The experiment of the year: a Book Sprint here at Sussex!!

As advanced by Tom here in our blog, a book sprint is about to happen here at Sussex and the Hive Scholars are behind this extraordinary experiment.

You probably already know, but just to remind you: a book sprint is  book written in 3-5 days by 5-10 authors. In this case, we are set in doing it in 4 days at the end of May (30 May to 2 June). It is an insane endeavour to try to write an academic piece of collaborative writing in 4 days, but we are set in the idea and believe it or not, it will happen. The question is: Do you want to be part of it?There are many reasons why you should dedicate 4 full days of your life to this challenge:

  • it hasn’t been done like this before, so in a way, you’d be making history
  • you will end up with a book with your name on it
  • it will probably be one of the most intensive writing experiences of your life

Now, you may be wondering why we are set on this crazy idea of bringing book sprints to academia? Well, here are some reasons:

We want to encourage new ways of thinking about academic writing/research

We often face the challenge of not being able to share the most important project our lives at present (our rehearch) with people outside academia, because everything really just takes too long and is too complicated to explain. But really, does it have to be? I myself try to convince myself that what I do can somehow have an impact on the world we live in, and for that reason I think it is very important to rethink what and how I do research. Which leads me to the next reason:

Let’s rethink our practices as academic researchers

What we do and how we do it shapes the academic world. If we are bold to try new ways of being academic, of writing up academic research, of thinking about it, we may actually be on a path of actually reflecting upon what we want from academia and how we can best achieve those goals, but for that we have to be creative,  we have to take on challenges and we have to work together, which is the final reason for us to promote this initiative.

We wanbook sprint square imaget to explore new ways of collaborative work

A book sprint is the ultimate example of collaborative, multi-authored work. Because everyone is allowed to edit everything.
All authors have to find a common voicethat will traverse the book and will include all the individual voices. This is probably the most difficult, potentially conflicting part of this experiment, since we are aiming at adding a bit more of spice to the whole thing by making it multi-disciplinary.

So, hopefully I have half-way raised your interest up a level. Now let me tell you what this book will be about. Tom, Marta and I have found that even if only tangentially, the three of us touch on the subject of Home in our research, and we come from three different disciplines (Creative Media, Economics and Migration Studies). In our discussions we found that Home was a concept that is broad enough but somehow evokes certain common notions (and we are not only from different disciplines, also from different countries/languages). And that is how we became fascinated with the potential the concept could offer for a variety of projects and initiatives. That is how we decided that this book had to be about the concept of home.

The details will be set once we have selected 4-6 authors to take part in the book sprint. Here is where you come in, if you want to be one of the authors, write us (a couple of lines will be enough first off) and let us know what you would like to write about in relation to the concept of Home. Make sure that you can commit to the four full days, because everybody has to be there for the entire time, if you have to go, you’re out.

Contact us if you want to know more, check our post about book sprints and the talk by Prof. Berry and keep an eye out for more information coming up.

Thanks for reading

Marian

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