Welcome to the first Working Papers roundtable discussion. Our field of inquiry in the inaugural issue of our graduate journal is online publishing. A number of questions spring to mind when one considers the role of online publishing in academia. First, is it a relevant vehicle for academic writing? How will it affect the way we read, write and pursue our professional interests? Will current publishing practices become obsolete, and if so, when can we expect to read the last words of offline print culture?Indeed, our roundtable topic is not so far removed from the title of the current issue: “Last Words”, the selected proceeding from the annual graduate student conference hosted by the Graduate Romanic Association at the University of Pennsylvania. The issues we encounter as we consider the potential and realized effects of online publishing are pertinent to an issue where many of the papers engage with the notion of boundaries, genre, and new (textual, psychological, geographical, political) spaces.
In the space below, we have asked Reinaldo Laddaga, Michael Solomon, Gerald Prince, Charles Cooney and Glenn Roe a series of questions that touch on the changing cultural and textual landscape implicated in, and by, the Web.