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Welcome to COMMS from punctum books

Published onJan 21, 2020
Welcome to COMMS from punctum books

Hello and thank you for visiting the new COMMS site for punctum books.

As you may already know, punctum books is a radical publisher of risk-taking scholarship. The books we make venture toward a better world by subverting those barriers that have long demarcated academia — the disciplines, genres, forms of expression, and aesthetics that do more to keep people out than welcome them in. As a publisher, we reflect the work of our books by rethinking sites of knowledge sharing — bridging publics, building structures, and forming coalitions — toward a liberated commons.

For those reasons above, punctum books publishes not only in print but also in open access. All of our titles are available digitally without request for money or data as barriers for entry because we have witnessed the critical conversations and actions that emerge from a more informed and engaged community.

When I write that we are a radical publisher, I mean to signify upheaval, as we understand that principles of openness and accessibility must carry over to every aspect of our practice. We formed consortiums, partnerships, and moved our operations to open source infrastructure, all toward a world that values collaboration over competition. And so it is in this same spirit that we rethink our modes and methods of open communication.

Comms is part of our effort to develop a more archivable, discoverable, and participatory site for direct engagement. Our regular stream of articles will cover books, operations, and community to sustain and support one another, demonstrating their interdependence. Here you will be able to chart the journey of a book, view the ways in which publishing practices come to bear on a work’s resonance, and understand how a community further infuses a text with meaning.

We are particularly thrilled to be utilizing The Knowledge Future Group’s open source tool, PubPub, both because their ethos aligns with our own and because PubPub offers a robust system for dialogue and discussion with all visitors to the site. We invite you to write along with us.

The medium is the message. And a message that moves toward profound change can only be served by a medium that does the same. Our vision for Comms is to more clearly document and convene the development of our press as it challenges the rules and norms of a system that should serve more people. We are engaged in something radical — a paradigm shift in publishing and education — and we can succeed in making this for all if we work together. Please join us here.

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