Assistant Professor of History Matthew Johnson’s new book China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited by Luke Vulpiani, Keith B. Wagner, and Kiki Tianqi Yu, has been released as an open access (OA) publication with support from the Grinnell College Libraries and 300 other libraries around the world. Published by Bloomsbury Academic, China’s iGeneration is available both in print and as an OA title, freely accessible and downloadable for anyone with an Internet connection.
China’s iGeneration is one of the 28 inaugural titles available through Knowledge Unlatched (KU), a not-for-profit organization that collaborates with academic libraries to share the cost of making scholarly books freely available online. The Grinnell College Libraries are a founding member of this project. “We see KU as one model for supporting open access to scholarly books, for the benefit of readers and authors alike” says Richard Fyffe, Samuel R. & Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College. In Iowa, Drake University and the University of Iowa are also participating.
“When the publisher suggested the KU option, we thought it would be a great opportunity to reach broader readership and contribute to OA efforts,” Johnson says. However, Johnson’s interest in open access precedes the publication of China’s iGeneration.
As a member of the editorial body of The PRC [People's Republic of China] History Group and its open access publication PRC History Review that focuses on the history of the People’s Republic of China, Johnson had already found one outlet for his interests in digital literacy and digital scholarship. His previous book, Visualizing China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present, co-edited with James A. Cook, Joshua Goldstein, and Sigrid Schmalzer and published by Lexington Books in September 2014, is intended for classroom use and has a companion website that provides images not available in the print edition .
With his experience and interest in open access, Johnson plans to keep exploring new pedagogical approaches to the history of China in the context of digital literacy and digital scholarship. Peter Aldrich ’15, who met with Johnson as a student reporter and is one of the students in Johnson’s seminar this fall, says that the meeting taught him about both open access initiatives and what it means to learn and to practice scholarship in the digital age.
“We made our decision to support Knowledge Unlatched before the first 28 OA titles were finalized, and we were extremely pleased to find that China’s iGeneration was included in the collection," Fyffe says. "Matt Johnson’s interest in open access scholarly publishing and the libraries' commitment to support broad dissemination of Grinnell faculty scholarship nicely dovetail with Grinnell College’s open access resolution.”