Posts tagged ‘activism’

18 April 2011

Civil discourse and social change

Students and faculty at California State University at Northridge have been organising campus-wide activities, public events, workshops, films and more und the heading “civil discourse and social change“. Addressing concerns about the state budget crisis/increasing tuition, immigration issues, and the ongoing wars, the initiative began 2010 and runs till the end of this semester.

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16 January 2009

Growing outrage at killings in Gaza

Ernesto Laclau is one of the signatories of a letter published in The Guardian today:

The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Professor Gilbert Achcar, Development Studies, SOAS
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Politics and International Studies, SOAS
Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS
Professor Eric Alliez, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. Jens Andermann, Latin American Studies, Birkbeck
Dr. Jorella Andrews, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, Philosophy, University of Warwick
John Appleby, writer
Dr. Claudia Aradau, Politics, Open University
Dr. Walter Armbrust, Politics, University of Oxford
Dr. Andrew Asibong, French, Birkbeck
Professor Derek Attridge, English, University of York
Burjor Avari, lecturer in Multicultural Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr. Zulkuf Aydin, International Development, University of Leeds
Dr. Claude Baesens, Mathematics, University of Warwick
Dr. Jennifer Bajorek, Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
Professor Mona Baker, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Manchester
Jon Baldwin, lecturer in Communications, London Metropolitan University
Professor Etienne Balibar, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Dr. Trevor Bark, Criminology, WEA Newcastle
Dr. Susan Batchelor, Sociology, Glasgow University
Dr. David Bell, Tavistock Clinic and British Psychoanalytic Society
Dr. Anna Bernard, English, University of York
Professor Henry Bernstein, Development Studies, SOAS
Anindya Bhattacharyya, writer and journalist
Dr. Ian Biddle, Music, Newcastle University
Sana Bilgrami, filmmaker and lecturer, Napier University, Edinburgh
Professor Jon Bird, School of Arts & Education, Middlesex University
Nicholas Blincoe, writer
Dr. Jelke Boesten, Development Studies, University of Leeds
Dr. Julia Borossa, Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University
Dr. Mark Bould, Film Studies, UWE
Dr. Mehdi Boussebaa, Said Business School, University of Oxford
Professor Wissam Boustany, Trinity College of Music, London
Professor Bill Bowring, Law, Birkbeck
Dr. Alia Brahimi, Politics, University of Oxford
Professor Haim Bresheeth, Media Studies, University of East London
Professor John D Brewer, Sociology, Aberdeen
Victoria Brittain, writer and journalist
Professor Celia Britton, French, UCL
Professor Charles Brook, Paediatric Endocrinology, UCL
Dr. Muriel Brown, writer
Professor Ian Buchanan, Critical and Cultural Theory, University of Cardiff
Professor Ray Bush, African Studies and Development Politics, University of Leeds
Professor Alex Callinicos, European Studies, KCL
Dr. Conor Carville, Irish Studies, St. Mary’s University College
Professor Noel Castree, Geography, University of Manchester
Matthew Caygill, lecturer in History and Politics, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr. Rinella Cere, Arts, Design, Communication and Media, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr. John Chalcraft, Government, LSE
Dr. Claire Chambers, English Literature, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr. Sue Chaplin, Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University.
Dr. Sharad Chari, Geography, LSE
Dr. Lorenzo Chiesa, Critical Theory, University of Kent
Dr. Andrew Chitty, Philosophy, University of Sussex
Professor Emilios Christodoulidis, Law, Glasgow
Professor Sue Clegg, Education, Leeds Metropolitan University
Professor Claire Colebrook, English Literature, Edinburgh University
Dr. John Collins, Philosophy, UEA
Professor Guy Cook, Education and Language Studies, The Open University
Professor Diana Coole, Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck
Professor Annie E. Coombes, History of Art, Birkbeck
Charlie Cooper, lecturer in Social Policy, University of Hull
Julia Copus, poet
Professor Andrea Cornwall, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex
Dr. Don Crewe, Criminology, Roehampton University
Professor Simon Critchley, Philosophy, University of Essex
Dr. Stephanie Cronin, Social Sciences, University of Northampton
Eleanor Crook, sculptor & lecturer, University of the Arts London
Laura Cull, artist and researcher, Drama, University of Exeter
Dr. Sonia Cunico, Modern Languages, University of Leicester
Dr. David Cunningham, English, University of Westminster
Catherine Czerkawska, writer and historian
Dr. Sarah Dadswell, Drama, University of Exeter
Dr. Gareth Dale, Politics and History, Brunel University
Dr. Gary Daniels, Public Policy and Management, Keele University
Neil Davidson, Senior Research Fellow, Geography and Sociology, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Graham Dawson, Cultural History, University of Brighton
Christophe Declercq, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
Dr. Helen May Dennis, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Caitlin DeSilvey, Geography, University of Exeter
Dr. Mark Devenney, Humanities, University of Brighton
Dr. Pat Devine, Social Science, University of Manchester
Dr. Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Translation, Imperial College London
Professor James Dickins, Arabic, University of Salford
Kay Dickinson, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College
Jenny Diski, writer
Dr. Bill Dixon, Sociology & Criminology, Keele University
Noel Douglas, lecturer and graphic designer, University of Bedfordshire
Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Law, University of Oxford
Professor Allison Drew, Department of Politics, University of York
Dr. Judit Druks, Psychology & Language Science, UCL
Professor Mick Dunford, Geography, University of Sussex
Dr. Sam Durrant, English, Leeds University
Dr. Graham Dyer, Economics, SOAS
Professor Abbas Edalat, Computer Science, Imperial College
Professor Rasheed El-Enany, Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
Gregory Elliott, writer and translator
Dr. Richard Elliott, Music, Newcastle University
Professor Hoda Elsadda, Arabic Studies, University of Manchester
Bernardine Evaristo, writer
Dr. Howard Feather, Sociology, London Metrolitan University
Professor Patrick ffrench, French, King’s College London
Dr. Clare Finburgh, Theatre Studies, University of Essex
Professor Jean Fisher, Fine Art, Middlesex University
Dominic Fox, writer
Dr. Jennifer Fraser, Spanish, Birkbeck
Professor Murray Fraser, Architecture, University of Westminster
Dr. Des Freedman, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths
Maureen Freely, writer and journalist, English, University of Warwick
Dr. Diane Frost, Sociology, University of Liverpool
Dr. Geetanjali Gangoli, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol
Juliet Gardiner, writer
Dr. James Garvey, philosopher
Professor Conor Gearty, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE
Dr. Julie Gervais, Government, LSE.
Dr. Jeremy Gilbert, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Aisha Gill, Criminologist, Roehampton University, UK
Professor Paul Gilroy, Sociology, London School of Economics
Charles Glass, writer
Dr. Andrew Goffey, Media, Middlesex
Professor Barry Goldson, Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool
Professor Philip Goodchild, Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham
Dr. Paul Goodey, lecturer and oboist
Professor Ian Gough, Social Policy, University of Bath
Dr. David Graeber, Anthropology, Goldsmiths
Dr. James Graham, Media Culture and Communication, Middlesex University
Professor Penny Green, Law, Kings College London
Dr. Simon Gieve, Education, University of Leicester
Dr. Steve Hall, Sociology and Criminology, Northumbria
Professor Peter Hallward, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Keith Hammond, lecturer in Education, University of Glasgow
Dr. Sameh F. Hanna, Translation Studies, University of Salford
Nicky Harman, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
M John Harrison, writer
Dr. Rumy Hasan, Science & Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex
Owen Hatherley, journalist and academic
Dr. Jane Haynes, writer & dialogic psychotherapist
Dr. Jonathan Hensher, French Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Barry Heselwood, Linguistics & Phonetics, University of Leeds
Tom Hickey, Tutor in Philosophy, Politics and Aesthetics, University of Brighton
Dr. Jane Hiddleston, Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Dr. Nicki Hitchcott, French and Francophone Studies, University of Nottingham
Professor Eric Hobsbawm, President, Birkbeck
Dr. Jane Holgate, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Professor Derek Holt, Mathematics, University of Warwick
Professor Ted Honderich, Philosophy, UCL
Professor David Howell, Politics, University of York
Professor Richard Hudson, Linguistics, UCL
Professor John Hutnyk, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
Dr. Colin Imber, Turkish, University of Manchester
Professor Lyn Innes (emeritus), English, University of Kent
Professor Yosefa Loshitzky, Film, Media and Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Lars Iyer, Philosophy, Newcastle University
Dr. Ian James, French, University of Cambridge
Dr. Daniel Katz, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Mark Kelly, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Joanna Gilmore, lecturer in the School of Law, University of Manchester
Susan Kelly, lecturer in Fine Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Christian Kerslake, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. Alexander King, Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
David Kinloch, poet
Dr. Dianne Kirby, History and International Affairs, University of Ulster
Dr. Graeme Kirkpatrick, Sociology, University of Manchester
Dr. Laleh Khalili, Politics and International Studies, SOAS
Dr. Stathis Kouvelakis, European Studies, KCL
Professor Basil Kouvaritakis, Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Dr. John Kraniauskas, Spanish, Birkbeck
Dr. Cecile Laborde, Political Science, UCL
Professor Ernesto Laclau, Government, Essex
Dave Laing, writer and journalist
Dr. Juan Antonio Lalaguna, Humanities, Imperial College London
Professor William Large, Philosophy, University College Plymouth, St Mark and St John
Nicholas Lawrence, lecturer in English & Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Professor Andrew Leak, French, UCL
Dr. Barbara Lebrun, French, University of Manchester
Dr. Keekok Lee, Philosophy, University of Manchester
Professor Esther Leslie, English and Humanities, Birkbeck
Dr. Jo Littler, Media and Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Tim Llewellyn, journalist and writer
Dr. Caroline Lloyd, Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Dr. Jill Lovecy, Politics, University of Manchester
Simon Lynn, lecturer in Social Work, UEL
David Mabb, artist and Reader in Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Stephen Maddison, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Dr. Kevin Magill, Arts and Humanities, University of Wolverhampton
Michael Mahadeo, lecturer in Health and Social Sciences, University of Ulster
Dr. Suhail Malik, Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Johanna Malt, French, KCL
Dr. Matteo Mandarini, Business and Management, QMUL
Professor Susan Marks, Law, KCL
Dr. Lee Marsden, International Relations, University of East Anglia
Professor Lauro Martines, historian
Dr. Luciana Martins, Spanish, Birkbeck College
Dr. Nur Masalha, Religion and Politics, St Mary’s University College
Dr. Dina Matar, Centre for Media and Film Studies, SOAS
Dr. Graeme Macdonald, English, University of Warwick
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Philosophy, KCL
Dr. Maeve McCusker, French Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr. James McDougall, History, SOAS
Dr. Sonia McKay, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Dr. Susan McManus, Politics, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia, Human Rights Studies, UCL
Professor Susan Melrose, Performing Arts, Middlesex University
Dr. Farah Mendlesohn, Media and Creative Writing, Middlesex University
Dr. Mahmood Messkoub, Business, University of Leeds
Dr. China Miéville, writer and academic
Dr. Anna-Louise Milne, French, University of London Institute in Paris
Dr. Surya Monro, Politics, University of Sheffield
John Moore, lecturer in Sociology & Criminology, University of the West of England
Professor Bart Moore-Gilbert, English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths
Dr Farhang Morady, Globalisation and Development, University of Westminster
Dr. Stephen Morton, English, Southampton University
Dr. Pablo Mukherjee, English and Comparative Literature, University of Warwick
Professor John Mullarkey, Philosophy, University of Dundee
Professor John Muncie, Criminology, The Open University
Professor Martha Mundy, Anthropology, LSE
Dr. Alex Murray, English, University of Exeter
Dr. Karma Nabulsi, Politics, University of Oxford
Ali Nasralla, Senior Fellow (retired) at Manchester University Business School
Professor Mica Nava, Cultural Studies, University of East London
Marga Navarrete, Lecturer in Spanish and Translation, Imperial College
Dr. Nick Nesbitt, French, Aberdeen
Dr. Michael Niblett, Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Warwick
Professor Christopher Norris, Philosophy, University of Cardiff
Julia O’Faolain, writer
Michael Oliva, composer and lecturer, Royal College of Music
Wendy Olsen, Development Studies, University of Manchester
Professor Peter Osborne, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Dr. George Paizis, French, UCL
Professor Ilan Pappé, History, University of Exeter
Professor Benita Parry, English and Comparative Literature, University of Warwick
Dr. Diana Paton, History, Newcastle University
Dr. Ian Patterson, Queens’ College, Cambridge
Lara Pawson, writer and journalist
Dr. Maeve Pearson, English, University of Exeter
Carmen Perea-Gohar, lecturer in Spanish, Imperial College
Dr. Luis Perez-Gonzalez, Translation Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Andrea Phillips, Art, Goldsmiths
Dr. Nina Power, Philosophy, Roehampton University
Dr. Jane Poyner, English, University of Exeter
Professor Scott Poynting, Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr. Nicola Pratt, Political, Social & International Studies, UEA
Professor Al Rainnie, Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester
Dr. Kamran Rastegar, Arabic and Persian Literatures, University of Edinburgh
Professor Jane Rendell, Architecture, UCL
Professor Dee Reynolds, French, University of Manchester
Dr. Chris Roberts, School of Community Based Medicine, University of Manchester
Dr. Mark Robson, English Studies, University of Nottingham
Professor William Roff, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh
Professor Bill Rolston, Sociology, University of Ulster
Caroline Rooney, English and Postcolonial Studies, Kent
Professor Hilary Rose, Social Policy, University of Bradford
Michael Rosen, writer
Dr. Elaheh Rostami-Povey, Development Studies, SOAS
Professor William Rowe, Spanish and English, Birkbeck
Dr. Juliet Rufford, Theatre Studies, University of Reading
Professor Jonathan Rutherford, Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Professor Alfredo Saad Filho, Development Studies, SOAS
Dr. Gabriela Saldanha, English Language, University of Birmingham
Dr. Shahira Samy, Politics, University of Oxford
Dr. Stella Sandford, Philosophy, Middlesex University
Professor Sanjay Seth, Politics, Goldsmiths
Carole Satyamurti, writer
Professor Yezid Sayigh, War Studies, KCL
Professor Phil Scraton, Law and Criminology, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Richard Seaford, Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter
Amanda Sebestyen, writer and asylum campaigner
Professor David Seddon, Development Studies, University of East Anglia
Richard Seymour, writer and activist
Dr. Subir Sinha, Development Studies, SOAS
Dr. Debra Benita Shaw, Social Sciences, Media & Cultural Studies, University of East London
Professor Avi Shlaim, International Relations, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Mark Shuttleworth, lecturer in Translation, Imperial College London
Professor David Slater, Geography, Loughborough University
Dr. Andrew Smith, Sociology, Anthropology and Applied Social Science, University of Glasgow
Dr. Graham Smith, Law, University of Manchester
Professor Neil Smith (emeritus), Linguistics, UCL
Olivia Smith, Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr. Anthony Soares, Portuguese, Queen’s University Belfast
Ahdaf Soueif, writer and journalist
Professor William Spence, Physics, QMUL
Dr. Robert Spencer, Postcolonial Literatures, University of Manchester
Professor Paul Stewart, Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Alison Stone, Philosophy, Lancaster
Colin Stoneman, writer
Professor Paul Sutton, Caribbean Studies, London Metropolitan University
Professor Helen Taylor, English, University of Exeter
Professor Phil Taylor, Business, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Jennifer Terry, English Studies, University of Durham
Dr. Nicholas Thoburn, Sociology, University of Manchester
Adriana Tortoriello, translator
Dr. Alberto Toscano, Sociology, Goldsmiths
Professor Martin Upchurch, Business, Middlesex University
Dr. Anastasia Valassopoulos, English and American Studies, University of Manchester
Dr. Rashmi Varma, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Dr. Ritu Vij, International Relations, University of Aberdeen
Professor Dennis Walder, Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, Open University
Dr. Geoffrey Wall, English, University of York
Sean Wallis, Survey of English Usage, UCL
Dr. Vron Ware, Social Sciences, The Open University
Dr. Eyal Weizman, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths
Professor Lynn Welchman, Law, SOAS
Dr. Jutta Weldes, Politics, University of Bristol
Tony White, writer
Geoff Whittam, Reader in Entrepreneurship, University of the West of Scotland
Dr. David Whyte, Sociology, University of Liverpool
Dr. Paula Wilcox, Criminology, University of Brighton
Dr. Caroline Williams, Politics, QMUL
Professor Eddie Williams, Linguistics, Bangor University
Professor James Williams, Philosophy, University of Dundee
Dr. Carla Willig Psychology, City University
Dr. Jon E. Wilson, History, KCL
Dr. Nicole Wolf, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Dr. Jim Wolfreys, French and European Politics, KCL
Professor Andy Wood, History, University of East Anglia
Professor Geof Wood, International Development, University of Bath
Robin Yassin-Kassab, novelist
Professor Nira Yuval-Davis, Gender & Ethnic Studies, University of East London
Dr. Shamoon Zamir, American Studies, KCL
Professor Slavoj Zizek, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Dr. Paquita de Zulueta, Medicine, Imperial College

…via Lenin’s Tomb

And, yes, to the Reform Islam commentators, I wholeheartedly agree: to fundamentally and vocally oppose Israeli’s military attack does not mean to support Hamas. Let us move beyond the binary of supporting one military force or the other.

Update: 17 Jan. David Hirsh responds on the Engage blog to the “Israel must lose” letter. He makes some very astute comments on the complexity of the conflict in Israel/Gaza, pointing out that it is not simply a war ‘between an imperialist occupier on the one hand (the oppressors) and a national resistance movement on the other (the oppressed)’, and arguing that Hamas is an anti-Semitic movement. All well and good – democratic dialogue between different political positions.

But then he pulls the genocide card. This is such an emotive topic, and to invoke “genocide” is one of the most emotive rhetorical strategies in such conflicts:

the global campaign for the military defeat of Israel is also a genocidal campaign

Difficult indeed to engage in dialogue when each side is using (and justifying) such extreme-case formulations.

10 October 2008

Freedom not fear

For individuals concerned with the level of surveillance in our societies today, vorratsdatenspeicherung.de announces:

A broad movement of campaigners and organizations is calling on everybody to join action against excessive surveillance by governments and businesses. On 11 October 2008, concerned people in many countries will take to the streets, the motto being “Freedom not fear 2008”. Peaceful and creative action, from protest marches to parties, will take place in many capital cities.

1 October 2008

Journals under Threat by ERIH

An open letter has been sent out by editors from journals across the field of history of science, technology and medicine, demanding to have their journals removed from the lists of journals to be rated into premier, second and third ‘leagues’ of academic journals by the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH). Humanities discourse clashes with a discourse of standardised classification. The letter:

We live in an age of metrics. All around us, things are being standardized, quantified, measured. Scholars concerned with the work of science and technology must regard this as a fascinating and crucial practical, cultural and intellectual phenomenon. Analysis of the roots and meaning of metrics and metrology has been a preoccupation of much of the best work in our field for the past quarter century at least.

As practitioners of the interconnected disciplines that make up the field of science studies we understand how significant, contingent and uncertain can be the process of rendering nature and society in grades, classes and numbers. We now confront a situation in which our own research work is being subjected to putatively precise accountancy by arbitrary and unaccountable agencies. Some may already be aware of the proposed European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), an initiative originating with the European Science Foundation.

The ERIH is an attempt to grade journals in the humanities – including “history and philosophy of science”. The initiative proposes a league table of academic journals, with premier, second and third divisions.

According to the European Science Foundation, ERIH “aims initially to identify, and gain more visibility for, top-quality European Humanities research published in academic journals in, potentially, all European languages”. It is hoped “that ERIH will form the backbone of a fully-fledged research information system for the Humanities”.

What is meant, however, is that ERIH will provide funding bodies and other agencies in Europe and elsewhere with an allegedly exact measure of research quality. In short, if research is published in a premier league journal it will be recognized as first rate; if it appears somewhere in the lower divisions, it will be rated (and not funded) accordingly.

This initiative is entirely defective in conception and execution. Consider the major issues of accountability and transparency. The process of producing the graded list of journals in science studies was overseen by a committee of four (the membership is currently listed online). This committee cannot be considered representative. It was not selected in consultation with any of the various disciplinary organizations that currently represent our field such as the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, the Society for the Social History of Medicine, the British Society for the History of Science, the History of Science Society, the Philosophy of Science Association, the Society for the History of Technology or the Society for Social Studies of Science. Journal editors were only belatedly informed of the process and its relevant criteria or asked to provide any information regarding their publications.

No indication has been given of the means through which the list was compiled; nor how it might be maintained in the future. The ERIH depends on a fundamental is understanding of conduct and publication of research in our field, and in the humanities in general.

Journals’ quality cannot be separated from their contents and their review processes. Great research may be published anywhere and in any language. Truly ground-breaking work may be more likely to appear from marginal, dissident or unexpected sources, rather than from a well-established and entrenched mainstream.

Our journals are various, heterogeneous and distinct. Some are aimed at a broad, general and international readership, others are more specialized in their content and implied audience. Their scope and readership say nothing about the quality of their intellectual content. The ERIH, on the other hand, confuses internationality with quality in a way that is particularly prejudicial to specialist and non-English language journals.

In a recent report, the British Academy, with judicious understatement, concludes that “the European Reference Index for the Humanities as presently conceived does not represent a reliable way in which metrics of peer-reviewed publications can be constructed” (Peer Review: the Challenges for the Humanities and Social Sciences, September 2007).

Such exercises as ERIH can become self- fulfilling prophecies. If such measures as ERIH are adopted as metrics by funding and other agencies, then many in our field will conclude that they have little choice other than to limit their publications to journals in the premier division. We will sustain fewer journals, much less diversity and impoverish our discipline. Along with many others in our field, this Journal has concluded that we want no part of this dangerous and misguided exercise. This joint Editorial is being published in journals across the fields of history of science and science studies as an expression of our collective dissent and our refusal to allow our field to be managed and appraised in this fashion. We have asked the compilers of the ERIH to remove our journals’ titles from their lists.

Hanne Andersen (Centaurus)
Roger Ariew & Moti Feingold (Perspectives on Science)
A. K. Bag (Indian Journal of History of Science)
June Barrow-Green & Benno van Dalen (Historia mathematica)
Keith Benson (History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences)
Marco Beretta (Nuncius)
Michel Blay (Revue d’Histoire des Sciences)
Cornelius Borck (Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte)
Geof Bowker and Susan Leigh Star (Science, Technology and Human Values)
Massimo Bucciantini & Michele Camerota (Galilaeana: Journal of Galilean Studies)
Jed Buchwald and Jeremy Gray (Archive for History of Exacft Sciences)
Vincenzo Cappelletti & Guido Cimino (Physis)
Roger Cline (International Journal for the History of Engineering & Technology)
Stephen Clucas & Stephen Gaukroger (Intellectual History Review)
Hal Cook & Anne Hardy (Medical History)
Leo Corry, Alexandre Métraux & Jürgen Renn (Science in Context)
D.Diecks & J.Uffink (Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics)
Brian Dolan & Bill Luckin (Social History of Medicine)
Hilmar Duerbeck & Wayne Orchiston (Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage)
Moritz Epple, Mikael Hård, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger & Volker Roelcke (NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin)
Steven French (Metascience)
Willem Hackmann (Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society)
Bosse Holmqvist (Lychnos) Paul Farber (Journal of the History of Biology)
Mary Fissell & Randall Packard (Bulletin of the History of Medicine)
Robert Fox (Notes & Records of the Royal Society)
Jim Good (History of the Human Sciences)
Michael Hoskin (Journal for the History of Astronomy)
Ian Inkster (History of Technology)
Marina Frasca Spada (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science)
Nick Jardine (Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences)
Trevor Levere (Annals of Science)
Bernard Lightman (Isis)
Christoph Lüthy (Early Science and Medicine)
Michael Lynch (Social Studies of Science)
Stephen McCluskey & Clive Ruggles (Archaeostronomy: the Journal of Astronomy in Culture)
Peter Morris (Ambix)
E. Charles Nelson (Archives of Natural History)
Ian Nicholson (Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences)
Iwan Rhys Morus (History of Science)
John Rigden & Roger H Stuewer (Physics in Perspective)
Simon Schaffer (British Journal for the History of Science)
Paul Unschuld (Sudhoffs Archiv)
Peter Weingart (Minerva)
Stefan Zamecki (Kwartalnik Historii Nauki i Techniki)

23 September 2008

School soap in Berlin

“Große Pause” is a fictional tv soap opera set in the Goethe High School in Berlin.

All summer, free four-day workshops have been running in different Berlin districts to make trailers for the soap. Over the four days, 14 to 18 year olds learn how to work behind and in front of the camera, to layout on the computer and to deal with audio recordings. Professional media producers tell participants about their daily work, and about career options.

The final workshop is being held on 20/21 September and 27/28 September in Wedding. On 12 October, the results of the workshops will be presented live on the public access tv channel, Offener Kanal Berlin. A jury will choose the best ads. The tv show on OKB will be designed, planned and produced together with the workshop participants.

18 September 2008

Real Battle in Seattle

Well over 40,000 activists (40,000 is the lowest estimate) from movements across the world converged in Seattle nearly ten years ago to fight the World Trade Organisation. Now a battle is ensuing over how to represent –and mediatize– this moment in history. The realbattleinseattle.org website is contesting the major film “Battle in Seattle” that will be distributed across the US this autumn. It is calling for social movements to reclaim their histories, stories and futures.

[“Battle in Seattle”] is a docu-drama—a fictional story based on real events—that features extensive archival footage. It may shape what most people in the US and around the world think happened for decades to come—unless we speak up. We call for social movements to take action: to reclaim our history, our stories, and our future.

The story of popular resistance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in 1999 is a story of how people power can change the world. It is a dangerous example for the global elite, and a powerful one for movements.

For eight years, the US corporate media, global elites, and their police have been twisting and marginalizing the truth, in order to invent their own story of Seattle 1999 and the stories of social movements’ resistance and victories. These lies and revisions of history have been used in an attempt to criminalize and repress our protests, movements, and mobilizations.

The movie will be released on the eighth anniversary of the 1999 Seattle anti-WTO uprising and shutdown. It was written by a well-meaning actor-director, but is unlikely to reflect the motives, experience, or thinking of the movements behind the shutdown of the WTO. The potential is high and the possibilities are infinite to interrupt this narrative and claim the history that we helped create.

It’s time that we in the social movements tell our own stories, reclaim our own histories, and publicly fight damaging myths of our movements past and present. We must intervene in the public understanding of what happened, what is happening, and what it all means. Stories are how we understand the world and thus shape the future—they are part of our fight against corporate power, empire, war, and social and environmental injustice and for the alternatives that will make a better world.

The real story of Seattle 1999 is of tens of thousands of people rising up, taking direct action, and changing history; standing up to corporations and governments and winning; joining with movements around the world in our common struggle against the WTO.

9 September 2008

Community media in conflict

Clemencia Rodriguez, communications scholar and activist, has just posted a welcome email to the new listserv communitymediainconflict-l. She writes:

I have created this list for those of us doing research on, or working with, or supporting community media in areas of armed conflict. The idea is to begin consolidating a community among us, an inclusive community of practitioners, media producers, academics, people at NGOs, at international organizations, etc.

She also includes a link to an inspiring recent article by Diana Coryat, co-founder of New York based Global Action Project (G.A.P.). In Challenging the Silences and Omissions of Dominant Media: Youth-led Media Collectives in Colombia, Coryat describes two exemplary youth-led media projects, exploring how they use media to engage in discursive struggle, how they challenge dominant narratives about their communities, and how they do this under difficult conditions (conflict, violence, poverty).