Understanding Knowledge as a Global Commons

Director's ActivitiesLeeds-Hurwitz, W. (2019). Commentary: Moving (slowly) toward understanding knowledge as a global commons. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 15. DOI: 10.1080/17447143.2019.1695806

My commentary article was invited as a response to “Power relations in global knowledge production: A cultural/critical approach” by Marton Demeter. Both articles are already available online, and will be in print within a few months. To give you the flavor of the article, let me quote the first and last paragraphs. If you then wish to read the entire commentary, 50 copies may be downloaded free using this link. If you are the 51st person or beyond and those copies are gone, you may send an email requesting a personal copy.

“Marton Demeter responds to the move to de-westernization . . . by asking whether the reality of practice in cultural discourse studies fits with the stated goal of acknowledging globalization by expanding what is accepted within academia (so that the US and Western Europe do not assume they will produce the research that scholars in other countries read, but instead that everyone will produce interesting work that everyone else will read). He examines journal publications, a central tool in the social construction of knowledge, looking in greatest detail at ‘diversities in editorial boards, diversities in science output and the network of collaboration’. He finds that editorial board diversity correlates with the home country of the authors (so that journals with mostly US/Western scholars on the editorial boards publish few articles by authors from other parts of the world, despite explicit statements taking this as a goal).”

. . .

“In sum, I do not argue with Demeter’s findings, and in fact wish he had been a bit more radical in his call for change. In addition to internationalizing editorial boards, authors, and research teams, I have suggested that we need to recognize and reward intercultural capital, expand international networks at all levels (including editors and peer reviewers specifically for journal publishing, but more broadly expanding international research collaborations), and consider how to use the available technology to ensure that knowledge will be free and accessible to all, calling on senior faculty and major universities to make the first move. I would summarize this set of options as moving towards a global knowledge commons, a phrase others have used, but which has not yet been widely adopted.”

J Multicultural Discourses reviews


Journal of Multicultural Discourses (ISSN 1744-7143 print; ISSN 1747-6615 online)

Editor-in-Chief: Shi-xu, Zhejiang University, China
Review Editors: Yoshitaka Miike, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, USA / Sune Vork Steffensen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

The Journal of Multicultural Discourses (Routledge, Taylor & Francis), edited by Professor Shi-xu, is now calling for reviews of publications and events which are relevant to the purposes of the journal (http://tandf.co.uk/journals/1744-7143). In summary, we are seeking reviews that examine (1) the recovery and reconstruction of intellectual traditions on language and communication from cultures outside the West (and/or non-Western cultures inside the West), including those discussing the methods and epistemologies of such research and (2) studies in language and communication practices outside mainstream cultures. For this new journal, the editorial team is particularly interested in accepting innovative and even provocative reviews which go well beyond content summaries and promotional endorsements. A range of review formats will be considered including but not limited to:
* A critical examination of more than one recent publications
* A fresh consideration of historical texts, particularly non-Western ones that have not previously been brought to an international audience
* A contrast and comparison of a seminal work with a recent publication in a related field
* A critical analysis of several journal publications in an emerging field

The Journal of Multicultural Discourses has two review editors: Professor Yoshitaka Miike (ymiike@hawaii.edu) and Professor Sune Vork Steffensen (vork@language.sdu.dk). While you can contact either of the editors to propose a review, there is a slight difference in orientation amongst them: Yoshitaka will be responsible for reviews on the cultural diversity of language and communication as well as the scholarships on them; Sune will take responsibility mainly for reviews engaging with various forms of discourse and communication research.

Reviews should be between 2,000-3,000 words long (all inclusive). Your review is likely to be published within six to twelve months following the acceptance of the manuscript. We strive to include 3-4 reviews per issue. Please see the journal website (http://tandf.co.uk/journals/1744-7143) for publication guidelines.

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