Research

Four Shades of Grey

My first book (currently under review) maps out the success of the Kindle during its first decade (2007-2017) and how the platform allowed Amazon to shape contemporary publishing. The book explores the technological, bibliographical, and social innovations of the Kindle with case studies of Kindle Popular Highlights, digitization of books from 1989, and how Amazon’s patents shaped its development from retailer to vital infrastructure for the Internet.

Digital Publishing Before the Web

Following my work on the Kindle, I have started research on lost histories of digital publishing prior to the ebook boom of the early 2000s and consolidation by the Kindle in 2007 through corporate archives, patent filings, and contemporaneous journalism. I start with the development of technologies for microfilm publishing through to the corporate experimentation of the 1990s, where major technology companies including Motorola, Apple, IBM, and Microsoft invested heavily on the future of reading on-screen.

I received the McCorrison Fellowship for the History and Bibliography of Printing in Canada and the United States in 2018 to visit archives at Stanford University Library and the Computer History Museum in Palo Alto to begin the primary research for the project.

Smaller projects

As part of the AHRC/British Library-funded Academic Book of the Future project, I’ve conducted a series of analyses of peer review in the arts and humanities in collaboration with Claire Squires, Dorothy Butchard, and Gill Tasker. I am also working on a series of smaller projects exploring how data analytics can help us understand the reading process.

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