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From George Romero to The Walking Dead: The Meaning of the Zombie

A few weeks ago, filmmaker George Romero passed away in Toronto. Across the city and elsewhere, remembrance vigils were held for him. It was the kind of treatment usually reserved for great musicians, artists who bared some cardinal human aspect in their work that was hitherto unexplored. In the case of Romero, the artistic reflection was a grotesque one, but estimably more profound than most people realized.

People have called him the father of the modern zombie movie, and deservedly. His innovations in the genre formed the most iconic prototype of the undead walker. A similar version is still featured in shows like The Walking Dead (set to return for its eight season in October), which presides somewhere near the crown of modern broadcasting success stories. The popularity of the genre has reached its crest in the 2000s, and has become more pervasive than its progenitors could have ever predicted. Much of the credit for this must surely go to Mr. Romero. Continue reading

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One Hundred Books: How Far Have We Come? (Part Three)

Open Technology: The Future of Open Access

This is the third and final part of a three-part series of blogs to celebrate the publication of our hundredth book. To read the first part, click here. To read the second part, click here. 

One of the major drivers behind the development of Open Access is technology. The internet allows us to make our books available online, and the ready availability of cheap mobile devices means that people all over the world can access them. Technological development in the internet age is partly fuelled by open source projects and phenomena such as crowdsourcing, which harness the willingness of skilled people to work together and share the fruits of their labour for others to develop further. Continue reading

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One Hundred Books: How Far Have We Come? (Part Two)

This is part of a three-part series of blogs to celebrate the publication of our hundredth book. To read the first part, click here. To read the final part, click here.

A Global Outlook: Access for Everybody

Why Are We Needed?

Most people in the developing world never own a book. Even in developed countries, the prohibitive price of textbooks and academic titles hinders education, eating into shrinking library budgets and also making it less likely that individuals can afford to buy academic books. In developing countries the situation is even more critical: economic factors combine with lack of infrastructure to restrict access to printed textbooks and university-level titles.

Globally, there are more people enrolling in courses of study than ever before; more people engaging with research and ideas than ever before; more people using digital technology to discover information than ever before. By changing the nature of the academic book, we want to enable everyone to access high-quality textbooks and peer-reviewed research, regardless of income. With the power of digital Open Access publishing, we can make this happen. Continue reading

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One Hundred Books: How Far Have We Come? (Part One)

Open Book Publishers was born in 2008, sparked into life by co-founder and managing editor Alessandra Tosi’s first-hand experience of the frustrations of academic publishing. The thrill of seeing her book in print was dampened by the realisation that, thanks to its exorbitant price and small print run, very few people would have the opportunity to read it. She and co-founder Rupert Gatti began OBP to make high-quality academic books accessible for everyone everywhere and free of charge.

Nine years on we have come closer to realizing our ideal of a world where scholarly works are available to all. With the publication of our hundredth title, Michael Bryson and Arpi Movsesian’s Love and Its Critics: From the Song of Songs to Shakespeare and Milton’s Eden, it is a good time to ask: what have we achieved as we arrive at this milestone, and what do we want to do next?

Over three blog posts we will discuss our innovative publications, our Open Access model and our technological development to celebrate some highlights from our first one hundred books – and to chart a course for the next hundred!

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OBP Nominated for Education Award

We are delighted to announce that we are 2017 WISE Awards Finalists! The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) rewards organisations for their innovative and impactful approaches to today’s most urgent education challenges, and we are thrilled to be recognised alongside some very impressive projects.

The WISE Awards gives us the opportunity to showcase our mission, to democratise access to learning by making high-quality textbooks for secondary schools and monographs freely available online alongside inexpensive printed editions. Alessandra Tosi, our Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to receive this nomination, which recognizes our success in reaching readers in the developing world. At a time when online education is expanding, our developing list of free-to-read online textbooks and monographs is a much-needed resource to help support education worldwide.”

This news comes at an exciting time for OBP. We are about to publish our 100th book, a milestone we’re really looking forward to celebrating, and we also hope to have some news to share with you soon about a new development, so watch this space…

L’idée de l’Europe au Siècle des Lumières

This blog post was originally posted as an article on the Adventures on the Bookshelf blog – you can read it here.

In 1813, Germaine de Staël published a seminal work called De l’Allemagne, which offered a wide-ranging introduction to German romantic literature and philosophy. She had long been an advocate of learning from one’s neighbours and had a particular admiration for the British political system. She had also written Corinne ou l’Italie, a novel which suggested that Italy, at the time a fragmented series of little duchies, principalities and papal States, could unite around its common cultural heritage. She was very interested in what languages and reading foreign texts or those written in the past can teach us: Continue reading

Create your own OBP book with OBP Customise!

Did you know you can create your own books using OBP content? This can be as simple as requesting a customised cover for one of our existing books (OBP Personal), but we can also work with you to create a volume that samples different chapters from various publications, complete with a new introduction and cover.

Recently, the International Philosophy Olympiad ordered 400 customised copies of our anthology Tolerance for their conference on the same theme. The books had a cover customised with the conference branding, and each delegate received a copy as a keepsake of the event. We have also produced bespoke copies of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st Century, with an individual dedication page for each member of the Global Citizenship Commission.

Our author Caroline Warman at the International Philosophy Olympiad 2017 with a customised copy of Tolerance.

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‘Ye shall know them by their fruits’

Read and download Just Managing? for free here.

“If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.” (Theresa May; 13 July 2016)

Words are tricky things, and we can all agree that ‘talk is cheap’. It’s not what you say that counts, but what you do. But words can be seductive, and their artful use by the silver-tongued can lead us astray. This is an old warning; very old. Continue reading

Ownership and Cultural Heritage

This free to read book grew out of discussions about how multimedia technologies afforded scholars new ways of sharing documentation and scientific knowledge with the cultural owners of these collected oral genres. Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the project had two distinct and overarching goals: Continue reading

Strengthening Democracy Through Open Education

This blog post was originally published by Patrick Blessinger as an article on University World News – you can access it here.

Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education can be read and downloaded for free here.

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