Symposium 2020 Program



Towards an Open Future took place on Friday, April 24th. Below are the abstracts from our “lighting talk” presenters:

Nora Almeida (CityTech) – OER Promises and Paradoxes: A Conversation about Labor, Value, and Equity 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are often framed in terms of their potential to promote social and economic equity and disrupt pedagogical paradigms. However, critical explorations of “openness” and analyses of specific institutional implementations of OER programs have revealed paradoxes in the open movement, which can generate new forms of invisible labor and obscure inequity while reinforcing institutional labor hierarchies and neoliberal value agendas. Following a presentation of some theoretical promises and pitfalls of OER, I will facilitate a conversation about the local implementation of OER at CUNY that touches on issues including: infrastructure, sustainability, labor, institutionalization, collaboration, and pedagogical disruption.

Megan Wacha (Office of Library Services) –
Another Brick in the Paywall
In 2015, the Max Planck Digital Library proposed that there is enough money in libraries’ budgets to pay publishers to make a full flip to open access by 2020. But at whose expense? An early experiment in offsetting the cost of publishing oa journals, article processing charges and, now, transformative agreements have moved the paywall from access to read, to access to write. This presentation and interactive discussion will address the history and current status of Max Planck’s OA2020 initiative, including the roles entities such as the University of California play in cementing a capitalist and colonialist publishing system.


Andrea Liu (Artist) – The Tyranny of Structurelessness and the Politics of “Openly Editable”

This paper discusses the ideology and disciplinary regimes behind the terms “open” and “free” in digital culture/ digital archives in relation to the influential 1972 essay, “The Tyranny of Structurelessness,” by feminist Jo Freeman. Freeman’s essay addressed how in activist groups, claims of openness and the ostensible rejection of hierarchy within the group’s organizing structure often cloak a tacit, unacknowledged hierarchy—one that is more pernicious because its existence is denied. Similarly, many cyberutopian claims of “openness” made by digital archive projects are belied by the on-the-ground reality of their organizing structure’s intricate, labyrinthine systems of hierarchy regarding bars to entry to participation.​

Stefka Tzanova (York College) – Changing Roles of Academic Librarians in the Era of Open Science

Librarianship is a profession that is both very old and very modern. Intrinsically linked to literacy and knowledge, our profession has epitomized civilization and culture for centuries. Yet librarianship is very dynamic, too. Few other trades have been so deeply influenced by the development of new technologies and have resurrected and reinvented themselves so often. Libraries – especially academic libraries – have always been at the forefront of human progress, with their role shifting from providing access to scholarly literature toward assisting researchers in its creation. Under the Open Science framework, academic libraries are enablers, promoters, mediators and educators.


Below is the program for Breaking Open: An Open Pedagogy Symposium, held on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Open Pedagogy Symposium 5-3-19_Final