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.”

CFP Kome

KOME, a new peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by the Hungarian Communication Studies Association is calling for submissions for its forthcoming issue. The journal aims to create a platform for an innovative interdisciplinary discourse in the field of communication and media studies, with a focal point on basic researches.

Since its formation, there has been a wide debate on the (in)famous first axiom of pragmatics which states that ‘one cannot not communicate’. Questions of whether the subsuming of any and all kind of information processing in a category called ‘communication’ results in a viable approach towards actions performed by various entities, or simply suits in the flow of the inflation of concepts so precious concerning human existence and co-existences are rarely answered, if even posed in the field of communication and media studies. Nowadays, applied communication researches seems not to care much about the fact that no researches on communication and media can be carried out without having preconceptions about the nature of the phenomenon constituting its object. Which, considering their disciplinary boundaries, would be perfectly acceptable if not only a marginal fraction of theories, serving as the basis for those researches had linked their assertions on communication to the preconceived notions that determine the demarcation of the domain of communication and media studies through the selection and organization of different perceptions in a given intellectual framework. The unidentified nature of such preconceptions is relevant not exclusively in metatheories but it may also make the adequacy of a given theory questionable in additional researches, which results in a situation where these theories can not provide a general answer to a couple of the most basic questions, namely, ‘what is communication’ ‘what is media’ ‘who is able to communicate’ etc. Therefore KOME welcomes researches and discussions with an eye toward defining and theorizing communication and the media, and invite authors to submit manuscripts exploring basic questions of the field with plausible reasoning, but regardless of the theoretical framework or the chosen methodology.

For submission please send your paper to the Editorial Office:
kome AT komjournal.com

Please visit our website and view the current issue.

DEADLINE: Februry 25, 2013

Marton Demeter & Janos Toth, editors