Category Archives: Posts

Open Commons of Phenomenology


The Open Commons of Phenomenology (OCOPh) is a not-for-profit, community-led initiative aiming to provide free access to the full corpus of phenomenological texts available in the public domain or otherwise openly licensed.

In addition to free access to full texts in formats such as PDF, EPUB, HTML and XML-TEI, the Open Commons of Phenomenology also aims to provide an exhaustive bibliographical index of phenomenological literature, both primary and secondary. Further, it will develop and implement a full set of digital research tools such as advanced search, bibliometric analysis (citations, views, etc.), glossaries, thematic indexes, structured annotations, social sharing and data visualisations. Users will have a private page to save and manage bibliographies, annotations, etc.

In the future, thbridgee Open Commons will work with archives, publishers and private estates to provide access to copyrighted and unpublished materials. Despite its not-for-profit nature, it will raise funds by licensing the access to the full range of its digital tools to academic libraries and institutions for a reasonable fee. Funds will be used to develop the capacity of the platform, to acquire copyrighted materials and to fund translation and critical edition projects. Texts themselves will remain competely free, thereby garanteeing equality of access to scholarship and knowledge and promoting the dissemination and availability of research in phenomenology.

Finally, the Open Commons will offer to host individual and institutional projects or provide easy access to its resources through application programming interfaces (APIs) and technical support. In short, it will work towards federating often scattered resources in phenomenology into a single yet decentralised, flexible publishing and research ecosystem that will be directly at the service of users from both the scholarly community and the general public.


The Open Commons of Phenomenology will be set up as a not-for-profit association, accepting both individual and institutional members. The Open Commons will function as a scholarly association and be administered by an executive committee constituted of academics, librarians and graduate students elected for fixed-terms.

An advisory board of leading academics in the fields of phenomenology and digital humanities, as well as senior librarians and data management experts, will oversee scientific matters. In particular, the scientific advisory board will attend to questions concerning data curation and data management, peer-reviewing and evaluation processes, directives and guidelines for critical editions, standards for glossaries, etc.

235px-Election_MG_3455To guarantee the democratic and balanced inclusion of the diverse interests of scholars throughout the phenomenological community, the statutes and governance charter of the Open Commons will be ratified by all founding members. The status of founding member will be acquired through participation or endorsement of the project in its preparation phase. Moving forward, members will also have a voice in establishing policies and best practices for data curation and data management, in defining the Open Commons management structure, as well as in agreeing upon procedures for content evaluation and moderation.

Cooperations with institutional or private archives as well as with research projects and publishers, in particular concerning the inclusion and curation of their copyrighted and unpublished materials, will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Further, archives, research institutes and publishers will be given representation through ad hoc boards.


  • Preparation (Feb 2015)

constitution of provisory steering committee

creation of website

outreach to scholarly community for information and initial support

organisation of a crowdfunding campaign to raise initial funds

  • Pilot (mid 2015)

creation of legal entity, adoption of statutes by members

low-level collaborative inputs of metadata and upload of texts

set-up of moderation structures, book series, critical edition projects, etc.

definition of collaboration scope with partner institutions (archives, publishers, etc.)

  • Operation (mid 2016)

full-blown collaborative inputs of texts and bibliographic data

licensing scheme/membership fees for sustainable funding of the platform

funding of research/edition/archival projects in phenomenology

Current Status

A website with an incipient database is online (

A steering committee and working group has been created, with the participation of 20 scholars and graduate students.

Initial organisation and outreach work is ongoing.

Call for involvement in the steering committee and working group is open (interested parties may join the project by writing to

Steering committee (provisory 20.02.15)

President : Nicolas de Warren (Husserl Archives Leuven)

Coordinators : Rodney Parker (University of Western Ontario), Patrick Flack (sdvig press)

Members : Karel Novotný (Charles University), Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray (University of Guelph), Peter André Varga (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Māra Grīnfelde (University of Latvia), Michal Mrugalski (Tübingen University), Andrei Patkul (St. Petersburg State University), Christian Dupont (Boston College), Genki Uemura (Seijo University), Darian Meacham (University of the West of England), Anna Yampolskaya (Russian State University for the Humanities), Iulian Apostolescu (University of Bucarest), Andrea Dietrich (Birkbeck, University of London), Philippe Hänsler (University of Zürich), Paul di Georgio (Duquesne University), James Owen (KU Leuven)

Konstantine Megrelidze and His Times. Understanding Early Soviet Epistemology.

Ilia State University
Tbilisi. October 1-2, 2014
10:00- 10:10 – Welcome and Introduction
Prof. Giga Zedania, Rector of Ilia State University.
10:10-10:40 – “Konstantin Megrelidze: Three Sources and Three Component Parts of His Theoretical Construction”.
Prof. Giga Zedania(Ilia State University)
10:40- 11:20 –”Megrelidze, Marr, and the problem of subjectivity”
Prof. Patrick Seriot. (University of Lausanne in Switzerland)
11:20- Coffee break
11:40-12:20 – “Концепция сознания в трудах Мегрелидзе” (The Conception of Consciousness in the Works of Megrelidze)
Janette Friedrich (University of Geneva)
12:20-13:00 – “Phenomenological and Marxist Theories of Meaning : Mapping
Their Encounters in the 1920s and 30s”
Patrick Flack. Karlova Univerzita v Praze (Charles University Prague)
13:00- Lunch
14:00-14:40 – “ K. Megrelidze’s hypotheses about the origin and propagation of
“ideas” in the light of contemporary social psychology:Practice and / or ideology “
Margarita Schoenenberger.( University of Lausanne in Switzerland)
14:40-15:20 –“ Megrelidze and the development of Soviet philosophical discourse
in the 1960s–1980s”
Eduard Nadtochiy. (University of Lausanne in Switzerland)
15:20-16:00 -“Linguistic Paleontology of Marr- Research Perspectives”
Prof. Giorgi Maisuradze. (Ilia State University)

October 2 (bus from hotel at 09:30)
10:00 -10:30 -“Kita Megrelidze Between Durkheimian School and Marxist
Alexander Dmitriev (National Research University – Higher School of Economics ,
10:30-11:00 –“Causality and contingency: Megrelidze’s structural turn”
Elene Ladaria-(Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès)
11:00-11:30 – “The Analyses of Consciousness in Konstantine Megrelidze’s
Philosophy “
Tengiz Tsimnaridze( Ilia State University)
11:30-Coffee break
12:00-12:30-“Labour and Alienation In Constantine Megrelidze’s Thought:
Transhistorical and Historical perspectives”
Ioseb Chauchidze( Ilia State University)
12:30-13:00 –“Megrelidze and Vigotsky: Marxist-Leninist Paradigms of Speech
and Thought”
Giga Bregvadze( Ilia State University)
13:00 -Lunch
14:00-14:30 –“ K. Megrelidze, N. Marr: An Attempt to Found a Theory of
Language upon the Marx’s Theory of Labour”
Giorgi Tadumadze(Ilia State University)
14:30-15:00- “The role of a labour and consciousness in the rupture of “first
humans” from nature”
Giorgi Chubinidze (Ilia State University)

Final Programme

Open Access, Digital Curation and Public Science Communication

We are submitting a proposal for the Agora funding programme of the Swiss National Science Foundation, a programme that “supports researchers from all disciplines and career stages who want to communicate with the public”. The budget is about 200.000 CHF (165.000 EUR) and the timeframe is 2 years. The “meaty” part of the proposal (summary, context, detailed plan) provides a good overview of our attempt to combine Open Access, Digital Curation and Public Science Communication.

sdvig press : An Open Participatory Platform for Exchanges between
Eastern and Western Europe in the Humanities

Continue reading Open Access, Digital Curation and Public Science Communication

Horizon 2020

sdvig press is participating as a “linked third-party” in the Horizon 2020 ICT-31 proposal “Towards Digital Knowledge: Building a Web Platform to Access, Explore and Share Prague’s European Modernity” (Digital-Prague), initiated by Charles University Prague and a consortium of 11 prestigious European Universities and research institutions. The proposal was submitted today, and we will hear back from the Commission and its experts in September. Fingers crossed!

Here’s the abstract and objectives that were submitted:

The project DIGITAL-PRAGUE aims to coordinate and critically monitor the development of an open, digital and social research and publishing web platform dedicated to the cross-disciplinary study of the scientific and cultural context of late 19th and early 20th Century Prague. The proposal will directly harness innovation in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and foster lasting collaborations amongst a very broad range of stakeholders to sustainably and powerfully accelerate, structure and disseminate a ground-breaking, pan-European research programme in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). By reassessing the epochal impact made on almost all fields of the Humanities by the contributions of Prague scholars to major traditions such as analytical philosophy, formalist aesthetics, phenomenology or structuralism, by reappraising the imbrication of these traditions in a unique cultural context that witnessed the rise of literary modernist giants such as Kafka, Rilke or Seiffert, and by re-situating Prague as a transcultural, progressive center at the very heart of Europe’s dense but forgotten pre-war and interwar intellectual networks, this research programme will not only fill a still gaping hole in our knowledge of Europe’s intellectual history occasioned by the catastrophic events of the 20th Century, but will bring new impulses to our conception of the Humanities and their role vis-à-vis the natural sciences, technology and society. In addition, it will reactivate fundamental but underestimated insights into language, knowledge and the human mind that will especially resonate with research carried out today in relation with the digital transition in fields like cognitive psychology or linguistics, neurosciences, communication and media studies or philosophy of technology. Last but not least, the entire proposal will serve as a case-study and reiterable template for the evaluation, implementation and coordination of digital infrastructure and practices in research, teaching and publishing across the whole spectrum of the SSH, contributing to and critically accompanying the scientific and societal transition towards open knowledge.

DIGITAL-PRAGUE will achieve its aims by:

1. uniting a broad community of world-class academic, technical and institutional stakeholders around a shared, participative, repurposable and open source web platform explicitly dedicated to coordinating a major international research effort through ICT;

2. supporting and coordinating interactions between excellent research projects on several crucial aspects of Prague’s European Modernity (Czech Modernism, Early Phenomenology, European Structuralism, Formalist Aesthetics, Polish Theory of Language and Literary Communication, Prague German Literature, Prague Schools and Circles)

3. carrying out a programme of digital curation and open access edition designed to explore innovative processes in digitisation and digital publishing, as well as populate the project’s platform with a critical mass of high-quality content that will in turn provide concrete channels and incentives for collaborations, multi-way feedback and interactions;

4. optimising and diversifying the functionalities of the digital platform to consolidate its role and appeal as an aggregative, structuring public space and resource, as well as to encourage a proactive, confident and creative use of its ICT capacity by researchers, institutions, students and the wider public;

5. using the consultative process of developing the web platform and mobilising stakeholders as a framework to critically analyse and advocate both the potential of ICT for responsible research and innovation in the Humanities and the role of digitally-empowered, open SSH research in harnessing new digital spaces, tools and practices for society.

Appeal Concerning the Latest Events in Kharkiv

I am reposting an email I received this morning from my colleague Serhij Wakulenko, from Kharkiv University. Serhij is a brilliant, serious and friendly scholar, whose words I have no reasons to doubt.


To all scholars of the world, learned societies,
university staff, men of letters and arts

The Kharkiv Historico-Philological Society, founded in 1886 by the leading professors of the University of Kharkiv, addresses the following message to the scholarly community of the world.

On the 1st of March 2014, a violent clash was staged in Kharkiv between the supporters of Ukraine’s European integration and the so-called ralliers “for stability and restoration of order”. The supporters of the Maidan for Europe, numbering a little over 100, most of them university freshmen, were peacefully located in the premises of the Provincial Administration to which they had been invited on the 23rd of February by the Deputy Governor Vasyl Khoma. They were demanding the appointment of a new Governor instead of the deeply compromised Mykhailo Dobkin, a long-time henchman of the ousted President Yanukovych.

That same Dobkin, together with his accomplice Hennadii Kernes, the Mayor of Kharkiv (a former criminal convict, backed by Yanukovych’s Party of Ukraine’s Regions) orchestrated a pro-Russian rally to which about two thousand participants from the nearby Russian city of Belgorod were brought across the border. To avoid any clashes, the Co-ordinative Council of the Maidan for Europe cancelled its own rally, previously summoned at the same time and place. After the end of the pro-Russian rally a large group of well-trained fighters, armed with bats, compliance weapons and tear-gas attacked the building of the Provincial Administration and severely beat its defenders, throwing them afterwards in the midst of the enraged pro-Russian (and largely imported from Russia) crowd striking and kicking them. The police, corrupted by the Mayor Kernes, did not intervene.

Among the injured defenders of the Provincial Administration were Serhii Zhadan, a writer of international renown, and one of the members of our Society Valerii Romanovskyi, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Ukrainian Academy of Culture in Kharkiv.

Russian official propaganda and media try to portray the supporters of democracy and freedom in Ukraine as nationalist nazi-like radicals and extremists that menace the existence of the Russian-speaking community. This Goebbelsian rhetoric has nothing to do with the Ukrainian reality. The nazi tendencies can rather be observed on the other side. Suffice it to say that the person who put the Russian flag on the top of the building of Provincial Administration of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Mika Ronkainen, is a Russian citizen and a Moscow dweller, exhibiting his overt admiration for Adolf Hitler on the web.

There is sufficient evidence to affirm that this was a part of the aggression against Ukraine which is now carried out on the order of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In this connection, we confidently declare that the pretext of defending the rights of Russian-speaking population in Ukraine, used by the Russian propaganda, is a pure invention. The Russian language has always been freely used in the Ukrainian media, schools and universities, and everyday life. Ukraine has one of the best legislations in the world ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities, including state-run schools using not only Russian, but also Crimean Tatar, Hungarian, Polish, Rumanian as languages of education. In many areas, including Kharkiv, it is the Ukrainian language that indeed needs protection and support.

The attempts to play the ethnic and linguistic card in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine come from abroad. During the 22 years of independence, Ukraine has learnt to handle its ethnic and linguistic problems in a responsible way. Unlike many other post-Soviet states, it has never had conflicts on ethnic grounds. In case of need, we solve all our problems by means of open discussion resulting in a viable compromise. No intervention from outside is necessary.

We launch an appeal to the world scholarly community to help promulgate truthful information concerning the real state of affairs in Ukraine. Those of you who can address the general public through all kinds of media, please do it as soon as possible. The disinformation campaign engineered by the Kremlin must be thwarted. We want the world to know the truth. The savage rampage, inspired from Russia, that took place in Kharkiv last Saturday is part of it.

On behalf of the whole Society

President Professor Ihor Mykhailyn, PhD, DLitt.

Permanent Secretary Assistant Professor Serhii Vakulenko, PhD

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.


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 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.