Associate Professor Alison Baverstock's publishing career prompted her to capture, describe and develop thinking around effective practice; her books on publishing entered HE as standard texts, were widely translated and adopted internationally at undergraduate, Masters and research levels.
A formal teaching role followed as Alison helped establish MA Publishing at City University (1999) and co-founded Kingston’s MA Publishing (2006) from within the English Department. From teaching and extensive industry-contact she has built a broad-reaching research programme which significantly informs student, HE and wider industry/societal understanding.
She was a first-generation student and believes passionately in the power of university education to transform an individual’s motivation/prospects; that universities should be welcoming institutions; that life-long learning can be embarked upon at any stage/level and significantly improve morale/self-esteem.
Impact of work
At Kingston she has pursued a range of innovative initiatives connected to student/staff development, widening participation and civic engagement. Her teaching practice and associated commentary, books and journal articles have impacted significantly on how Publishing Studies is taught worldwide. She has consistently mentored and supported others seeking to develop publishing education through external examination.
Alison's key role in disciplinary development has been through the organisational structures of HE/government (Association for Publishing Education, QAA, Skillset) and industry (Publishers Association, Society of Young Publishers, Women in Publishing, Society of Authors).
Plans for the future
She finds her roles at Kingston immensely fulfilling and is heavily committed to future developments. As founder of the Kingston University Big Read, pre-arrival shared-reading for all, she has led an initiative that now spans four universities with an accompanying research project monitoring an activity previously little analysed. As Admissions Tutor, she promotes education’s key role in social mobility through unlocking potential and creating change. She advocates both social and business cases for wider diversity within HE and the creative industries, encouraging students to develop as activists who will locate and curate content of interest to the broadest range of demographs – not just their own – conveying that this depends on both accepting and growing personal responsibility for widening participation. She will continue to encourage the active questioning of industry thinking, to ensure that the worth of academic study within profession-oriented fields is validated as preparation for future usefulness to society.
Associate Professor of Publishing and Director of the Kingston University Big Read