Plenary Sessions

CNI Fall 2010 Membership Meeting
December 13-14, 2010
Arlington, VA
Crystal Gateway Marriott


Opening Plenary
Clifford Lynch, CNI

Closing Plenary
Daniel J. Cohen, GMU


Monday — 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.


Clifford Lynch

Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information


Tuesday — 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Ivory Tower and the Open Web

Daniel J. Cohen
Center for History and New Media George Mason University

The Web is now over twenty years old, and there is no doubt that the academy has taken advantage of its tremendous potential for disseminating resources and scholarship. But a full accounting of the academic approach to the Web shows that compared to the innovative vernacular forms that have flourished over the past two decades, we have been relatively meek in our use of the medium, often preferring to impose traditional ivory tower genres on the Web rather than import the open web’s most successful models. For instance, we would rather digitize the journal we know than explore how blogs and social media might supplement or change our scholarly research and communication. In this talk, Dan Cohen explores what might happen if we reversed that flow and more wholeheartedly embraced the genres of the open Web.

Presentation (PDF)

About the speaker:
Daniel J. Cohen is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. He is the author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins) and coauthor with Roy Rosenzweig of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania). His next book, The Ivory Tower and the Open Web, is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press. He is an inaugural recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship. At CHNM he has directed projects ranging from digital collections (September 11 Digital Archive) to scholarly software (Zotero). He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton, his master’s from Harvard, and his doctorate from Yale in 1999. He blogs at, tweets @dancohen, and podcasts at


Last updated:  Thursday, August 13th, 2015