The term “para-academic” captures the multivalent sense of something that fulfills and/or frustrates the academic from a position of intimate exteriority. Para-academia is that which is beside academia, a place whose logic encompasses many reasons and no reason at all (para-, “alongside, beyond, altered, contrary,” from Greek para-, “beside, near, from, against, contrary to,” cognate with Sanskrit para “beyond”).
The para is the domain of: shadow, paradigm, daemon, parasite, supplement, amateur, elite. The para-academic embodies an unofficial excess or extension of the academic that helps, threatens, supports, mocks (par-ody), perfects and/or calls it into question simply by existing next to it.
Following a series of classes organized through the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York on the subject of “Para-Academia and Theory Fiction,” this event brings together a group of editors whose work in publishing falls within the para-academic, in one sense or another.
Presenters will address the practice and theory of para-academic publishing, its relation to various areas of life (art, pedagogy, politics), and present some of their recent titles.