profit free

Michael Jensen, in a letter published in Postmodern Culture regarding its new subscription fees, writes that

  "I'm the representative of the [Johns Hopkins University] Press in this discussion, and it's worth knowing that I discriminate firmly between commercial and nonprofit publishers (their goals are utterly different)"

As does Golumbia's essay on Hypercapitalism, Jensen's stance conflates a distate for commerce with a perverse misreading of modern publishing.

"Nonprofit status", in the sense commonly used in the U.S., is a matter of tax code and corporate governance. Nonprofit corporations can and do pursue revenues and accumulate capital. Conversely, many leading literary presses are not organized as non-profit corporations and yet are neither obsessed by, or indeed overly concerned with, profit. New Directions, Grove Press, City Lights, Godine, Seal Press, Lawrence Erlbaum: all are (or were) commercial presses. Are their goals indeed "utterly different" from those of Johns Hopkins?

top | development | bones and dust | not paying attention | after the elegy | circles of meaning