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Christian Fuchs <[log in to unmask]>
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Sun, 18 Sep 2011 06:04:17 -0700
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Marx is Back: The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical
Communication Studies Today
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of tripleC – Journal for a Global
Sustainable Information Society.&#8232;
Edited by Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco&#8232;&#8232;

For inquiries, please contact the two editors.

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 capitalistcrisis 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). &#8232;&#8232;

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:&#8232;&#8232;

* 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?&#8232;
* What is the role of Karl Marx’s theory in different fields, subfields
and approaches of Media and Communication Studies? How have the role,
status, and importance of Marx’s 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?&#8232;* 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?&#8232;&#8232;* What is the relevance of Marxian thinking in an
age of capitalist crisis for analyzing the role of media and communication
in society?&#8232;
* 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?&#8232;
* How are media, communication, and information addressed in Marx’s work?
* What are commonalities and differences between contemporary approaches
in the interpretation of Marx’s analyses of media, communication,
knowledge, knowledge labour and technology?&#8232;
* What is the role of dialectical philosophy and dialectical analysis as
epistemological and methodological tools for Marxian-inspired Media and
Communication Studies?&#8232;
* 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 Marx’s work for an understanding of social
* Which of Marx’s works can best be used today to theorize media and
communication? Why and how?
&#8232;* 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?

&#8232;All contributions shall genuinely deal with Karl Marx’s original
works and discuss their relevance for contemporary Critical
Media/Communication Studies.&#8232;

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, Göran. 2008. From Marxism to post-Marxism? London: Verso.
Žižek, Slavoj. 2008. In defense of lost causes. London: Verso.
Žižek, Slavoj. 2010. Living in the end times. London: Verso.

&#8232;&#8232;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 &#8232;&#8232;

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.&#8232;&#8232;

Publication Schedule and Submission&#8232;&#8232;

Structured Abstracts for potential contributions shall be submitted to
both editors ([log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]) 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.&#8232;The abstracts should have a maximum of 1
200 words and should be structured by dealing separately with each of the
following five dimensions: &#8232;

1) Purpose and main questions of the paper&#8232;
2) Description of the way taken for answering the posed questions&#8232;
3) Relevance of the topic in relation to the CfP
&#8232;4) Main expected outcomes and new insights of the paper&#8232;
5) Contribution to the engagement with Marx’s works and to
Marxian-inspired Media and Communication Studies&#8232;&#8232;


&#8232;&#8232;tripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation): Open
Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society,
http://www.triple-c.se &#8232;&#8232;

Focus and Scope:

Critical Media-/Information-/ Communication-/Internet-/Information
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 journal’s 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
Kyrkogårdsgatan 10
Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
[log in to unmask]
Tel +46 (0) 18 471 1019
NetPolitics Blog: http://fuchs.uti.at/blog
Editor of tripleC: http://www.triple-c.se
Book "Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies" (Routledge 2011)
Book "Internet and Society" (Paperback, Routledge 2010)