Pop up books in academia?

4 May

There are few things as dull as the traditional and staid formats of academic publishing: the tight text of a journal article or book. Long paragraphs, lots of defensive footnotes, a bibliography packed with dull stuff. All very formal and proper. On the other hand, there are few things as enticing as children’s books: often wonderfully illustrated, tactile, 3-D pop-out elements, finger and sock puppets integrated into the pages, sometimes waterproofed to take into the bath. All clever stuff – and fun too. SO .. can we take some of the fun elements of children’s literature and put them into academic books? So rather than the standard footnote, why not a Foucault sock puppet? Or, if someone if we want to cite someone who we associated with cigarette smoke (or stale ideas) a little scratch and sniff segment in the text where – after scratching the foil, we get the smell of cigarettes or staleness.

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