This word is set down so that you may understand that this whole time totum saeculum, which to us seems so long while it is rolling along, is really a moment punctum.

~Augustine, Ennarations on the Psalms

This time it is not I who seek it out . . . it is the element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. A Latin word exists to designate this wound, this prick, this mark made by a pointed instrument . . . This element which will disturb the studium I . . . call punctum; for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole—and also a cast of the dice.

~Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.

~Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn



Eileen A. Fradenburg Joy. Old and Middle English Literature, Cultural Studies, Postmodern Fiction, Poetry/Poetics, Historiography/Intellectual History, Queer Studies, Post/humanisms, Speculative Philosophy, Para-Academia, Scholarly Communications. BABEL Working Group. Santa Barbara, California. USA.

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei. Philology, Art/Politics, Linguistics, Nubian Studies, Deconstruction, Poetry, Monuments, Translation, Albanian Socialist Realism, Philosophy. The Department of Eagles, Uitgeverij, Dotawo. The Hague, Netherlands.



Chris Piuma. Languages, Grammar, Paragraphs, Sentences, Words, Letters, Scribbles; Form, Pattern, Queers, Error, Confusion, Translation, Poetry. Toronto, Canada.


ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR for Publicity & Culural Relations

Arthur Russell. Medieval Literatures, Manuscripts and Sensoriums. Commentaries, Compilations, and Collaborations. Tall Tales and Dinner Parties. Cleveland, Ohio. USA.


ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR / TECHNICAL ADVISOR for Artbooks & Exhibition Catalogs

Marget Long. Visual Arts. Photography/Photographic Technologies. Artbooks. Video. Sensory Politics. Visual Cultural Studies. Archival Theory & Practice. Mirages. New York City, New York. USA.



Andrew Doty. English and American Literary Studies. Creative Writing. Media Writing. Music/Composition. Metal. Saint Louis, Missouri. USA.



Chip Badley, Santa Barbara, California. USA.

Bert Fuller, Toronto, Ontario. Canada.

William Warren Goudy, Macomb, Illinois, USA.

Joyce King, Santa Barbara, California. USA.

Kristen McCants, Santa Barbara, California. USA.

Mike Smith, Washington, DC. USA.



Alli Crandell, Conway, South Carolina. USA.

Tristan Denyer, San Francisco, California. USA.



Nota Bene: our Vision Statement is somewhat whimsical and philosophical, while also conveying (if somewhat obliquely and poetically) values that we care about a great deal. For more detailed (and drier) information relative to our protocols for submitting and reviewing manuscripts (including our external review processes), purchasing books directly from us (at a discount), reprint permissions, desk and examination copies, review copies, and the like, please see our CONTACT page.

punctum books, originally founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2011, and with editorial offices in Santa Barbara (USA) and The Hague (Netherlands), is an independent, not-for-profit, public benefit, 501(c)(3) corporation (application pending) registered in Santa Barbara, California. We are an open-access publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage (in which assemblage you will find humanists keeping rowdy and thought-provoking company with social scientists, scientists, multi/media specialists, artists, architects, and designers). We have a special fondness for neo-traditional and unconventional scholarly work that productively twists and/or ignores academic norms, with a special emphasis on books that fall length-wise between the article and the monograph—id est, novellas, in one sense or another. We also take in strays of any variety. This is a space for the imp-orphans of your thought and pen, an ale-serving church for little vagabonds.

punctum books encourages projects that profit from formal risks and possibly engage with supposedly outmoded or ‘quaint’ genres—the abcedarium, (auto)commentary, summa, bestiary, dialogue, case study, compendium, speculum/mirror, conduct manual, letter/address, apologia pro vita sua, hagiography, elegy, postcard, telegraph/telegram, inter-office memo, encyclopedia, forgery, hidden writing, source-fiction, natural history, leechbook, atlas, colloquium, colophon, commonplace book, telephone book, rolodex, field report, romance, dialogue, dream vision, catalogue, sonnet cycle, poetics, treatise, manifesto, prosody, calendar, morality play, marginalia, interlinear translation, digest, microfiche, concordance, book of hours, pastoral/eclogue, polemic, epigram, broadsheet, flyer, note-book, breviarium, collationes/collectio, book of nature, testament, proof, manual, pamphlet, miscellany, chapbook, captivity narrative, penny dreadful, testament, manual, discography, catena, liner notes, autopsy, exegesis, rule, antiphonary, legend, fax, travelogue, etymologiae, lai, excerpt, curiosity cabinet, disputation, computus, comedy of errors, soliloquy, essay, bulletin, evangeliary, gloss, meditation, fable, florilegium, myth, fairy tale, purchase order, carbon copy, transcript/transcryptum, blueprint, psalter, micrologue, lyric, daytimer, inventory, annal/chronicle, pipe roll, receipt/invoice, watch-list, charter, canon, and so on ad infinitum. Surprise yourself.

The word ‘punctum’ is intended to summon and ignite several registers of discourse and address. First, in the sense of the punctures made by the pointed awls or spikes used to rule or ‘prick’ the vellum pages of premodern manuscripts and thereby unfurl the blank lines of writing (and thinking), punctum medievally invokes the founding of textual work upon perverse and paradoxical openings. punctum books seeks to curate the open spaces of writing or writing-as-opening, the crucial tiny portals on whose capacious thresholds all writing properly and improperly takes place. Pricking, puncturing, perforating = publishing in the mode of an unconditional hospitality and friendship, making space for what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick called “queer little gods” – the “ontologically intermediate and teratological figures” of y/our thought.

Second, through Augustine’s point about time (see epigraph above), punctum stabs home the fact that, whatever the temporalities we inhabit at any given time, whatever we think regarding the perhaps unthinkable totum saeculum (‘whole time’), whatever our commitments or indifferences to future and past, the ‘word’ immediately knows time as always and beautifully momentary. punctum books seizes without freezing the momentary, promoting punctual writing that emerges in the moment, that is all of a sudden presently free to carry and to be carried away by other times, its own time, and both at once. punctum books seeks writing that does not let go of its own time, its adjacency to what is immediate and intimate, as well as writing that abandons time and lights out for other Territories (ahead).

Finally, by way of Barthes’s affective photographic concept (see epigraph above), punctum indicates thought that pierces and disturbs the Wednesdayish, business-as-usual protocols of both the generic university studium and its individual cells or holding tanks. Further, punctum signifies text that wounds and pricks and cuts and pierces. This is to encourage writing as risk, adventure, a going-forth without ‘papers’ or guarantees: falling through the hole/punctum, a falling down, freefall. punctum books solicits and pimps quixotic, sagely mad engagements that generate and satisfy noetic-erotic need, textual thought-bodies that give pleasures only to be possessed in their presence.

To discover more about the ways in which punctum books has developed its vision and mission over time, see these public writings and talks by Eileen Fradenburg Joy:

punctum is a member of the Radical OA Collective. Formed in 2015, the Radical Open Access Collective is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access projects. Now consisting of over twenty members, we promote a progressive vision for open publishing in the humanities and social sciences. What we have in common is an understanding of open access as being characterised by a spirit of ongoing creative experimentation. We also share a willingness to subject some of our most established scholarly communication practices to creative critique, together with the institutions that sustain them (the university, the library, the publishing house and so on). The collective thus offers a radical ‘alternative’ to the conservative versions of open access that are currently being put forward by commercially-oriented presses, funders and policy makers.

punctum’s titles, in addition to being available for purchase (paperbound editions) and download (enhanced PDF analogue editions) here on our website, are also archived (with openly available MARC records and other metadata) at the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).



Cheryl Ball, Director, Digital Publishing Collaborative, Wayne State University Libraries + Editor, Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, USA.

Sherri Barnes, Humanities Collection Coordinator + Scholarly Communication Program Coordinator, UCSB Library, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.

Johanna Blakley, Managing Director and Director of Research, The Norman Lear Center, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, USA.

Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology, & Publishing, Dept. of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London + Founding Director, Open Library of Humanities, UK.

Eileen A. Fradenburg Joy (CEO), Old and Middle English Literature, Cultural Studies, Postmodern Fiction, Poetry/Poetics, Historiography/Intellectual History, Queer Studies, Post/humanisms, Speculative Philosophy, Para-Academia, Scholarly Communications. BABEL Working Group. Santa Barbara, California. USA.

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (CFO), Philology, Art/Politics, Linguistics, Nubian Studies, Deconstruction, Poetry, Monuments, Translation, Albanian Socialist Realism, Philosophy. The Department of Eagles, Uitgeverij, Dotawo. The Hague, Netherlands.



Jane Bennett. Political Theory, Political Ecology, Object-Oriented Materialisms, Ethics. Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Kathleen Biddick. Medieval European History, Critical Historiography/Theory, Studies in Medievalism. Temple University, USA.

Nandita Biswas Mellamphy. Political Science, Political Philosophy, Post/humanisms, Zoontotechnics, War/Globalization. University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Paul Bowman. Cultural Theory, Popular Culture, Film & Media Studies, Martial Arts. Cardiff University, UK.

Jen Boyle. Early Modern Literature, New Media Studies, Technoculture/Technoscience Studies, Sexuality Studies. Coastal Carolina University, USA.

Jeffrey J. Cohen. Medieval Comparative Literature, Queer Studies, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Post/humanisms. George Washington University, USA.

Paul J. Ennis. Contemporary Continental Philosophy, Speculative Realism, Metaphysics, Neurophilosophy, Bleak Theory. Dublin, Ireland.

Ruth Evans. Middle English Literature, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Feminist Theory, Memory/Mindware Studies. Saint Louis University, USA.

Aranye Fradenburg. Medieval Comparative Literature, Clinical Psychoanalysis, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Cognitive Literary Studies. University of California-Santa Barbara + New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, USA.

David Hadbawnik. Medieval Literature, Poetry/Poetics, Translation, Historical Linguistics, Digital Humanities. eth press: postmedieval poetries, Habenicht Press, Kuwait.

Jonathan Gil Harris. Early Modern Culture, Drama, Shakespeare, Globalizations, Temporality/Motion. Ashoka University + Shakespeare Quarterly, India.

Geraldine Heng. Comparative Literature, Global Middle Ages, Transcultural Medieval Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Women’s Studies, Premodern Race Studies, Digital Humanities. University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Ed Keller. Architecture, Design Criticism/Research, Social Media, Transdisciplinary Design. Parsons The New School of Design, USA.

Anna Kłosowska. Medieval and Early Modern French Literature, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory, Critical Theory. Miami University of Ohio, USA.

Katerina Kolozova. Feminist Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Gender Studies, Non-philosophy, Speculative Realism. Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities-Skopje, Macedonia.

Dan Mellamphy. Comparative Literature, Continental Philosophy, Media Technology, Post-Humanism, Speculative Fiction. University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Timothy Morton. Ecology, Philosophy, Literature, Romantic Period, Sound, Food. Rice University, USA.

Reza Negarestani. Independent Philosopher and Writer. New York City, USA.

Michael O’Rourke. Early Modern Studies, Queer Studies, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Theory. Dublin, Ireland.

Simon O’Sullivan. Art History, Visual Culture, Art Theory, Psycho/schizoanalysis, Subjectivity, Goldsmiths College, University of London + Plastique Fantastique, UK.

Steven Shaviro. Cultural Theory, Film Studies, New Media, Science Fiction, Speculative Realism. Wayne State University, USA.

Michael Snediker. Poetry/Poetics, 19th/20th-Century American Literature, Modernism, Aesthetics, Temporality, Queer Theory, Disability Theory. Queen’s University, Canada.

Karl Steel. Comparative Medieval Literature, Critical Animal Studies, New Materialisms, Post/humanisms, Eco-studies. Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA.

Eugene Thacker. New Media/Technology Studies, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Horror. The New School for Social Research, USA.

Scott Wilson. Cultural Studies, Critical Theory/Psychoanalysis, Audiology, Metal Studies. Kingston University + London Graduate School, UK.

Valerie Vogrin. Creative Writing, Fiction, Literary Editing. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville + Sou’wester, USA.

Julian Yates. Early Modern Studies, Material Culture, Object-Oriented Studies, Science Studies. University of Delaware, USA.


Here then, is what we would call, in order to call upon it, the unconditional university or the university without condition: the principal right to say everything . . . to publish it.

—Jacques Derrida, “The University Without Condition”

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