Geoffrey Sauer

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Geoffrey Sauer
Geoffrey sauer.jpg
Geoffrey Sauer, presenting at an IEEE Conference
Born October 10, 1968
Bloomington, Indiana
Occupation ProfessorIowa State University
Title Director,

Geoffrey Sauer (born 1968 in Bloomington, Indiana) is an American new media theorist who researches technologies including open source software and collaborative multimedia development in the context of the history of publishing. He is the director of the open-access electronic text archive the EServer[citation needed], an electronic text archive, which is according to Alexa the most popular website in the arts and humanities.[1] He is also the director of the Studio for New Media at Iowa State University, as well as an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Communication in the ISU English Department.


Sauer was born in 1968 in Bloomington, Indiana, and grew up from age three in Mobile, Alabama, the son of an English professor (David) and an academic librarian (Janice). He began working at age eight on his father's accounts on PDP-11 and VAX-11/750 minicomputers at his father's university.


Sauer attended the University of Notre Dame's Honors Program and there was influenced by the work of scholars such as Jacques Derrida, and Pierre Bourdieu. In 1990 he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to study at Carnegie Mellon University and in 1998 received a PhD in Literary and Cultural Theory,[2] with a dissertation about miscommunication between employees and managers in 1990s Internet projects, and its origins in British and French publishing history.[citation needed]

While he was at Carnegie Mellon, he was a founding member (and later, director) of the English Server (later the EServer), which he led to publish writings in arts and humanities free of charge online.

In 1998 he received a postdoctoral fellowship at CMU. In 2000 he took a faculty position at the University of Washington-Seattle.[3] In 2003 he moved to the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he remains to the present day.[4]


Sauer's scholarly research study how material circumstances from the history of publishing have both hampered and facilitated contemporary open-access publishing ventures.

Sauer has argued that U.S. publishing is dominated by interests that are decreasingly interested in publishing books that won't sell a lot of copies greatly reducing academic book choices in the sciences and humanities and leading to increasing commodification of academic knowledges.[5]

Since 2003 he has written increasingly often about professional writing,[6] arguing for the historic increase of openness in a range of workplace communication practices, and the increasing importance of open, database-driven, professional resources.[7][edit]

Sauer is the founder and director of The EServer, an open-access online publishing project in the arts and humanities.[8]


In addition to his online work, some of his writings in print include:

  • Bad Subjects, based in Berkeley, CA, touted as the first leftist publication on the Internet (originally published via gopher)
  • Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life (New York University Press, 1998)
  • Online Communities: Commerce, Community Action, and the Virtual University. (Pearson Education, 2001)
  • 'コミュニティ、コースウェア、' In オンライン・コミュニティ: eコマース、教育オンライン、非営利オンライン 活動の最先端レポート. Chris Werry and Miranda Mowbray, eds. Ken'ich Ikeda, Ed. Supervisor. Midori Shimoda, Kiichi Obata, Ko Ito and Yumiko Koiwa, translators. (Tokyo: Pearson Education Japan, 2003)

Sources and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Alexa: Humanities: Most Popular". 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  2. ^ English Department - Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies
  3. ^ Leatherman, Courtney; Heller, David (2000-01-27). "Peer Review: Scholar Takes Advantage of Hot Job Market for New-Media Experts". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  4. ^ "ISU RPC Faculty". 2000-06-20. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  5. ^ Gannaway, Gloria (2003). "Online Communities: Commerce, Community Action, and the Virtual University". Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. 
  6. ^ Haselkorn, Mark P.; Geoffrey Sauer; Jennifer Turns; Deborah L. Illman; Michio Tsutsui; Carolyn Plumb; Tom Williams; Beth Kolko; Jan Spyridakis (2003-05-01). "Expanding the Scope of Technical Communication: Examples from the Department of Technical Communication at the University of Washington". Technical Communication. Society for Technical Communication. 50 (2): 174(18). Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  7. ^ Kudesia, Saurabh (2007). "Rendezvous with KnowGenesis: Geoffrey Sauer". International Journal for Technical Communication. 
  8. ^ Gieseke, Dave (2005-12-04). "The Choice of Millions". Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 

External links[edit]