, nor the POD print version, but from “freemium” subscriptions (paid by libraries, not individuals) to the user-friendly and function-heavy interface we provide for these texts. Although we’d like to think of ourselves as a publishing house, in essence we’ll probably just be a drearily academic aggregation, curation and social tool with a bit of obscure, often painfully badly written content (yes we’ll have a lot of 19th Century German philosophy). As such, although our content will be available for free, it is vitally important that it remains located and accessible exclusively on the (otherwise completely open) sdvig platform. That is not to say we will not be open to sharing metadata (of course we’ll share metadata), or indeed to pool part or most of our contents with selected partners or networks. We want to be able to cherry-pick these partners however, and make sure they play the same game as we do.

Indeed, imagine a legacy publisher who either has figured out there is money to be made by developing an advanced interface with bibliometric tools, community features, etc (which of course, remains to be proven), or who is intent on making sure OA platforms such as ours do not get off the ground. If our contents are CC-BY, all they have to do is make our content available on their own, much larger platform (since they will have their own fully copyrighted material) and, thanks moreover to their more recognizable brand name, will divert all the traffic. If we go to sleep, they might even paywall it again. Not a nice prospect.

Imagine also that we want to publish or, more likely, republish some crucial material, whose copyright is owned by a somewhat cooperative legacy publisher. Our strategy (yet to be tested) would be to cut a deal with said legacy publisher, where it retains all the rights and profits from the print edition (and can even set an extortionate price if it so wishes), but we are allowed to put up an OA digital version on our website (this makes sense for sdvig press as we are not expecting to make any money from print sales). If CC-BY is a must, the project would be immediately wrecked because the legacy publisher loses its incentive.

If these arguments have already been made and (convincingly) refuted somewhere, please link me to them. If not, have a go here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short-term Internet vs. long-term Humanities? (No)

In an interview to the Tagespiegel, the president of the Freie Universität in Berlin Peter-André Alt warned last week that “the Internet leads to more forgetting”. In fairness, Alt’s critique of the pitfalls of the Internet is much more subtle than this, as you can discover if you read the article (available only in German). He does emphasise however that the Humanities require time, concentration and breadth of view if they are to fulfil their mission and he raises a few key issues where he sees the Internet as a menace. He regrets for example the obsolescence of the record card (Karteikarten), which required a mnemonically-stimulating, almost haptic process of reading, copying and sorting. Similarly, he underlines the “patience” that used to be involved in the “very slow” process of writing articles. All in all, Alt seems to fall on the side of those who see the Internet as a short-term, fast-paced phenomenon, which he explicitly contrasts with the longue durée of the Humanities.

My beef with this argument is that it is far too one sided. For one, and with a slight touch of provocation, one may want to argue that the Humanities are in fact not always about the reflexive, concentrated and broad long-term view. I remember reading in Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s “The Production of Presence” that the Humanities would in fact have much to gain by paying more attention to the present moment and by “going with the flow”. In the same vein, I am under the impression that much is to be gained from casual, almost benign and therefore transient conversations. Isn’t it true for example that the most useful, interesting and memorable part of a conference (even from a strictly cognitive, intellectual point of view) is at dinner or beer time, when lofty discussions about Hegel or Dostoevskij are mixed in with amusing anecdotes and the latest news from the grapevine?

If anything, my bane as a PhD student was that I could concentrate, reflect and take all the time I needed on whichever minute bloody problem I pleased, without being swept into a whirlwind of constant solicitations, debates or other intellectual distractions. As a Post-Doc, I have discovered to my entire surprise, that the hurly-burly of the academic schedule and the treasure hives of texts and stimulating blog posts available on the Internet actually helps one to move forward more consistently or indeed to broaden one’s horizon in a less monomaniac, mind-numbing way than copying quotations from a canon of texts one has more or less arbitrarily imposed onto oneself. The danger of losing one’s way in a mountain of potentially irrelevant or secondary facts, to my mind, is not greater on the Internet than when one concentrates exclusively on the original manuscripts of Schiller and Kafka (sorry for the cheap dig, Prof. Alt).

Up to a point, a short attention span and a more scattered, sometimes conversational approach to research can thus also be a virtue in the Humanities. There are enough texts and ideas which one would rather forget immediately after reading them, and there is plenty of stuff of whose existence it is clearly better to be vaguely aware of than not at all. Quickly finding and then casually skimming through texts is what bookshop-goers have done for centuries without obvious detriment to their cognitive abilities. Crucially, long-term memory and high-order synthetic thinking are resources that get rapidly depleted during the day and, in my case, are simply not functional for at least an hour after lunch. So one might just as well put other cognitive functions to use and do a bit of unstructured browsing on the Internet. That, of course, is not to justify endless procrastination on the Guardian’s Sports pages.

More seriously perhaps, it also seems to me that it is wrong-headed to see the Internet only as a facilitator for an ever quicker, scattered and superficial type of “knowledge”. In a way, the Internet does not lead to more forgetting, but to a longer-term memory. This is not a flippant remark: how many times have I been warned already that “the Internet remembers everything” and that therefore I should be careful what I do there. By connecting again with old school-friends on facebook, I don’t accomplish an act of forgetting, quite on the contrary, my forgotten past is summoned up again – and made to be endlessly repeated in a bizzarely Nietzschean way every singly day, until I think through the specific use I want to put my facebook account to. The same applies to serious academic resources: the abundance of journal articles, open access books, etc. quite obviously increases our cultural memory. In one word, the problem of the Internet is not so much a forgetting than an overload of memory.

This overload might of course be felt as a loss since the Internet provides its memory in a mediated, externalised form:  if one can’t master the huge flow of information, one is left with nothing. I also freely agree with Alt that the overload of digital memory can definitely lead to an irrational, scattered and brain-haired approach to research and knowledge. The question however here is not so much one of medium than of structure, hierarchy or “curation”, which is admittedly still deficient on the Internet (or in our use of the Internet). As such, it should be obvious that we are not dealing here with a fundamental incompatibility between the Humanities and the Internet but indeed with a fantastic potential for synergy.

The mission of the Humanities, in effect, is none other than to structure, interpret and hierarchise our knowledge, to make sense of our collective cultural memory, to sort the wheat from the chaff and to explain and justify how and why that sorting out is made. As such, the Internet and its dynamic, ever-changing nature appear not so much as a menace than as a challenge, a cultural object in dire need of the Humanities’ attentions (poor Internet…). The whole idea behind sdvig press, for example, is none other than to harness the Internet in this way and provide a clearly structured access to a rather imposing set of texts or textual data.

To sum up, I would say that I see no fundamental incompatibility between the alleged short-termism of the Internet and the alleged long-termist ethos of the Humanities: the first is the reflection of the hectic, creative and chaotic flow of modern life, which the second is urgently called to shape, reflect and structure into a useful, profound and broad-sighted source of understanding of that same life.

Chinese formalism

Last week, I attended the Russian formalism centenary conference in Moscow (ru-formalism.rggu.ru), a fantastic event that highlighted the enthusiasm still generated by the formalists. Of the many interesting papers I got to hear, one in particular caught my attention: Zhou Qi-Chao’s presentation of the reception of Russian formalism in China.

My dear colleague Tomáš Glanc had already told me of a growing Chinese interest in Russian formalism or, indeed, in the whole tradition of 20th century European literary theory. Tomáš was invited to Beijing a few months ago to discuss the translation of some of Roman Jakobson’s work into Chinese and what he discovered there was a very active, even vibrant group of researchers enthusiastically investigating the above-mentionned intellectual legacies. As such, Zhou Qi-Chao’s presentation was thus not entirely a revelation for me, but I did take from it a much keener sense of the massive dimension of the Chinese interest in Russian formalism. Having rediscovered the now canonical texts of the French structuralists (Barthes, Lévi-Strauss, et alia), the Chinese have in recent years turned their attention back to the traditions from which the French post-war thinkers emerged, i.e. Vladimir Propp and the Russian formalists. Instead of limiting their interest to the rather small amount of texts available in English, French or German, however, the Chinese have focussed on the original Russian, Czech and Polish texts and begun a large-scale plan of translation. From what I understood when talking to Zhou Qi-Chao, it also seems that an effort towards a historical reconstitution of the development of literary theory and a correction of the usually neglected role of the Slavic sources in that context is under way in China. In other words, a process very similar to the one sdvig press is hoping to encourage in Europe is already happening apace in China. Exciting stuff!

 

Introducing myself

As I will be the one editing this blog, I guess it is not unappropriate that I begin by introducing myself.

The most relevant piece of information here I suppose, is that I am the director of sdvig press. Which considering we are a team of just three (my esteemed colleague Emanuel Landolt, a trusted IT-support and myself) is maybe not saying much. This does mean however that I will be able to faithfully report of all the minutiae and developments of the project. Plus, considering we are a collaboratively oriented entreprise, the team should grow soon enough. Until that happens,  I’ll probably still feel slightly embarassed when handing out my flashy business card.

Institutionally, I am a young researcher currently enjoying a generous post-doc stipend from the Swiss National Foundations to work on the intellectual context of Prague in the 1920s and 1930s. I was formed as a Slavist (Russian at MA level, then Czech for my PhD), but since neither my Russian nor my Czech are really any good (I never could be bothered with plural genitives and the accentuation of past participles) and that my interests have always lain more with technical stuff such as philosophy and the history of linguistics, I prefer to consider myself as a historian of ideas with a special focus on Central and Eastern Europe. You can take a peak at my work and my formal CV on my academia profile: cuni.academia.edu/PatrickFlack

I am still very much a newcomer to the digital humanities and discovering with a growing sense of awe the possibilities that are opening up right under my nose. The perspective that with sdvig press we could have reasonable shot at creating a tool that all at once enables us to publish and translate large corpora without excessive financial burden, to create a powerful online database that would enable a much more efficient, exhaustive and rigorous approach to the texts, to setup an entry point for communities of researchers on our favorite themes, give much greater visibility to the field of Eastern and Central European Studies and, miracles of miracles, funnel some money back directly into research, well… I find that rather exciting.

In case you were wondering, I am originally from Geneva, Switzerland. I have been living alternatively in Berlin and Prague for the last ten years, Prague and particularly the borough of Žižkov being home right now. On most days you will find me sitting at the top of the Klementinum (the Czech National Library) right next to Charles Bridge and (mentally) swearing at Russian tourist guides who insist on using Soviet-style megaphones whilst shepherding their customers through the library’s courtyard.

sdvig press

Le carnet est consacré au projet de plateforme éditoriale sdvig press (www.sdvigpress.com). sdvig press est une association suisse à but non-lucratif fondée en 2012 à Genève. Sa mission est de soutenir la dissémination et les échanges du savoir dans les sciences humaines entre l’Europe orientale, centrale et occidentale. Elle entend réaliser ses buts via la réédition et la traduction de textes scientifiques fondamentaux du XIXème et XXème siècles, la publication et la traduction de travaux de recherche actuels ainsi que via la création et le maintien d‘une base de donnée en ligne, open access et multilingue d’ouvrages pertinents. Un de ces projets phares sera consacré à l’histoire du structuralisme européen. A terme, sdvig press espère fournir une véritable plateforme interactive (fonctions communautaires, éditions communes, recensions, etc.) centrée sur un nombre limité et relativement cohérent de thèmes pertinents à sa mission(phénoménologie du langage, histoire des théories linguistiques, histoire de la psychologie) et au service même des chercheurs.