The book, a cultural object par excellence, has benefited from special attention in France and Germany since the beginning of printing. Today, the book, including the academic book, is the subject of analysis and reflection in both countries, not least in the light of the new questions raised by artificial intelligence (AI). AI tools support the translation of scholarly texts, but there are also much discussed examples for the automatic generation of content and of course applications for the enhancement of their visibility.
This interdisciplinary workshop (think publishing and media studies, information studies, information science, theory of science, etc.) represents a unique space for young researchers to examine and debate the place of AI in scholarly communication, including a possible redefinition of the status of the academic book – and the role of the scholarly author. It also allows us to consider issues of the legitimacy of academic content at a time when academic communication is undergoing an unprecedented transformation.
The questions raised have a particular resonance in Germany and in France, which have a strong history and tradition of books: Lyon is the cradle of printing in France and Mainz is the city of Gutenberg.
The typical German (academic discipline: Buchwissenschaft / publishing studies) and French (discipline: Industries culturelles et creatives / cultural and creative industries) approaches to the analysis of the book as a medium, which are different as well as complementary, will be made explicitly visible in order to address the fundamental issues of the significance, legitimacy and value of new forms of knowledge production in academia resulting from their (partial) automation. The analytical frameworks proposed by the two traditions will be mobilized to account for the relationship between these new forms of creation and production and their circulation, notably on digital platforms.
This event, financed by the Franco-German University (UFA / DFH), is intended to encourage the development of Franco-German cooperation, based on a topic that is still too little dealt with in Europe. Its challenge is to use an intercultural approach to examine the specificities of a new phase in the evolution of the academic book.
The first 'Lyon part´ of the workshop took place on November 24 and 25, 2022. The second part of the workshop – which can be attended without having participated in the first, we will feed its most important results – will be held in Mainz on March 23 and 24, 2023. In this second part, we will mainly concentrate on contextualizing the new developments in a theory of publishing, in the research cycle this side and beyond publishing and in the general threats of data-centric businesses. Moreover, there will be hands-on workshops that will put algorithms for the creation of academic ´bookish´ texts to the test.