[artinfo] CfP: Marx is Back - The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Communication Studies Today

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Sun Aug 28 23:46:26 CEST 2011

Marx is Back: The Importance of Marxist Theory 
and Research for Critical Communication Studies 

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of tripleC - 
Journal for a Global Sustainable Information 

Edited by Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco

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 ÎiÏek 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 (ÎiÏek 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. ÎiÏek (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).

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 

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?

* 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?
* 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?

* What is the relevance of Marxian thinking in an 
age of capitalist crisis for analyzing the role 
of media and communication in society?

* 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?

* 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?

* What is the role of dialectical philosophy and 
dialectical analysis as epistemological and 
methodological tools for Marxian-inspired Media 
and Communication Studies?

* 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 
* What is the relevance of Marx's work for an understanding of social media?

* Which of Marx's works can best be used today to 
theorize media and communication? Why and how?

* 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 

All contributions shall genuinely deal with Karl 
Marx's original works and discuss their relevance 
for contemporary Critical Media/Communication 

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.
ÎiÏek, Slavoj. 2008. In defense of lost causes. London: Verso.
ÎiÏek, Slavoj. 2010. Living in the end times. London: Verso.


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. 

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 
(christian.fuchs at im.uu.se, moscov at mac.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 

1) Purpose and main questions of the paper

2) Description of the way taken for answering the posed questions

3) Relevance of the topic in relation to the CfP

4) Main expected outcomes and new insights of the paper

5) Contribution to the engagement with Marx's 
works and to Marxian-inspired Media and 
Communication Studies


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-/ 

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 

Prof. Christian Fuchs
Chair in Media and Communication Studies
Department of Informatics and Media
Uppsala University
Kyrkogårdsgatan 10
Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
christian.fuchs at im.uu.se
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)

More information about the Artinfo mailing list