chapter  8
10 Pages

Academe Degree Zero

There are many signs that the culture of the book in American higher education is in crisis. For starters, there is the hotly debated question of whether the book should remain the “gold standard for tenure,” or, as Lindsay Waters, executive editor for humanities at Harvard University Press recently asked, whether the scholarly world should once again make the essay the standard of achievement.1 There is also the issue of how to balance the rising cost of producing and publishing books with shrinking university press and library budgets. One solution has been for presses to make sales and marketability increasingly important factors in publishing decisions.