Research opportunities in publishing: digital, reading, authors and agents


As our MA Publishing students finalise their own dissertation proposals, guest lecturer Professor John B. Thompson discusses his plans to research the digital revolution in publishing and the roles of writers. John also highlights a number of other under-researched areas including:

  • the rise of the literary agent from the nineteenth century to the present day,
  • the nature and role of reading in the twenty-first century, and
  • a comparative analysis on different linguistic fields of publishing.

Inspiration for some undecided students perhaps?

John B. Thompson is author of the groundbreaking investigation into commercial publishing, Merchants of Culture: the business of publishing in the 21st century, which has just relaunched in an updated paperback edition, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Following a guest lecture  last semester John spoke to Publishing lecturer and blog contributor Judith Watts about the contemporary publishing industry. You can watch the first two parts of John’s interview on this blog:

To survive the digital revolution, publishers need a “fundamental shift of attitude”

What makes a good trade publisher? Smart content, cost control and long-term planning…

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