July 15, 2009 — Universitas 21, the leading international network of research-intensive universities, and Melbourne University Publishing have launched the first in a series of innovative e-books on global themes and issues.
The University of Virginia is the only U.S. member institution in Universitas 21, or U21. U.Va. President John T. Casteen III currently serves as its chairman.
The first e-book, "Global Cities/Local Sites," is a multimedia collection of essays on seven world cities in which key global issues – flows of information, images, people and products – are explored through the analysis of local sites. These issues include new forms of social and cultural mix, new urban projects (often re-workings of historical locations), new forms of urban practice in public space, and new or stubbornly traditional but subtly re-configured discursive formations.
This series of multimedia books is written and designed specifically for electronic delivery, integrating video and audio with still images.
Jane Usherwood of Birmingham University in the U.K., secretary general of U21, said she is thrilled with the publication.
"This will allow people to interact with academic output in a way which hitherto has been restricted," she said. "It is a great example of academics from around the world collaborating through the medium of a global university network."
The subsequent books in the series are scheduled for publication in 2010. Purchasing information is available on the U21 Web site.