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About the Project

Entrepreneurial Literary Research

A Collaborative Project

This project engages with an emerging area of research: the commercial basis and economic impact of literature and literary scholarship, with contemporary markets in view.

This area is explored at three levels in this project:

  • The production and marketing of literary commodities. Relevant research questions, among others, are: (1) Which quantitative and qualitative features of the reading market are significant for production and marketing? (2) How do these features influence text-content and the material forms of texts? (3) What infrastructures, techno-structures, and legislative regimes exist or are emerging for authorship, publication, publicity and retailing?
  • The place of literature in the current global business ethos. Some research questions are: (1) How are literary products leveraged across linguistic boundaries and economic regimes? (2) How may literary texts implicitly mould and /or conform to consumer behaviour in different cultural contexts?  
  • Symbiotic commercial relations between the literature industry and other industries. The main research question is: How could the literary industry benefit and be benefited by news and media industries, television/film and entertainment industries, heritage and tourism industries, public relations and advertising industries, etc.  

Two focus-issues cut across these three levels of enquiry:

  • What innovations and business opportunities exist or can be anticipated at or across these levels?
  • What conflicts may arise between literary critical or scholarly norms and commercial norms at each of these levels?

This project is funded by a Newton International Mobility Grant and a Santander Mobility Grant, and involves collaboration between colleagues in Brazil and Britain. It is based in The Open University, UK, and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. In 2016-2017, a series of workshops and visits are planned to address some of the above questions, and publications will follow. The project coordinators hope to extend the collaboration to other institutions and countries thereafter.

Some of the conceptual issues underpinning this project are considered in the discussion site Entrepreneurial Literary Scholar. Project members have contributed to it.

A book arising from this discussion is available:

ELT Book

Entrepreneurial Literary Theory: A Debate on Research and the Future of Academia
by Alexander Search, with Suman Gupta, Fabio Akcelrud Durão, and Terrence McDonough
A Shot in the Dark book, London, 2017
271 + v pages, including bibliography and index
ISBN 978-1-5272-1118-6

A full PDF can be downloaded free from Shot in the Dark Book

It is available full-view on Google Books

A Kindle version can be bought for £1.99 from Amazon






Image courtesy of Diano_16

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