Conversation with Crop and Bleed: An Information Studies Reader editors, Sean Pessin and Rob Montoya with Kate Edelson

This is the next installment of our Author Interview Series with Library Students where prospective information professionals meet with authors to discuss the research process and engage in a deep dive on important topics of the field from concept to publication. 

Conversation with Crop and Bleed: An Information Studies Reader editors, Sean Pessin and Rob Montoya with Kate Edelson

This interview was conducted by Kate Edelson, a dual degree student in Costume Studies at New York University and Library and Information Science at Long Island University.

Sean Pessin and Rob Montoya’s excitement for their upcoming project Crop and Bleed: An Information Studies Reader on New Boundaries in Critical Print and Visual Culture is palpable. These editors unite their diverse backgrounds and interests in visual and print culture to create a series that has broad cross discipline appeal and speaks to gaps they saw in the discourse. Sean comes from the work of small press publishing and Rob from the academic publishing sphere but both are interested in exploring ideas about how print and visual culture intersect with non-traditional perspectives.

Rob says the purpose of the series is to think about “critical theories, broadly conceived, post-colonial theories, we think about feminist theories, critical race theory, by and large theories that interrogate kind of power structures.” The reader is still in development anticipated for release in the Spring of 2023 and is expected to include pieces by practicing book artists, publishers, people thinking more broadly about how text is collected into books, and those looking at non-western book collecting tradition. Sean remarks that “the idea is that there is something for everyone, and everyone in our instance is people who are studying in the field and may not have found anything anywhere else.”

Rob echoes this sense of exploration into alternative perspectives. When asked about the intended audience he remarked “Gosh! That’s a tough question actually. The intended audience is anybody who might pick it up and find it interesting.” That isn’t to say that they haven’t thought deeply about the scope, but that they both see the appeal as being beyond librarians and media studies scholars. This includes those that come from interdisciplinary fields like artists working in print mediums, either paper or digital, or people interested in book or publishing history.

This series is still a work in progress and Rob and Sean are passionate about where it’s headed. Sean remarked that “there are some pieces that [he] can’t wait to see the final copy of.” This project is a labor of love for the two who get to explore concepts that they see as missing from the discourse and hope to provide a space to examine these concepts. Sean goes on to say, “so in small press, one of the things that we always say is that you kind of selfishly make books that you want to read and then you hope that there’s an audience for them. That’s kind of what’s driven us a little bit. Making a book that shows or reveals things in the field that I was looking for and wasn’t finding elsewhere.”

When asked what else they want people to know Sean says, “I guess the first thing would be, Send Rob your manuscripts, please.” To which Rob echoes “the more interesting, the more fringe, the more strange, and even experimental the better. You know, it should be a space where we should push the boundaries of print, culture and the research studies and all the millions of things you can put under the umbrella of that.”