[acc-cca-l] call for journal articles that revisit the communications commons

Dorothy Kidd kiddd at usfca.edu
Sat Feb 9 09:40:19 MST 2019

*Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture *

*Call for Papers: Re-visiting the Communication Commons*

In the last decade, the concept of the commons has become prolific, if not
popular. There are millions of references to the commons in a very wide
range of literatures, from the academic, social activist, to the UN-and
other multilateral institutions, think tanks, and popular literatures.
However, in most, the idea of the commons is rather vague, a stand-in for
public resources that avoids any references to specific collectivities of
people, places, political economies and systems of power, and/or the
historical and conflict-ridden origins of the commons at the dawn of the
capitalist era in Northern Europe.

The record within communications, media and cultural studies is much
better. Here, the commons, and related concepts of commoners and enclosure,
have been taken up by a smaller but significant number of researchers, who
have, for the most part, theorized about the historical and contemporary
commons or “the common” as an alternative to capitalist productive and
social relations. Researchers have studied the collective management,
production processes and forms of cooperative social organization in a
number of artistic, media activist and designer communities, and especially
with regards to digital software and hardware, and the operation and
governance of information and of media platforms. A similar framework has
been used in studies of the cultural and communications practices of social
change movements that have actively worked against the privatization and
“enclosure” of public goods or other commons-based resources and of the
exploitation of labour (i.e., the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, the
Zapatista movement in Mexico, Ecuadorian indigenous movements and the
Chilean student movement). Linking these studies has been a theorization of
the commons as sites of emergent value systems in which a new subjectivity,
characterized by mutual aid, care, trust, and conviviality, may be
reproduced over time through ‘commoning’ activities.

This special issue calls for a re-evaluation of the communication commons,
especially given the major changes in geopolitics and global communications
economies, ecologies and cultures. To do so, articles will examine the
history of the communications commons, and interrogate its contemporary
applicability and relevance.

·      In what ways and how do communications commons constitute a new
political, social and cultural project?

·      How effectively, for example, have communications commons been able
to negotiate their relationship with the state and the capitalist market,
and with what consequences?

·      How is the concept utilized in different world regions, cultural
traditions and languages?

·      How are communications commons changing, given the new generations
or communities of practice, and especially the increasingly precarious
conditions of work and life?

·      How do commons negotiate intersectional differences of economic,
social, technological and cultural power?

·      In what ways can commons-based projects be used to inform novel ways
of collectively organizing productive activity?

The submission deadline is June 15, 2019.

Article length should be 7,000 words, all-inclusive.

Authors’ instructions and submission guidelines are available at

Contact Benjamin Birkinbine at  bbirkinbine at unr.edu

and Dorothy Kidd at kiddd at usfca.edu  for more information.

Benjamin Birkinbine and Dorothy Kidd, Guest Editors

Patrick Burkart and Christian Christensen, co-Editors in Chief
Dorothy Kidd
Department of Media Studies
Department of International Studies

Kalmanowitz Hall (K-Hall) 157
2130 Fulton St.
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
kiddd at usfca.edu

I respectfully acknowledge that I live and work on the traditional
territory of the Ohlone people.

*"Ring the bells that still can ring*
*Forget your perfect offering*
*There is a crack in everything*
*That's how the light gets in."*

Leonard Cohen. "Anthem."

To view articles and papers go to http://usfca.academia.edu/DorothyKidd
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