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"History of Intellectual Culture. Participatory Knowledge"

New "open-access" publication by Charlotte Lerg, Johan Östling and Jana Weiß


by Charlotte A. Lerg, LMU München; Johan Östling, Lund University, Schweden; Jana Weiß, WWU Münster

lergWith concepts of participation discussed in multiple disciplines from media studies to anthropology, from political sciences to sociology, the first issue of the new yearbook History of Intellectual Culture (HIC) dedicates a thematic section to the way knowledge can and arguably must be conceptualized as "participatory".

Introducing and exploring "participatory knowledge", the volume aims to draw attention to the potential of looking at knowledge formation and circulation through a new lens and to open a dialogue about how and what concepts and theories of participation can contribute to the history of knowledge. By asking who gets to participate in defining what counts as knowledge and in deciding whose knowledge is circulated, modes of participation enter into the examination of knowledge on various levels and within multiple cultural contexts.

The articles in this volume attest to the great variety of approaches, contexts, and interpretations of "participatory knowledge", from the sociological projects of the Frankfurt School to the Uppsala-based Institute for Race Biology, from the Argentinian National Folklore Survey to current hashtag activism and Covid-19-archive projects. HIC sees knowledge as rooted in social and political structures, determined by modes of transfer and produced in collaborative processes. The notion of "participatory knowledge" highlights in a compelling way how knowledge is rooted in cultural practices and social configurations.

The volume also includes a very relevant contribution by Amerika-Institut colleague Sakina Gröppmaier on knowledge and the digital public sphere.