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mayflybooks - announcement and call

editor | 28.11.2005 11:31 | Analysis | Education | Social Struggles

Announcement of, and call for, mayflybooks (

Today, at one and the same time, scholarly publishing is drawn in two directions. On the one hand, this is a time of the most exciting theoretical, political and artistic projects that respond to and seek to move beyond global administered society. On the other hand, the publishing industries are vying for total control of the ever-lucrative arena of scholarly publication, creating a situation in which it is increasingly hard to publish works grounded in research and in radical interrogation of the present. As a result, as publishers become fixated on the textbook market and academic books become ever more expensive, with many books only ever being sold as hardbacks these days, which means that they are more likely to get dusty on university library shelves rather than read, and rarely read by those that authors might hope to reach.

In this context, a new book publishing press is being established: mayflybooks. This press draws on the most exciting contemporary theorising concerned with organization, its theoretical and political consequences and presumptions. It specifically seeks to publish works that are currently excluded by the publishing industries, either because of their progressive politics or their apparent lack of a mass market. mayflybooks will draw on the now available new technologies for distribution, specifically, distribution of downloadable PDFs via the internet and cheap paperbacks published in very short production runs. mayflybooks will publish high-quality books that are available either free of charge (as PDFs on the internet) or as easily affordable paperbacks. This press is a truly not-for-profit operation. It will publish books that matter, and at present this involves bypassing the 'publishing' industry, which is no longer in public hands and hence fails to represent any public.

The press develops out of the journal project 'ephemera: theory & politics in organization' (, which has been publishing its free content online since 2001, and works alongside other alternative adventures in publishing. In this way, it retains what is best in the ethos of ephemera: a passion of ideas, exploration of new terrain, radical democratic politics, suspicion of all essentialism and closure (conservative or vanguardist), and joyfulness and provocativeness. mayflybooks looks to publish engagements with all aspects of organization that are theoretically astute, politically relevant and aesthetically engaging. While the concrete focus of the press is 'organization', a broad range of inter-disciplinary engagements with organization will be published, which will continue to work in relation to an expanded or 'general economy of organization' and of the way that organization can be interrogated. The press sees its audience in a wide variety of terrains, ranging from students and researchers working in organization, management, cultural and social studies to activists working in organizations and in government and non-governmental organizations, alongside anti-capitalist and other emerging social movements.

Call for Contributions:
Specifically, mayflybooks seeks submissions that address the following areas (although this is not an exclusive list):
- Feminist interrogations of the organization of organization and society;
- Anti-racist, postcolonial and subaltern studies of organization;
- Engagements with critical theory, poststructuralism and other philosophical movements and the evaluation of their political significance for the study of organization;
- The relationship between art, aesthetics and cultural organization;
- Critical accounts of consumption and overconsumption;
- Collective action and political protest, politics of social movements, organizations of resistance;
- Development and the marginalisation of the global South;
- Conceptualisations and empirical investigations of subjectivity;
- Contemporary theories and politics of work and labour;
- Critiques of contemporary discourses of critique, particularly in critical management studies;
- Ontological, epistemological and methodological perspectives of the study of organization;
- Critiques of contemporary capitalism, ideology and Empire;
- Interrogations of the organization of technology, data, information and knowledge;
- Work on organization, history, time and change;
- Spatial organization and architecture;
- Analyses of the relations between war and organization;
- The organization of cooperative, alternative and anticapitalist communities;
- Utopias of organizational life;
- Poetics and literatures of organization.

Submission Details:
The editors seek to publish books in a variety of formats, and their lengths of books will vary according the requirements of the particular project. Innovative interventions and presentations of texts are encouraged, and the inclusion of images can also be considered, in the context of production costs. Book proposals should outline the rationale and aims of the book, and show how the proposed book challenges – theoretically and politically – the perceived wisdom of organizational practice or theory. Book proposals should normally not be longer than 5-8 pages and should include a preliminary table of contents and a projected schedule including submission date of the full manuscript.

All contributions will be published in English and should not have been published, or submitted for publication, in another forum. Translations of work published in languages other than English will be considered. Book proposals and manuscripts should be submitted as Word or RTF file. All submissions should be fully referenced and may contain footnotes or endnotes. Every submission should be accompanied by a Curriculum Vitae and a biographical note not longer than 200 words, in any style. Please also provide both an email and postal address. The Editors of mayflybooks will consider all proposals or manuscripts and promising proposals will be reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers. Authors will be kept up to date on the status of their submission via regular email correspondence.

It is our view that there is no justification for the currently exorbitant prices asked by corporate and university publishers for research monographs. mayflybooks explicitly proposes a timely response to the restrictions imposed by an increasingly limited academic book market. This press is interested in getting ideas 'out there', and one way of doing this is to publish books that are either available free of charge or for very little money. As a consequence, authors will not be paid royalties. As far as possible, we propose that ideas, but not money, will pass from hand to hand. Books will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License ( The philosophy of this should be clear: we are interested in ideas and believe that access to ideas should not be a matter of one's economic resources. The goal of mayflybooks is to engage the public, or to put it simply, to reintroduce the public into publishing.

For further details, visit Please send proposals to mayflybooks at, or contact the editors:

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex, steffen at
Campbell Jones, University of Leicester, c.jones at

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