Africa’s Image in Ghana’s Press: The influences of global news organisations

Africa’s Image in Ghana’s Press: The influences of global news organisations

by Michael Serwornoo

I have done very little in my entire life except to follow, practice and teach journalism. From my early days in the practice of journalism until today, many things remain clear and incontestable to me and yet these same things are the subject of massive global debates. I will give you one example. Our news (ATL FM news) on the hour captures but a figment of the struggles and triumphs of the people of Cape Coast, the first capital city of Ghana. It is clear to me that we could not and we will never individually or together with all media houses capture the true image of the people of Cape Coast in our broadcast or printed pages or social media posts. Several reasons account for this.

First, journalists are guided fundamentally by mechanistic rules that knowingly or unknowingly evade what we call objective selection of the top events of the day which we will either write about or speak about.  Second, beyond these mechanistic rules of journalism, other very important criteria relating to ownership, society and cultural milieu in which we operate significantly influence further selection. It is just impossible to see the news of the day as an objective assessment of the day’s events. Journalists and media practitioners who make such objective claims are just idealistically untrue to themselves. Write it down!

As journalists, we are involved in a very special translation of events into stories. We attempt to render events visibly to our audiences to the best of our knowledge. This translation hardly accommodates the pre-event circumstances which significantly determine why the events are occurring and with which severity. Our translations, with their weaknesses, are received by the audiences from a different lens. The reception process is something we cannot control but we can also not refute to have influenced it with our choice of words and images. In the nutshell, we are involved in a complicate practice that is far from been described as our objective assessment of the day.

But when it comes to Africa and her predominantly negative reportage around the world, a debate ensues which makes useless my previous understanding of the journalism practice. How could it be that the global journalists’ reliance on objective reportage of cultural milieus exonerates them from such complex journalistic translations I have explained? In any case, their form of translation is even more complex because they are highly incapable of understanding what they see because of the newness to the new culture. Why have we found pleasure in casting doubts about previous and continuous empirical evidence that continues to be adduced against the leading global press and their visible negative agenda? Could it be that representation in itself remains flawed as a concept and more so evident when one culture takes the centre stage in describing other cultures? Erik Bleich and his colleagues, earlier this year, have published research that has answered the empiricist calls. In fact, I was not surprised because I found several calls for empirical evidence far-fetched and I evaluated such calls as a form of rationalisation that promotes the establishment of a world order. A world order that keeps Africa under-reported and even the few reported stories must continue to be negative.

The Africa rising discourse leads a new wave of optimism about the continent’s image in the Northern press.  A few books dealing with this topic over the years remain insightful, to a certain extent, but they equally created a gap by concentrating their empirical research largely on Western media.

In this book, I answer the question of how Africa’s so-called improved image has been mirrored around the world, particularly in one important country on the continent itself. First, a theoretical synergy that accounts for all the elements that make up the foreign news selection process. Second, analysing the African press to demonstrate the gravity of the rippling effects of centuries of Afro-pessimistic international communication order and ambivalences it has created when it comes to the continent’s reportage. I used Ghana as a case for the exploration of these topics. Third, accounting for details through a methodological fluidity with applications of Spradley’s ethnographic interview and David Altheide’s ethnographic content analysis (ECA) have cleared my doubts that empirical flaws have an account for previous research that concluded that Africa was negatively reported.

I have demonstrated in this book that Africa’s media image in Ghana is dominated by themes of war, crime, killings, crises, and terrorism. The African story is narrated with a negative tone and with significant reliance on global news organisations from the Northern hemisphere as sources. For the Ghanaian journalists and editors, harsh economic conditions and their cost-cutting rationale in the media business, plus proximity in journalistic ideology and the uneven power encounter in the colonial experience have aggravated the kind of coverage Africa gets even from her own continent.

You can find out more about the book here.

Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

The Great Parler Hack

In the aftermath of the chaotic coup-that-wasn’t incited by a Brady bunch of QAnon conspiracists, Proud Boys, and everyday American Trumpists on January 6, it appears that their newfound home, alternative (read: white supremacist-friendly) social platform Parler is in trouble. Amazon has dropped the controversial platform from its hosting service starting Sunday night. Apple and Google have also removed Parler from the App Store and the Play Store respectively, and a host of others have terminated their business with Parler. While Parler’s CEO and founder, John Matze, is currently crying censorship and eschewing responsibility for the Capitol riot, it’s worth revisiting what he told CNBC when inquired about the presence of bad actors on the platform, stating that they represent “a minute percentage” of the app’s user base and that they won’t be a “long-term problem.”


In the wake of these events, an Austrian hacker and researcher, who goes by @donk_enby on Twitter, has managed to scrape over 80TB of unprocessed data from Parler’s servers, including 1,098,552 video URLs. “These are the original, unprocessed, raw files as uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata,” she tweeted on Sunday, including the GPS coordinates of users at the time of filming these videos. She describes the event as “a bunch of people running into a burning building trying to grab as many things as we can”, which at the moment feels very apt, adding that “[t]hings will be available in a more accessible form later.”

Parler, with its user base of Trumpists, extremists, and QAnon truthers and pro-Trump financiers (like Republican donor Rebekah Mercer), is said to be among the platforms in the “alternative” digital ecosystem favored by the far-right mob that stormed Capitol Hill, in a farcical effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which led to five reported deaths. Through an exploit of Parler’s API, @donk_enby began archiving all posts from the day of the riot.

@donk_enby’s effort ultimately led to the capture of almost the entirety of the platform’s content from “Wednesday, most of Thursday and all of 3 days prior by the end of it”, successfully aggravating digital defenders of “free speech”, whose definition of the term I suppose doesn’t include archiving for posterity. Such a leak would have interesting implications for several online subcultures prone to doxxing and harassing their political opponents, but, given the incriminating posts on the platform, this is hardly an attack on free speech. 

For context, the only way one could previously verify their account on Parler was to give their social security number to the platform. Parler had apparently been using a free trial of identity and access management company Okta’s software, until the latter was publicly informed of this and promptly terminated Parler’s access, thus disabling the email and phone verification needed to create an account and allowing anyone to directly create multiple accounts. It seems that Parler, rather than protecting their users’ expression, screwed them over quite spectacularly.

Parler tracker dashboard:


A sample of the Parler posts scraped by @donk_enby.

This isn’t the first time a hacktivist has dug into Parler. In November, Kirtner, credited with founding Anonymous, claimed he acquired over six gigabytes of Parler user data from an unsecured AWS server. The following month, Kirtner was suspended from Twitter for posting, “I’m killing Parler and its fucking glorious”; his account remains suspended. Trump’s deplatforming caused much hoopla regarding platforms and censorship, with critics questioning the sinister implications of platforms intervening in such a way. Similarly, Parler, which created a reputation for itself as a sort of free speech utopia, but its ecosystem is hardly organic; its business model, per Matze, is premised on influencers attracting ad revenue. 

Anyone with experience scraping online data is no stranger to its precarity and contingency; @donk_enby’s work is invaluable for researchers working on mis- and disinformation. Her important efforts are documented here.

Taali fulɓe gaawooɓe, durooɓe egga hoɗaaɓe gorgal Niijer – Contes des Peuls Gaawooɓe, pasteurs nomades de l’ouest du Niger

Autrice : Zeïnabou Assoumi Sow

Traducteurs : Maru et Hamma Bukari

Livre bilingue publié avec le soutien financier de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

Pour accéder au livre en version html, cliquez ici
Pour télécharger le PDF, cliquez ici (à venir).
Pour commander la version imprimée au prix de 29 $ CAD ou de 29 euros (pour l’Europe), écrire à

Acheter un livre, c’est nous soutenir et permettre à ceux et celles qui ne peuvent l’acheter de le lire en libre accès.


Comment, au nom de la justice cognitive, préserver et valoriser les savoirs patrimoniaux et les langues des peuples autochtones du monde entier, souvent méconnus et ignorés ? La proposition de la chercheuse nigérienne Zeïnabou Assoumi Sow est de mettre en lumière un genre très populaire de la littérature orale peule : le conte. Ce livre est ainsi composé de 18 contes, présentés en langue peule et en français, recueillis auprès des Peuls Gaawooɓe, derniers pasteurs nomades de l’ouest du Niger. Ces contes sont accompagnés d’un guide de lecture puisant dans l’univers culturel de ce peuple sahélien, en particulier dans les représentations et la symbolique du bovidé et d’autres animaux.


Noy, dow innde kiite potinol hakkeeji nder tewto anndal, reenirta, darjina ɗee annde tawaangaaje e ɗemle wurooje ɗe duuniyaaru fuu, ɓuri hewde ɗe anndaaka, ɗe caanaaka? Jiiɗe lugginɗinoowo annde mo Niijer Zeynabu Aasumi Soo ngoni watta nder yaynaare iri oo anndaaɗo sanne mo filla annde pillaaka mo fulɓe : taalol. Dewtere ndee ndelle no kawri taali 18, kokkaaɗi he fulfulde e he faransiire, keɓaaɗi to fulɓe Gaawooɓe, keddiiɓe nder egga hoɗaaɓe gorgal Niijer. Taali ɗin ɗowtiraama tinndinirde jannde ƴoogunde nder weeyo finaa-tawaa mo ngool lenyol ngol saahel, ɓurde fuu no nagge e kulle ɗeya nji’iretee e ko ɗe coomi.


ISBN version imprimée : 978-2-924661-99-4
ISBN PDF : 978-2-924661-97-0
ISBN ePub : 978-2-925128-03-8

DOI : à venir
250 pages
Couverture réalisée par Kate McDonnell, photographie de Patrick Delmas à Diffa
Date de publication : Janvier 2021

Décoloniser les sciences sociales. Descolonizar las ciencias sociales. Une anthologie bilingue de textes d’Orlando Fals Borda (1925-2008)

Décoloniser les sciences sociales. Descolonizar las ciencias sociales.

Six textes d’Orlando Fals Borda, choisis et traduits sous la direction de Liliana Diaz (Université Laval) et Baptiste Godrie (CREMIS et Université de Montréal)

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Seis textos de Orlando Fals Borda, seleccionados y traducidos bajo la dirección de Liliana Diaz y Baptiste Godrie

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Comprar un libro significa apoyarnos y permitir que aquellos que no pueden comprarlo lo lean en acceso libre.


Avec Paulo Freire, Orlando Fals Borda (1925-2008), est l’un des pères fondateurs des approches décoloniales latino-américaines en sciences sociales. Pourtant, alors que le premier est une figure familière du paysage des sciences sociales francophones, le second est quasiment inconnu. Cette anthologie francophone, la première à ce jour, propose cinq textes, publiés entre 1968 et 2003, en plus d’une conférence inédite prononcée en 1966. Elle vise à présenter la proposition épistémologique de Fals Borda d’une science latino-américaine émancipée des cadres théoriques européens et nord-américains, et orientée vers la production partagée des connaissances entre universitaires et mouvements sociaux pour favoriser la transformation de la société vers une plus grande justice sociale. Chaque texte est présenté dans sa version espagnole originale et dans sa traduction française, avec une brève mise en contexte permettant de situer celui-ci dans l’œuvre de l’auteur. Une introduction présente la thématique de l’anthologie et la trajectoire intellectuelle de Fals Borda.


Junto con Paulo Freire, Orlando Fals Borda (1925-2008) fue uno de los padresfundadores de los enfoques descoloniales latinoamericanos en las ciencias sociales. Sinembargo, mientras que el primero es una figura familiar en el panorama francés de lasciencias sociales, el segundo es casi desconocido. Esta antología francófona, la primera hasta la fecha, ofrece cinco textos publicados entre 1968 y 2003, además de una conferencia inédita realizada en 1966. Su objetivo es presentar la propuesta epistemológica de Fals Borda de una ciencia latinoamericana emancipada de los marcos teóricos europeo y norteamericano, y orientada a la producción de conocimientos compartida entre los académicos y los movimientossociales para promover la transformación de la sociedad hacia una mayor justicia social. Cada texto se presenta en su versión original en español y en su traducción al francés, conuna breve contextualización que permite ubicarlo en el trabajo del autor. Una introducción presenta el tema de la antología y la trayectoria intelectual de Fals Borda.

ISBN version imprimée / edición impresa : 978-2-924661-99-4
ISBN PDF : 978-2-924661-97-0
ISBN ePub : 978-2-925128-03-8

DOI : à venir
238 pages
Couverture réalisée par Kate McDonnell, photographie tirée de ce documentaire sur Youtube :
Date de publication : septembre 2020

DOI : pronto
230 páginas
Portada dirigida por Kate McDonnell, fotografía de este documental en Youtube:
Fecha de publicación: septiembre de 2020

Table des matières / Índice

Climate Chaos. Making Art and Politics on a Dying Planet

Climate Chaos. Making Art and Politics on a Dying Planet Neala Schleuning Formulates an anarchist aesthetics exploring what art can mean in and do in the Anthropocene Kant sought to contain the ancient fear and terror of the natural world in his concept of the sublime. He argued that with human reason we could safely confront an uncontrolled and powerful … Continue reading →

OUT NOW: TOD#39 Lives of Data edited by Sandeep Mertia

‘This remarkable collection is the first major portrait and assessment of the social and technical relationalities that constitute the ecology of big data in India today. Equally remarkably, the authors represent the first generation of scholars of digital media who speak through an Indian lens while being totally conversant with the cutting edge of global scholarship on big data.’ — Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

‘Wide-ranging and incisive, Lives of Data is essential reading for those who wish to understand the seductions and contingencies of being or becoming data-driven.’ — Lisa Gitelman, author, Paper Knowledge and editor, ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron

Lives of Data maps the historical and emergent dynamics of big data, computing, and society in India. Data infrastructures are now more global than ever before. In much of the world, new sociotechnical possibilities of big data and artificial intelligence are unfolding under the long shadows cast by infra/structural inequalities, colonialism, modernization, and national sovereignty. This book offers critical vantage points for looking at big data and its shadows, as they play out in uneven encounters of machinic and cultural relationalities of data in India’s socio-politically disparate and diverse contexts.

Lives of Data emerged from research projects and workshops at the Sarai programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. It brings together fifteen interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners to set up a collaborative research agenda on computational cultures. The essays offer wide-ranging analyses of media and techno-scientific trajectories of data analytics, disruptive formations of digital economy, and the grounded practices of data-driven governance in India. Encompassing history, anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), media studies, civic technology, data science, digital humanities, and journalism, the essays open up possibilities for a truly situated global and sociotechnically specific understanding of the many lives of data.

Lives of Data is edited by Sandeep Mertia. He is a PhD candidate at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and Urban Doctoral Fellow at New York University and he is an ICT engineer by training, and former Research Associate at The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Get the book here:



Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2020
Annual Report 2020

As we come to the end of this year, it is with great pride that we look  back at the many exciting things that have happened here at OBP in 2020!

From great new open access titles, to innovative publications, new  series and exciting projects, this has been a remarkable year for us.

Keep reading to find out more about all we have been doing this year!


  • Proud to be in SE's top 100
  • COPIM project update
  • Open Access Books Network
  • Global usage statistics

Books, libraries and content

  • New OA publications
  • Our 2020 OA series
  • New Library Members
  • Interviews and videos
  • New blog posts


  • Our team members
  • Our volunteers
  • What our authors say about us
Annual Report 2020

This year we have been listed once again among the top 100 social enterprises in the NatWest SE100! This award celebrates the growth, impact and resilience of social  ventures in the UK by recognising the most impressive 100 social  enterprises of the year. You can read more about this here.

Annual Report 2020

The  COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs)  project, in which OBP has a key role, has made great strides in its  first year, with highlights including the creation of an Open Dissemination System, called Thoth, to improve the discoverability of Open Access books, and a new business model, called Opening the Future, which is being put into practice with the Central European University  Press, along with a wealth of scoping reports and workshop interviews  that have informed the work of the project on multiple fronts. A  detailed summary of COPIM's first year is available here.

Take a look at COPIM's website and their Open Documentation site for more information on this project.

Annual Report 2020

Our major outreach project this year has been the development of the Open Access Books Network,  which began life last year at the ElPub conference. This year Lucy  Barnes and Agata Morka, in collaboration with Tom Mosterd at OAPEN, have  developed a group on Humanities Commons as a focal point for the Network (including discussion boards, a blog, a  community event calendar and a repository of documents on OA books) and  held a number of online events.

If you are not already a member, we warmly invite you to join the group!

Annual Report 2020

Our  Open Access titles are available on a number of different platforms,  and readers have multiple ways of accessing them. Collecting and  collating usage statistics for our books is challenging, and clearly any  data reported will be at the lower end of ‘true’ usage, as we are  unable to obtain data from all platforms.

However, here at OBP we bring you one more year our global report on readership organised by continent, country and platform. As  always, we have collected book-level usage data from the following  sources: OBP’s Free Online PDF Reader; OBP’s Free HTML Reader; free  ebook downloads from OBP; Google Play; and visitors to our titles hosted  on Google Books, OpenEdition, WorldReader, OAPEN and the Classics  Library. To find out more about the data we have been collecting and how  the process of retrieving this information works, please visit our page  on how we collect our readership statistics.

Annual Report 2020

This  2020, when the access to OER was key to most institutions, academics,  researchers and users everywhere, we welcomed readers from 234 different  countries, states and territories (15 countries more than in 2019!),  confirming that our titles have worldwide reach. The United States,  United Kingdom, India, Phillipines and Canada are on the top 5 this  year, followed by Germany, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy and  China. We look forward to having an even bigger global impact in the  years ahead.

Annual Report 2020

In our percentage of readership by continent, Europe is in first place  with 35.4% of our total readership, followed by North America with a  30.8% and Asia with a 20.6% (2.6% more accesses than the ones registered  for this continent in 2019). We have also noticed an increase of a 1.8%  in the accesses from Oceania since 2019 as well as in the ones from  South America that have grown a 1.4% in comparison with the data  collected for 2019.

Annual Report 2020

Finally,  we're happy to report that 60% of the total readership we receive comes  trough our own website, followed by other platforms to which we  distribute our Open Access titles such as Google Books, OAPEN, Open  Edition and Worldreader.

Thank you so much for accessing, reading and sharing our titles. It is  thanks to the support shown by our readers, our member libraries and our  authors that we can keep working towards a fairer publishing landscape!

Annual Report 2020

This  year we have published a total of 37 books, which exceeds any previous  year! We have not only released fantastic new titles both from  first-time and returning authors but also four new textbooks and a number of enhanced editions of previously published books.

This  year we have published a total of 37 books, which exceeds any previous  year! We have not only released fantastic new titles both from  first-time and returning authors but also four new textbooks and a number of enhanced editions of previously published books.

Anthropology, Archaeology and Religion

Gallucci's Commentary on Dürer’s 'Four Books on Human Proportion': Renaissance Proportion Theory James Hutson

Lifestyle in Siberia and the Russian North Joachim Otto Habeck (ed.)

Art and Music  

Waltzing Through Europe: Attitudes towards Couple Dances in the Long Nineteenth Century Egil Bakka, Theresa Jill Buckland, Helena Saarikoski and Anne von Bibra Wharton (eds)  

Digital Humanities  

Digital Technology and the Practices of Humanities Research Jennifer Edmond

Economics, Politics and Sociology  

Introducing Vigilant Audiences Daniel Trottier, Rashid Gabdulhakov and Qian Huang

Liminal Spaces: Migration and Women of the Guyanese Diaspora Grace Aneiza Ali (ed.)

Discourses We Live By: Narratives of Educational and Social Endeavour Hazel R. Wright and Marianne Høyen (eds)

A European Public Investment Outlook Floriana Cerniglia and Francesco Saraceno (eds)


Simplified Signs: A Manual Sign-Communication System for Special Populations, Volume 1 John D. Bonvillian, Nicole Kissane Lee, Tracy T. Dooley and Filip T. Loncke    

Simplified Signs: A Manual Sign-Communication System for Special Populations, Volume 2 John D. Bonvillian, Nicole Kissane Lee, Tracy T. Dooley and Filip T. Loncke  

Environmental Studies  

Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing Sam Mickey, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim (eds.)

Earth 2020: An Insider’s Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet Philippe Tortell (ed.)

Terrestrial  Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions  for Terrestrial Mammals Excluding Bats and Primates N.A. Littlewood, R. Rocha, R.K. Smith, W.J. Sutherland et al.

What Works in Conservation 2020William J. Sutherland, Lynn V. Dicks, Silviu O. Petrovan and Rebecca K. Smith (eds)


Margery Spring Rice: Pioneer of Women’s Health in the Early Twentieth Century Lucy Pollard

History and Biography

Mendl Mann’s 'The Fall of Berlin' Translated and with an Introduction by Maurice Wolfthal    

Sailing from Polis to Empire: Ships in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic Period Emmanuel Nantet (ed.)

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 2: 1895-1899 William F. Halloran  

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 3: 1900-1905 William F. Halloran


A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law Jeffrey Love, Inger Larsson, Ulrika Djärv, Christine Peel, and Erik Simensen

Literature, Language and Culture  

Maria Stuart Friedrich Schiller. Translated by Flora Kimmich. With an Introduction by Roger Paulin

The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid: Clm 4610, The Earliest Documented Commentary on the 'Metamorphoses' Robin Wahlsten Böckerman

The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 3: 1900-1905 William F. Halloran

Jewish-Muslim Intellectual History Entangled: Textual Materials from the Firkovitch Collection, Saint Petersburg Camilla Adang, Bruno Chiesa, Omar Hamdan, Wilferd Madelung, Sabine Schmidtke and Jan Thiele (eds)

Studies in Semitic Vocalisation and Reading Traditions Aaron Hornkohl and Geoffrey Khan (eds.)

Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto Katrin Kohl, Rajinder Dudrah, Andrew Gosler, Suzanne Graham, Martin Maiden, Wen-chin Ouyang and Matthew Reynolds (eds.)

Studies in Rabbinic Hebrew Shai Heijmans (ed.)

The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Volume 1 Geoffrey Khan
The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Volume 2 Geoffrey Khan

The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth in 'Beowulf' Edward Pettit

Media Studies and Journalism  

B C, Before Computers: On Information Technology from Writing to the Age of Digital Data Stephen Robertson

Global Warming in Local Discourses: How Communities around the World Make Sense of Climate ChangeMichael Brüggemann and Simone Rödder (eds)


Agency: Moral Identity and Free Will David Weissman

Plato's 'Republic': An Introduction Sean McAleer

The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's 'Éléments de physiologie' Caroline Warman


Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics Ekkehard Kopp

Plato's 'Republic': An Introduction Sean McAleer

Models in Microeconomic Theory ('He' Edition) Martin J. Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein

Models in Microeconomic Theory ('She' Edition) Martin J. Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein


Chronicles from Kashmir: An Annotated, Multimedia Script Nandita Dinesh

Annual Report 2020

In 2020, we have announced a number of new series all of which are open for proposals, so feel free to get in touch if you or someone you know is interested in submitting a proposal!

Cambridge Semitic Languages and Cultures

Cambridge Semitic Language and Cultures is a  new book series in collaboration with the Faculty of Asian and Middle  Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. This series includes  philological and linguistic studies of Semitic languages, editions of  Semitic texts and works relating to the cultures of Semitic-speaking  peoples. Titles in the series will cover all periods, traditions and  methodological approaches to the field. The editorial board comprises  Geoffrey Khan, Aaron Hornkohl, and Esther-Miriam Wagner.

The Global Qur'an

The Global Qur'an is a new  book series that looks at Muslim engagement with the Qur’an in a global  perspective. We publish studies that focus on the translation and  interpretation of the Qur’an or on the social, cultural, pedagogical,  aesthetic, and devotional place of the Qur’an in Muslim societies  worldwide. We particularly encourage comparative studies, investigations  of transregional dynamics, and interactions between local and global  contexts. Contributions from scholars outside Western Europe and North  America are especially welcome.

Studies on Mathematics Education and Society

This book series publishes high-quality  monographs, edited volumes, handbooks and formally innovative books  which explore the relationships between mathematics education and  society. The series advances scholarship in mathematics education by  bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to the study of contemporary  predicaments of the cultural, social, political, economic and ethical  contexts of mathematics education in a range of different contexts  around the globe.

Global Communications

Global Communications is a new book series  that looks beyond national borders to examine current transformations in  public communication, journalism and media. Books in this series will  focus on the role of communication in the context of global ecological,  social, political, economic, and technological challenges in order to  help us understand the rapidly changing media environment. We encourage  comparative studies but we also welcome single case studies, especially  if they focus on regions other than Western Europe and North America,  which have received the bulk of scholarly attention until now.

What do we care about? A Cross-Cultural Textbook for Undergraduate Students of Philosophical Ethics

A textbook in ethics designed primarily for  students should have four main focal points: exposing students to  normative moral theories, the history of ethics and ethicists, the  nature and major contents of applied ethics, and exposing students to  the analysis of moral terms and questions of moral validation in  meta-ethics. However, what is currently available in this regard are  texts that provide a one-sided and narrow narrative of these focal  points: the Western narrative. As it is becoming more obvious in  academic philosophy such hegemony of knowledge in any area of philosophy  is not only a fraud and disservice to humanity – deliberately or  non-deliberately – but also results in the poverty of knowledge. This  book is a bold attempt to remedy this and provide a comprehensive and  broad perspective of ethics to undergraduate students.

The Medieval Text Consortium Series

The Medieval Text Consortium is an  association of leading scholars aimed at making works of medieval  philosophy available to a wide audience. Our goal is to publish  peer-reviewed texts across all of Western thought between antiquity and  modernity, both in their original languages and in English translation.

Annual Report 2020

Since  January 2020, 39 libraries from all around the world have joined our  membership scheme and in so doing they have supported our Open Access  publications and helped us in our quest towards making academic research  available to everyone, everywhere in the world. We wholeheartedly thank  all the institutions who have decided to become a member as well as  those who have renewed their membership from previous years -  the  support we receive from libraries is vital to help us continue our work!

These are the libraries that joined our membership scheme in 2020:

University of Graz
Gothenburg University
University of Jyväskylä
University of Adelaide
University of Arizona
McMaster University
Tilburg University
Canterbury Christ Church University
TU Berlin
Rollins College
Harvard University
Open Universiteit Nederlands
University of Kentucky
The University of British Columbia Library
University of Central Lancashire
University of Eastern Finland
Liverpool John Moores University
York St John University
University of Salford
Queensland University of Technology
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Mount Royal University
George Washington University
The National Library of Finland
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
La Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología
University of Bielefeld
Royal Danish Library
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Prifysgol Bangor University
Heinrich-Heine-University (HHU) of Dusseldorf
Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn
Middlesex University
Universitetet i Agder
Catholic University of Zimbabwe
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
Johns Hopkins University
York University

You can find the full list of current members here and the list of benefits here. Free membership for libraries in Economically Developing Countries.  If you are a librarian at a university or library in a such a country,  and would be interested in receiving more information on how to become a  member, please contact us at

Annual Report 2020


Vlog Series: 'Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing'


What is Open Access? An Introduction by Open Book Publishers

Publishing Open Access Monographs - Information for Authors

Innovative Publication Techniques: Changing the Nature of the Academic Book.


Prose Fiction: An Introduction to the Semiotics of Narrative / An Interview with Ignasi Ribó

'Simplified Signs': An Interview with William B. Bonvillian.

'The DARPA Model for Transformative Technologies': An Interview with the Authors.

Open Book Publishers in Conversation with the Open Access Books Network

Stephen Robertson talks about his book 'B C, Before Computers'

The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's 'Éléments de physiologie' - An Interview with Caroline Warman


'Liminal Spaces: Migration and Women of the Guyanese Diaspora'

'Simplified Signs: A Manual Sign-Communication System for Special Population'

Annual Report 2020

This year we have release a wealth of new blog posts on topics like  metrics, Open Access academic publishing, the cost of Open Access Books, open educational resources , as well as a more than 25 posts written by authors and volunteers where they introduce our latest Open Access publications to our readers.

To check out all of our blogs please visit

Annual Report 2020

Editor and Outreach Coordinator

Lucy Barnes  is responsible for copy-editing, proof-reading and indexing. She undertakes outreach work for OBP (speaking at universities, conducting  webinars, writing blogs and articles, presenting at conferences and  recording podcasts) and for the COPIM project. She is a lead member of the Open Access Books Network.  She is also (slowly) completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge,  studying nineteenth-century theatrical adaptations of novels and  poetry.


Adèle  Kreager is undertaking a PhD in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the  University of Cambridge, studying identity and transformations (corporal  and mental) in Norse literature. Her research interests include the  mobility and agency of ‘inanimate’ objects in Old Norse and Old English  literature; landscape as text; and the legibility of bodies in the  medieval imagination.

Melissa Purkiss holds a PhD in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford, where she completed her thesis on French and Russian influence in the works of the émigré writer Gaito Gazdanov and lectured on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. She is responsible for editorial and production tasks at OBP.

Book Production, Digital Product Development and Illustration Manager

Luca Baffa received an MLitt in Publishing  Studies in 2013 from the University of Stirling. He is responsible for  producing the various editions of our titles, including typesetting and  generating the files for print and digital editions.

Book Production, Digital Product Development and Illustration

Bianca Gualandi received an MA in Digital  Humanities in 2013 from King's College London. She develops digital  publishing workflows for us, and specialises in print and digital book  production. Bianca works independently and assists OBP on selected  projects.

Francesca Giovannetti received an MA in  Digital Humanities from King's College London in 2015. She specialises  in print and digital book production, digital scholarly editing and  digital text technologies. Francesca works independently and assists OBP  on selected projects.

Cover Designer

Anna  Gatti, a free-lance artist and photographer, currently studying towards  a BA in History, Politics and Economics at UCL, University of London.

Software Development

Javier Arias is a software engineer developing open source software at OBP. He is currently leading the development of Thoth, the Open Dissemination System funded by the COPIM project. He has previously worked on the HIRMEOS project,  the open usage metrics collection system that powers our readership  stats, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research  and Innovation. He is undertaking an MSc in Software Engineering at the  University of Oxford.

Ross  Higman is a software engineer working on the Open Dissemination System  for the COPIM project. He has previously developed software for  telecommunications networking and air pollution modelling, and worked as  an editorial assistant. He holds an MPhil in Linguistics from the  University of Cambridge.

Marketing and Library Relations

Laura Rodríguez holds an MPhil in  Medieval Literature at the University of Cambridge. Her research  interests include medieval pastoral care, women's studies, religious  history, and cycle drama. Laura is in charge of marketing, library  relations and distribution.

European Co-ordinator for Open Access Books

Agata  Morka holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of  Washington, where she completed her dissertation on contemporary French  train stations. For the past nine years she has been working with OA  books. She is responsible for coordinating efforts between two European  projects focusing on OA monographs: the OPERAS-P and the COPIM projects. She is a lead member of the Open Access Books Network.

Annual Report 2020

At  OBP, we offer direct training placements in all aspects of Open Access  publishing, free of charge. We provide placements to individuals, as  part of university courses such as the MSt in Creative Writing at the  University of Oxford, and to other Open Access publishers such as UGA Editions and Firenze University Press.  However, we also welcome volunteers of different levels of skill and  experience who want to work with us either at our Cambridge office or  remotely.

This 2020 we have had the pleasure of working along some great  volunteers and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for  all their help and hard work - we strongly appreciated their support and  assistance!

Jung Ying Mach
Christopher Hubbard
Domenic Rotundo
Tabitha Bardsley
Tamara Prieto
Anna Mullock
Marie Hawkins
Sarah Jay
Yinuo Meng
Hannah Godfrey
Laken Brooks
Natalie Ansell
Ravita Luther
Rosalyn Sword

If you or someone you know would like to have the opportunity to try a  range of key publishing aspects, including marketing, editorial and  text-formatting tasks in a non-corporate environment, please contact Alessandra Tosi.

Annual Report 2020

You  have a wonderful staff at OBP: everyone I've dealt with has been  supportive, friendly, efficient, and helpful. You all have managed to  make what could be a nerve wracking experience into a remarkably  pleasant and stress-free one.  It's been a real treat working with you.

 —Sean McAleer, professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire,  and author of Plato's 'Republic': An Introduction

OBP  turns out beautiful volumes, beautiful with respect to both typography  and illustrations. And it works swiftly. Production takes place in  maximum consultation and cooperation with the author. I have found the  editors knowledgeable, skillful, and forbearing. And finally, working  with Roger Paulin has been a privilege and a gift. In effect, OBP has  offered invaluable support to my efforts.

—Flora Kimmich, independent scholar and translator of Maria Stuart

On  behalf of the Creative Multilingualism Team, I should like to thank you  very much indeed for all your expertise, advice, flexibility,  responsiveness and hard work on our volume! We’re delighted with it. It  constitutes an ideal embodiment of our 4-year research project, and  we’re enormously grateful to you for having enabled us to bring it to  fruition in this beautiful form.

—Katrin Kohl, professor at the University of Oxford and author of The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's 'Éléments de physiologie'

In  the last 50 years, academic publishing has been invaded by for-profit  businesses.  Academics donate their research and their refereeing  services to these companies, who then lock up the research and sell it  back to the academy at prices that are usually high and sometimes  stratospheric.  Appalled by this invasion, in the mid-2000s I was a  member of a group of economic theorists that founded an Open Access  journal, Theoretical Economics, and I served as the editor of that  journal for several years.  I remain devoted to the principle that  academic research should be freely available, and am delighted that Open  Book Publishers has published Models in Microeconomic Theory.

  —Martin J. Osborne, professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of Models in Microeconomic Theory

  I'm  convinced that open access is the future of academic publishing.  I  hadn't expected that the process would be as disciplined or that the  product would be as elegant. I wish all my previous books had been  published this way.  

 —David Weissman, professor at the City College of New York and author of Agency: Moral Identity and Free Will

And finally...

May the holiday season end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year!

If there are any thoughts you would like to share with us, please email or contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Impakt Festival Presents Disrupt and Reflect

“Dopamine is the metaphor of our age,” says Geert Lovink in ‘Sad by Design’ (2019). We seek instant gratification. Online shopping fulfills our wildest and most superficial desires in a few clicks. Not only by buying (useless) stuff, but also in finding attention, likes, and, when we are completely overstimulated, in finding peace with mindfulness, yoga, or completely ‘off the Wi-Fi grid’ in nature. Disrupt and Reflect examines the economies behind the internet where our short-term needs are constantly being triggered and our impulse control is constantly being tested.

Disrupt and Reflect is a web project that is alternately extremely over-stimulating and very calming. It is a collection of creative and critical reflections in which, at different tempos, the viewer becomes part of the mechanisms of acceleration and stillness as they are currently occurring in our digital society. The online project consists of talks and artist presentations, accompanied by video interviews with the participants. Disrupt & Reflect is a collaborative project with the research track Post-Digital Cultures at Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

When everyone is always connected, disconnection and quietness is a scarcity. Less distraction, less incentives, more human attention. Of course, ‘less of more’ also makes money: technologies that regulate your internet use, Wi-Fi-free cafes, technology-free retreats and spas; the web is full of solutions for those suffering an information overload. The burnout industry is booming. Click – click – click – I just bought another self-help guide that promises a better, more efficient version of me. Digital detox has become a mainstream sales strategy where human contact is considered a luxury item. And due to COVID-19 we have all become screenagers, we have all experienced moments of digital fatigue, and a lack of real human touch and dopamine shots. Have a monetized hug by watching ‘~Cozy~ Hugs & Kisses ASMR ❤’ (633.998 views) on YouTube.

For this project we commissioned artists and theorists to critically and creatively reflect on how these apparently opposite modes of ‘overdrive’ and ‘nothingness’ behind the internet and digital technologies work. Their contributions are accompanied with random roulette interviews. How can we create a more nuanced understanding of the overwhelming influence of digital technology and the human capacity to deal with it in a healthy way? How can we come up with smart solutions that do not continuously take our self-discipline to the test? How can we escape the attention economy?

With contributions by: Anxious to Make (Emily & Liat), Katriona Beales, Roos Groothuizen, Dasha Ilina, Annika Kappner, Dr. Gerald Moore, Pinar Yoldas

Webdesign: TeYosh (Sofija & Teodora)

Curated by Nadine Roestenburg

On ‘Global Warming in Local Discourses: How Communities around the World Make Sense of Climate Change’

On ‘Global Warming in Local Discourses: How Communities around the World Make Sense of Climate Change’

By Domenic Rotundo

What we hear about climate change is influenced by science, politics, the media, and NGOs—but what about local communities, where its effects might arguably be observed most clearly, not least during the past year, when we have all travelled far less? Global Warming in Local Discourses: How Communities around the World Make Sense of Climate Changeexamines an impressive range of case studies from across the globe, granting great insight into the processes by which we make sense of climate change, and challenging certain expectations or assumptions. In taking a multi-pronged approach to this topic, we gain a varied perspective on the means by which climate change and its effects are transmitted and interpreted in local communities.

The first chapter, “We are Climate Change: Climate Debates Between Transnational and Local Discourses” (Michael Brüggemann and Simone Rödder), includes a concise description of what you will find in this thought-provoking book: “Local discourses around the world draw on multiple resources to make sense of a ‘travelling idea’ such as climate change, including direct experiences of extreme weather, mediated reports, educational NGO activities, and pre-existing values and belief systems.” Chapter One discusses the link between humans (society) and ‘nature’, including anthropogenic global warming (how the physical environment influences social realities), which affects how people perceive their physical surroundings and live (which, in turn, impacts the climate). The question  of whyit is important to study how local communities make sense of climate change is also answered: “Interpretations of climate change, such as those that stress individual and collective efficacy (the belief that ‘we can make a difference’), may motivate people to change their lifestyles and, more importantly, mobilize political action, while feelings of fear and shock may overwhelm, paralyze actions or lead to risk denial (O'Neill and Nicholson-Cole 2009; Feldman and Hart 2015).” The chapter considers key factors, such as transnational and local discourses or scientific and other ways of sense-making. Three dimensions of climate change discourse are also examined: “patterns of communicationrelated to climate change”; “patterns of interpretationabout climate change that emerge from the different flows of communication”; and “entanglement of meaningsoriginating at the local or transnational level including how the scientific and other framings of climate change speak to each other.”

In Chapter Two, “The Case of ‘Costa del Nuuk’: Greenlanders Make Sense of Global Climate Change”, Freja C. Eriksen analyzes social representations theory and the views (mostly ignored by the media) of fifteen Greenlanders on the subject of climate change, taking into account their media exposure and personal experiences. Findings show that these individuals do not self-identify as victims of climate change, contrary to what is largely represented in the media (e.g. through frequent images of meltingicebergs). There is also a more positive outlook for a warmer Greenland, including possible political independence and development, and media coverage is criticized by both young and old. ‘Professional background’ influenced whether the interviewees emphasized potential economic benefits (e.g. ice melt: greater accessibility to oil, gas, mining, and hydrocarbon development) or environmental risks of climate change. Older people were less likely to believe that climate change is anthropogenic, and more likely to believe that climate change is exaggerated by the media. On the other hand, the younger interviewees felt that the media underestimates anthropogenic global warming. In closing this chapter, Eriksen explains how sense-making (of climate change) involves six factors: natural/unnatural, certainty/uncertainty, self/other, local/global, positive/negative, and environment/economy, and concludes that personal experience played a critical role.

In Chapter Three, “Communication and Knowledge Transfer on Climate Change in the Philippines”, Thomas Friedrich uses multi-method ethnography to investigate the  views of residents of the island of Palawan (which often experiences extreme weather) about the fact that it is  ‘carbon negative’. Personal experiences, pre-existing knowledge of nature, and cultural practices—such as strong environmentalism—are examined. This chapter explores the top-down direction of communicating the idea of climate change: “from global  IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] knowledge via networks of media and politics to local people with diverse cultural backgrounds and epistemologies” (Brüggemann and Rödder); the contrast between knowledge and meaning of climate change is also considered. The notion of climate change as a “travelling idea” is analyzed, and it is revealed that local educational theatre productions link natural disasters to immoral environmental actions. In Palawan, therefore, climate change is viewed as being real, but this strong environmentalism is due to “pre-existing beliefs, values, and practices” (Brüggemann and Rödder). Sense-making “is a multi-layered process, in which discourses and narratives, cultural models of human-environment relationships, interpersonal communications, personal experiences, and other sources of information (including the media) play a decisive role in how climate change is eventually comprehended and communicated” (Friedrich).

In Chapter Four, “Sense-Making of COP 21 among Rural and City Residents: The Role of Space in Media Reception”, authors Imke Hoppe, Fenja De Silva-Schmidt, Michael Brüggemann, and Dorothee Arlt delve into views regarding the COP 21 climate summit, which ultimately led to the 2015 Paris Agreement. Participants in the study came from both urban (Hamburg) and rural (Otterndorf) locations in Northern Germany. The chapter examines “how space, both as a physical and a social context, influences interpretations of climate change, with a focus on the role media reception plays in the process” (Brüggemann and Rödder). Focus groups, media diaries, and an online panel survey were used; in both locations, media use (local media was criticized by participants) and climate change interpretations were comparable. Personal concern over climate change was higher among rural participants, who were worried about the coastal protection and the future possibility of floods. This study showed that “the longer an individual lives in a place and the more connected he or she feels to it, the more relevant spatial factors become for her or his experience of climate change” (Brüggemann and Rödder). This makes much logical sense, and might indicate that long-term residents of a place will make a greater effort to combat climate change. This idea is certainly echoed by a recent poll (conducted by Opinium in the United Kingdom), whose findings suggest that, contrary to popular belief that millennials are more active in their practical response to climate change than their elders, in fact half of those over 55 shop locally, buy fewer clothes, and make an effort to avoid single-use plastics, whilst just a quarter of those aged between 18 and 34 do the same.

In Chapter Five, “What Does Climate Change Mean to Us, the Maasai? How Climate Change Discourse is Translated in Maasailand, Northern Tanzania”, Sara de Wit, through a multi-sited fourteen-month research project, “studies the ways in which climate change discourse is translated, communicated and received in a rural village in Northern Tanzania, exploring how villagers who have no experience with Western life and whose culture is shaped by religion translate the story of climate change” (Brüggemann and Rödder). Climate change information, which is acquired via mass media (such as the local radio station), NGOs, and the Christian church, conflicts with the culture and religion of the Maasai. For instance, an educational movie clip (Climate Conscious Program), created by a few NGOs, shows that drought is caused by anthropogenic climate change, whereas the Maasai believe that God is responsible for droughts and rain. The people distrust scientists and are unwilling to talk about the future (since they believe that only God knows the future). The Maasai consequently believe that what is viewed as climate change is simply the “normal conditions of life” (Brüggemann and Rödder).

In Chapter Six, “Living on the Frontier: Laypeople’s Perceptions and Communication of Climate Change in the Coastal Region of Bangladesh”, Shameem Mahmud considers the principal sources of information on climate change for the local community, and examines “how it understands climate change in the context of constant exposure to regional geo-hazards such as tropical cyclones, floods, salinity in the water and soil, storms, and coastal erosion” (Brüggemann and Rödder). Interviews of thirty-eight citizens (over half of whom were literate) revealed that they received climate change information from radio, television, NGOs (of which there are 250 in the region), and local leaders. Their processes of sense-making followed two key patterns: the “regional geo-hazard pattern” and “weather and seasonal variance” (which involves personal experiences of changing weather). Interviewees accept that climate change has some responsibility for local problems, such as increased salinity or rising tidal surges, but they also saw local causes, including shrimp aquaculture, as a source of increased salinization.

In the volume’s final chapter, “Extreme Weather Events and Local Impacts of Climate Change: The Scientific Perspective”, Friederike E. L. Otto explains present local climate changes and probable future ones, including newly-advanced research (and limitations) on the connection between extreme weather and climate change: “The chapter translates the question of links between climate change and extreme weather into the scientific language [using world-wide data] of changing probabilities” (Brüggemann and Rödder). The impact of media and public debates on climate science is also conveyed: increased public attention to climate change has led to further development of climate-change science (such as greater methods for estimating changing hazards), as well as a greater volume of critical examinations of scientific studies. Otto discusses attribution science, the effects of a warming climate, and the fact that “a heightened understanding of regional changes in individual types of extreme weather events facilitates preparation for all types of extreme weather.”

For those interested in climate science and how the wide array of information sources (media, politics, NGOs, and science) impact people's opinions and understanding of climate change, and indeed the means by which the idea itself ‘travels’ between global and local contexts, this insightful book will be a great asset.

Global Warming in Local Discourses: How Communities around the World Make Sense of Climate Change, by Michael Brüggemann and Simone Rödder (eds) is an Open Access title available to read and download for free or to purchase in paperback, hardback and various eBook formats here.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash