Monday, February 05, 2007

Keeping Up With Thematic Issues: Latin America, Secrecy, Religious Heritages of Key Theorists, and Journalism in the Digital Age

It seems themed issues are quite the trend these days.

Global Media and Communication (Volume 2, Number 3, December 2006) is devoted to Communication and Culture in Latin America. Editors are Patrick D. Murphy and Clemencia Rodriguez.

Secrecy is the subject of the January 2007 issue of Cultural Studies (Volume 21, Number1) edited by Claire Birchall. In her article, "Cultural Studies Confidential," she contends: "The current climate of secrecy...demands scrutiny. In order to do this, however, I suggest that cultural studies must think through its own secrets: namely the secret of cultural studies' possible 'illegitimacy' as a discipline. While this may sound contentious, I argue that the possibility of illegitimacy is the condition of all knowledge...and that cultural studies is well placed to think through issues of illegitimacy...[including] the culture of secrecy currently characterising US and British foreign policy." The issue, which leans heavily on Derrida, includes articles on surveillance, bioethics, identity theft, the public sphere, and masks.

The latest issue of the Journal of Media and Religion devotes itself to the religious experience of four seminal theorists: Jacques Ellul, Marshall McLulan, Walter Ong, and Neil Postman. The issue, titled: The Religious Heritage of Mass Communication Theorists: Cultural Biographies, is edited by Daniel A. Stoudt and Judith M. Buddenbaum.

The title of the Winter 2006 issue of Nieman Reports (Volume 60, No. 4) is Goodbye Gutenberg and is devoted to journalists' experiences in the digital era. Accompanying a variety of accounts that point to the future of journalism are photographs that take the reader back to the golden age of newspapers. This selection of photographs, the "Newspaper Gallery," is scattered throughout the issue. It is truly an exhibit and good sport matching the (in)congruencies between text and image.

All three journals can be accessed online through the Penn webpage, though it looks like the latest issue of Nieman Reports is not up yet. They are also available in print in the ASC Library.

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