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CfP Marx is Back: The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today
full name / name of organization:
Christian Fuchs, Uppsala University
Marx is Back: The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today
In light of the global capitalist crisis, there is renewed interest in Karl Marx’s works and in concepts like class, exploitation and surplus value. Slavoj Žižek 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 (Žižek 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. Žižek (2010, chapter 3) argues that the global capitalist crisis clearly demonstrates the need to return to the critique of political economy. Göran Therborn suggests that the “new constellations of power and new possibilities of resistance” in the 21st century require retaining the “Marxian 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 themselves” (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 “must ask Marx’s questions” (13).
This special issue will publish articles that address the importance of Karl Marx’s works for Critical Media and Communication Studies, what it means to ask Marx’s 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.
Questions that can be explored in contributions include, but are not limited to:
* 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 Marx’s theory? What are the different types of Marxist Media/Communication Studies, how do they differ, what are their commonalities?
All contributions shall genuinely deal with Karl Marx’s original works and discuss their relevance for contemporary Critical Media/Communication Studies.
Eagleton Terry. 2011. Why Marx was right. London: Yale University Press.
Christian Fuchs is chair professor for Media and Communication Studies at Uppsala University’s Department of Informatics and Media. He is editor of the journal tripleC – 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 “Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies” (Routledge 2011) and “Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age” (Routledge 2008, paperback 2011). He is co-editor of the collected volume “The Internet and Surveillance. The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media” (Routledge 2011, together with Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund, Marisol Sandoval). He is currently writing a book presenting a critical theory of social media. http://fuchs.uti.at
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.
Publication Schedule and Submission
Structured Abstracts for potential contributions shall be submitted to both editors (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) 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. The abstracts should have a maximum of 1 200 words and should be structured by dealing separately with each of the following five dimensions:
1) Purpose and main questions of the paper
tripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation): Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, http://www.triple-c.se
Focus and Scope:
Critical Media-/Information-/ Communication-/Internet-/Information Society-Studies