Let’s write a textbook

I’ve been talking with the folks at Flatworld Knowledge about the kinds of textbooks they’re looking for, and it was suggested that a world history textbook might be just the ticket. These things are typically in two volumes – before and after 1500. Who wants to write a textbook?

To my mind, writing another textbook that does the usual roundup of periods/cultures is not perhaps useful. As the Barenaked Ladies are wont to say, ‘It’s all been done before! ‘ A new medium of producing, distributing a textbook – a medium that allows for the content to be remixed by instructors at the coal-face, to suit their needs (read Flatworld’s material for more on that) it seems to me, needs a new approach. The folks at Grand Text Auto did a blog-based peer review for this book; perhaps a new world history textbook could be written via blog-based posts & peer review? Also, could it be written in such a way as to foreground networks & connections between times, places, and peoples: a 21st century textbook? Horden and Purcell’s volume from a few years back is apposite here; also is Urry’s Sociology beyond Societies

…I’m just thinking out loud. Your thoughts?