Circumventing the Gatekeepers: A Consideration of Selected Self-Published Histories in the United States, 2010-2015
KeywordsHistory of the Book
AdvisorMathiesen, Kristy K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the last five years, Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) store has flourished, allowing entrepreneurs and authors to upload their works for sale to Amazon's worldwide audience. The self-published works that dominate the KDP store are fiction, but local histories and memoirs have also found their way to Amazon. Many of these books are non-traditional histories; they are amateur works on community and family stories, memoirs, and life writing. This new and egalitarian historical production has considerable implications for public historians, librarians, and archivists. How it will impact or change the creation of the historical record and influence the field of history remains to be seen. This research project and its accompanying dissertation will situate some of these histories in their greater historiographical field by conducting a close reading of each, and it will utilize microhistorical methodology and standpoint theory to analyze their significance. While there have been some initial quantitative analyses of self-publishing (Dilevko and Dali, 2006; Bradley et al, 2011), no studies have conducted close readings of these texts or explored their content and subject matter in an in-depth way. This study will ultimately argue that many of these self-published works have a place in the public sphere as useful pieces of intimate, personal, and sometimes firsthand knowledge of past events, and that they should be studied as important and new styles of historical production. As records of a uniquely 21st century outlook, they offer future generations insight into American experiences from ordinary people who were previously unable to publish their thoughts, stories, and ideas without considerable financial cost to themselves, and who have now taken advantage of new technological products and publication formats to share the histories they deemed important enough to write. Further, these new technologies and KDP have facilitated a kind of "People's" expression that has and will continue to change the History of the Book.
Degree ProgramGraduate College