Journals as bridge-builders? The politics of publishing and the challenges of disciplinary, geographic and linguistic boundaries [Sponsored by the International African Institute]

Mélanie Torrent (Université Paris Diderot)
Janet Remmington (University of York)
Divine Fuh (African Studies and African knowledge production) & Stephanie Kitchen (African Studies & Publishing, Plan S)
Language and Literature
David Hume, Lecture Theatre A
Thursday 13 June, 10:45-12:30

Short abstract:

Considering globalisation processes, national/regional connections, digital technologies, publishing models and virtual networks, this panel asks how journals reflect/entrench/counter spatial marginalisation, linguistic dominance and inequalities of knowledge production in African studies/affairs.

Long abstract:

This panel considers the role of journals in addressing divides in African Studies: disciplinary (arts and humanities/social sciences/natural and physical sciences); geographic (North/Sub-Saharan Africa as area of study; 'Africanist'/African research and authorship); and linguistic (European, African, Asian, and other languages). Focusing on the content, production and circulation of journals, on authors, reviewers and editorial boards, this panel discusses how journals, old and new, shape the dialogue on African affairs. Considering globalisation processes, national/regional connections, digital technologies, publishing models, and virtual networks, how do journals reflect, entrench, or counter spatial marginalisation, linguistic dominance, and inequalities of knowledge production? The panel discusses the national, transnational, and global politics of journals to explore dynamics of diversity in the bridging of "disconnects". Possible topics include: -connections between journals centred on Africa, and journals where Africa is a recurrent (but not unique) field -the place of North Africa in African Studies journals -African authorship, editorship and publishing in African Studies -the impact of digital humanities, open access, social media, other technologies and models on output/outreach -the impact of funding, databases and research assessment exercises (national and international) on editorial policy and on scholars' publishing choices -the circulation of new scholarship across languages, including the role of book review editors, translation and connections between publishing houses -journal publication and media/public/policy engagement Papers on editorial history and on contemporary publishing are equally welcome. Papers on publishing in African languages, as well as interdisciplinary and multilingual journals, are particularly welcome.