Jannik Gehde, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

December 21st, 2018 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Jannik Gehde, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

It might be a tired cliché, but I really do believe that books can change people. I should know, because books have certainly changed me more than once. To my experience, a book may change your perception of the world around you, your behaviour towards other people, or who you want to be as a person. Above all, a book enables you learn new and exciting stuff.

The MLitt in Publishing Studies is my second postgraduate degree after a MA in Transnational Literary Studies and a BA in English & American Studies and Book Studies. For ggod measure, I also threw in an amazing semester abroad doing English at the University of Mississippi. So as you can see, I like learning quite a lot, and that’s where publishing comes in.

Publishers ultimately decide what we learn and how we change simply by deciding which books (or journals, magazines etc.) to publish. This isn’t even a romanticised way of looking at an incredibly competitive business sector, it’s simply a fact. Academic publishers shape the academic discourse with their output, whereas trade publishers influence how we think about the topics they deal with. Just some examples: Harry Potter certainly affected what people think about when they hear the word “wizard”, as did Twilight in respect to “vampires”. You don’t even have to like these books, nor do their publishers necessarily have to treat them as anything other than essential products to keep their business running. They still change stuff. Sometimes even in more meaningful ways than getting people to argue about whether the undead should sparkle in the sunlight.

To be part of this process, to choose which content to publish, to find ways of getting the books you feel passionate about to as many people as possible, is an incredibly exciting prospect to me. And that’s why I’m here.