Christian Fuchs on Fri, 29 Jul 2011 08:46:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> CfP: Marx is Back - The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today

Marx is Back: The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of tripleC â Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society.â
Edited by Christian Fuchs and Vincent Moscoââ
For inquiries, please contact the two editors.

In light of the global capitalist crisis, there is renewed interest in Karl Marxâs works and in concepts like class, exploitation and surplus value. Slavoj ÅiÅek argues that the antagonisms of contemporary capitalism in the context of the ecological crisis, the massive expansion of intellectual property, biogenetics, new forms of apartheid and growing world poverty show that we still need the Marxian notion of class. He concludes that there is an urgent need to renew Marxism and to defend its lost causes in order to render problematic capitalism as the only alternative (ÅiÅek 2008, 6) and the new forms of a soft capitalism that promise, and in its rhetoric makes use of, ideals like participation, self-organization, and co-operation, without realizing them. ÅiÅek (2010, chapter 3) argues that the global capitalistcrisis clearly demonstrates the need to return to the critique of political economy. GÃran Therborn suggests that the ânew constellations of power and new possibilities of resistanceâ in the 21st century require retaining the âMarxian idea that human emancipation from exploitation, oppression, discrimination and the inevitable linkage between privilege and misery can only come from struggle by the exploited and disadvantaged themselvesâ (Therborn 2008, 61). Eric Hobsbawm (2011, 12f) insists that for understanding the global dimension of contemporary capitalism, its contradictions and crises, and the persistence of socio-economic inequality, we âmust ask Marxâs questionsâ (13). ââ

This special issue will publish articles that address the importance of Karl Marxâs works for Critical Media and Communication Studies, what it means to ask Marxâs questions in 21st century informational capitalism, how Marxian theory can be used for critically analyzing and transforming media and communication today, and what the implications of the revival of the interest in Marx are for the field of Media and Communication Studies. â

Questions that can be explored in contributions include, but are not limited to:ââ

* What is Marxist Media and Communication Studies? Why is it needed today? What are the main assumptions, legacies, tasks, methods and categories of Marxist Media and Communication Studies and how do they relate to Karl Marxâs theory? What are the different types of Marxist Media/Communication Studies, how do they differ, what are their commonalities?â * What is the role of Karl Marxâs theory in different fields, subfields and approaches of Media and Communication Studies? How have the role, status, and importance of Marxâs theory for Media and Communication Studies evolved historically, especially since the 1960s? * In addition to his work as a theorist and activist, Marx was a practicing journalist throughout his career. What can we learn from his journalism about the practice of journalism today, about journalism theory, journalism education and alternative media?â* What have been the structural conditions, limits and problems for conducting Marxian-inspired Media and Communication Research and for carrying out university teaching in the era of neoliberalism? What are actual or potential effects of the new capitalist crisis on these conditions?ââ* What is the relevance of Marxian thinking in an age of capitalist crisis for analyzing the role of media and communication in society?â * How can the Marxian notions of class, class struggle, surplus value, exploitation, commodity/commodification, alienation, globalization, labour, capitalism, militarism and war, ideology/ideology critique, fetishism, and communism best be used for analyzing, transforming and criticizing the role of media, knowledge production and communication in contemporary capitalism?â
* How are media, communication, and information addressed in Marxâs work?
* What are commonalities and differences between contemporary approaches in the interpretation of Marxâs analyses of media, communication, knowledge, knowledge labour and technology?â * What is the role of dialectical philosophy and dialectical analysis as epistemological and methodological tools for Marxian-inspired Media and Communication Studies?â * What were central assumptions of Marx about media, communication, information, knowledge production, culture and how can these insights be used today for the critical analysis of capitalism? * What is the relevance of Marxâs work for an understanding of social media?â * Which of Marxâs works can best be used today to theorize media and communication? Why and how? â* Terry Eagleton (2011) demonstrates that the 10 most common held prejudices against Marx are wrong. What prejudices against Marx can be found in Media and Communication Studies today? What have been the consequences of such prejudices? How can they best be contested? Are there continuities and/or discontinuities of prejudices against Marx in light of the new capitalist crisis?

âAll contributions shall genuinely deal with Karl Marxâs original works and discuss their relevance for contemporary Critical Media/Communication Studies.â

Eagleton Terry. 2011. Why Marx was right. London: Yale University Press.
Hobsbawm, Eric. 2011. How to change the world. Marx and Marxism 1840-2011. London: Little, Brown.
Therborn, GÃran. 2008. From Marxism to post-Marxism? London: Verso.
ÅiÅek, Slavoj. 2008. In defense of lost causes. London: Verso.
ÅiÅek, Slavoj. 2010. Living in the end times. London: Verso.

ââChristian Fuchs is chair professor for Media and Communication Studies at Uppsala Universityâs Department of Informatics and Media. He is editor of the journal tripleC â Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. His areas of interest are: Critical Theory, Social Theory, Media & Society, Critical Political Economy of Media/Communication, Critical Information Society Studies, Critical Internet Studies. He is author of the books âFoundations of Critical Media and Information Studiesâ (Routledge 2011) and âInternet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Ageâ (Routledge 2008, paperback 2011). He is co-editor of the collected volume âThe Internet and Surveillance. The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Mediaâ (Routledge 2011, together with Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund, Marisol Sandoval). He is currently writing a book presenting a critical theory of social media. ââ

Vincent Mosco is professor emeritus of sociology at Queen's University and formerly Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society. Dr. Mosco is the author of numerous books on communication, technology, and society. His most recent include Getting the Message: Communications Workers and Global Value Chains (co-edited with Catherine McKercher and Ursula Huws, Merlin, 2010), The Political Economy of Communication, second edition (Sage, 2009), The Laboring of Communication: Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite (co-authored with Catherine McKercher, Lexington Books, 2008), Knowledge Workers in the Information Society (co-edited with Catherine McKercher, Lexington Books, 2007), and The Digital Sublime: Myth, Power, and Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2004). He is currently writing a book on the relevance of Karl Marx for communication research today.ââ

Publication Schedule and Submissionââ

Structured Abstracts for potential contributions shall be submitted to both editors (, per e-mail until September 30th, 2011 (submission deadline). The authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to write full papers that are due five months after the feedback from the editors. Full papers must then be submitted to tripleC. Please do not instantly submit full papers, but only structured abstracts to the editors.âThe abstracts should have a maximum of 1 200 words and should be structured by dealing separately with each of the following five dimensions: â

1) Purpose and main questions of the paperâ
2) Description of the way taken for answering the posed questionsâ
3) Relevance of the topic in relation to the CfP
â4) Main expected outcomes and new insights of the paperâ
5) Contribution to the engagement with Marxâs works and to Marxian-inspired Media and Communication Studiesââ


ââtripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation): Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, ââ

Focus and Scope:

Critical Media-/Information-/ Communication-/Internet-/Information Society-Studiesâ
tripleC provides a forum to discuss the challenges humanity is facing today.
It publishes contributions that focus on critical studies of media, information, communication, culture, digital media, social media and the Internet in the information society. The journalâs focus is especially on critical studies and it asks contributors to reflect about normative, political, ethical and critical implications of their research.

Scopus, EBSCOHost Communication and Mass Media Complete, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Open Access:
tripleC is an open access journal that publishes articles online and does not charge authors or readers. It uses a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License) that allows reproduction of published articles for non-commercial purposes (without changes of the content and only with naming the author). Creative Commons publishing poses a viable alternative to commercial academic publishing that is dominated by big corporate publishing houses.

Prof. Christian Fuchs
Chair in Media and Communication Studies
Department of Informatics and Media
Uppsala University
KyrkogÃrdsgatan 10
Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Tel +46 (0) 18 471 1019
NetPolitics Blog:
Editor of tripleC:
Book "Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies" (Routledge 2011)
Book "Internet and Society" (Paperback, Routledge 2010)

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